The government composed a total of Rs 4,172 crore as late fee for the belated filing of a variety of Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns. The amount was collected in the period since the completion of GST on July 1, 2017, up till February 4, 2019. The fee for late filing of GST returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST). Businesses that have to file GST but don't have any tax liability are necessary to pay a fine of Rs 10 under CGST and SGST.
The late fee was introduced to dishearten individuals from the belated filing of GST returns. In a reply to a query in Lok Sabha recently, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said, "Late fee is levied u/s 47 of the CGST Act, 2017 on any register being who fails to provide income by the due date at the rate of Rs 100 every day during which such breakdown continues subject to maximum amount of Rs 5,000."
He also added that to transform the knowledge of taxpayers and to smoothen the changeover to the new regime, the government had abridged the late fee for filing in Form GSTR-1 and returns in Form GSTR-3B and GSTR-4 to Rs 25 per day to a maximum amount of Rs 5,000 under CGST and SGST.
In its 31st meeting, the GST Council had announced a one-time waiver for late filing penalty. "Late fee shall be totally waived for all taxpayers in case of Form GSTR-1, Form GSTR-3B & Form GSTR-4 for the months/ quarters July 2017 to September 2018 are furnished after December 22, 2018, but on or before March 31, 2019," the department statement had said.
A total of 1, 17, 48,408 taxpayers were registered under GST till December 27 last year. Out of that 60, 73,574 were existing taxpayers who migrate to GST, while 56, 74,834 were newly added.
GST collections have remained below estimate but the average has seen an uptick. In the year 2018-19, the average gross collection has been Rs 97,555 crore as compared to Rs 89,885 crore in the previous year.