The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has announced an amnesty scheme providing relief to registered persons who failed to file their GSTR 3B and GSTR 10 returns in time. The scheme allows for the conditional deemed withdrawal of assessment orders issued in past cases.
In the case of registered persons who fail to furnish a valid return within thirty days of the service of the assessment order issued up to 28/02/2023 under Section 62(1) of the CGST Act, such assessment order shall be deemed withdrawn if the registered persons follow the specified procedure and furnish the return on or before 30/06/2023 along with payment of interest and late fee. Regardless of whether or not an appeal has been filed or decided against such assessment order, it is deemed withdrawn.
GST Council Recommendations
The GST Council proposed an amnesty scheme for the conditional deemed withdrawal of assessment orders in cases where the concerned return could not be filed within 30 days of the assessment order. This amnesty would apply regardless of whether an appeal had been filed against the assessment order or if the appeal had already been decided.
CBIC Notification: Eligibility and Requirements
In line with the GST Council’s recommendations, the CBIC issued Notification 6/2023, which specifies that registered persons who failed to furnish a valid return under Section 39 (GSTR-3B Summary Return) and Section 45 (GSTR-10 Final Return) of the CGST Act, within 30 days from the service of the best judgment assessment order issued on or before February 28, 2023, under Section 62(1) of the CGST Act, would be deemed to have their assessment orders withdrawn.
To avail of the amnesty, the registered person must file the required return on or before June 30, 2023, along with payment of the applicable interest under Section 50(1) and late fee under Section 47 of the CGST Act.
CBIC Central Tax Notifiation 6/2023 dated 31/03/2023: Amnesty Scheme to Withdraw Assessment Orders as Relief for GSTR 3B/ 10 Defaulters subject to Filing of Returns by June 30, 2023
Withdrawal of Assessment Orders: Appeals and Decisions
The withdrawal of assessment orders under this amnesty scheme will apply irrespective of whether an appeal has been filed against the assessment order or if the appeal, if any, has been decided or not. This move by the CBIC aims to provide relief and a one-time opportunity for registered persons to rectify their non-filing status and avoid the consequences of non-compliance with the CGST Act.
Benefits of the Amnesty Scheme
The amnesty scheme introduced by the CBIC serves as an opportunity for registered taxpayers to rectify their non-filing status and avoid potential penalties and legal repercussions. Some benefits of this scheme include:
1. Reducing Litigation and Legal Hassles
By allowing the withdrawal of assessment orders irrespective of the appeal status, the amnesty scheme reduces the burden of pending litigation and legal hassles for both taxpayers and the authorities. This streamlined process aims to simplify tax compliance and dispute resolution, saving time and resources for all parties involved.
2. Encouraging Compliance with Tax Laws
The amnesty scheme is a reminder for businesses to maintain compliance with tax laws and file their returns in a timely manner. By providing a one-time opportunity to rectify non-filing status, the CBIC encourages taxpayers to prioritize their tax obligations and adhere to the provisions of the CGST Act moving forward.
3. Improving Tax Collection
Timely filing of GST returns ensures that the government can collect tax revenue more effectively, which is essential for funding public services and infrastructure development. The amnesty scheme aims to improve tax collection by providing non-filers an opportunity to file their returns and pay any outstanding dues, thereby increasing overall revenue.
Takeaway for Taxpayers
The CBIC’s amnesty scheme for withdrawal of assessment orders against non-filers of GSTR 3B and GSTR 10 is a welcome relief for taxpayers who have missed filing deadlines in the past. However, it is crucial for businesses to understand that this is a one-time opportunity, and it is essential to maintain compliance with the tax laws and regulations in the future.
Taxpayers should make the most of this amnesty scheme and ensure that they file the necessary returns by the June 30, 2023 deadline. By doing so, they can avoid penalties, legal troubles, and potential damage to their reputation, while contributing to the government’s tax revenue and the overall economic growth of the country.