GST Amnesty Scheme and revocation of cancelled GSTINs get further time extensions

The CBIC issued three new Central Tax notices on Sunday, 29th August 2021. One pertains to the GST Amnesty Scheme that earlier was going to end on 31st August 2021. The other one is on the extension to revoke cancelled GST registrations. The third one covers amendments to CGST Rules on a few matters.

The time limit to avail GST Amnesty Scheme is now 30th November 2021

The Central Tax notification number 33/2021, dated 29th August 2021, covers this extension. The government will continue to charge the reduced maximum late fees for those who file GSTR-3B pending between July 2017 to April 2021 on or before 30th November 2021. The earlier deadline was 31st August 2021. 

Under the scheme, the taxpayers can file such pending GSTR-3B subject to a reduced maximum late fee of Rs.1,000 per return (Rs.500 per return for a nil GSTR-3B). However, small taxpayers found it challenging to finish pending compliances due to the negative impact that the pandemic had on their business. Lack of access to resources was another reason for not filing GST returns before the extended due dates.

The extension will provide a major relief to small businesses and tax professionals.

The timeline to apply for revocation of cancelled GST registration is up to 30th September 2021

The Central Tax notification number 34/2021, dated 29th August 2021, deals with this matter. The government got several requests from trade and professionals to clarify this aspect. They expressed their inability to file pending GST returns, especially under the GST Amnesty Scheme, due to the cancellation of GST registration on the same account. 

With the earlier deadline of the scheme lapsing on 31st August 2021, many applications for revocation were not cleared or processed by the tax officers. Further, the government considered the plight of several other taxpayers who could not apply for revocation due to difficulties posed by the pandemic.

The GST law has prescribed the time limit to apply for revocation as thirty days from the date of notice for cancellation by the tax officer. Taxpayers must use Form GST REG-21 for this purpose. In the next seven days, the officer will verify the application and may either or not issue a show-cause notice for cancellation. 

The taxpayer must respond to such notice in the next seven days. Suppose the application or reply details satisfy the officers. In that case, they will issue Form REG-22 for revocation order within thirty days of application or reply to the notice, as the case may be.

As per the notification, the taxpayers can continue to apply for revocation until 30th September 2021, where the time limit for application expires anytime between 1st March 2020 and 31st August 2021. It allows sufficient time for taxpayers and tax officers to process the application for revocation and issue the order. In turn, the taxpayers get reasonable time to finish filing all their pending GSTR-3B on or before 30th November 2021.

The notification clarifies that this extension up to 30th September 2021 is only for cases where GST registrations were cancelled for two types of taxpayers. It applies to the composition dealers who did not pay taxes and file returns for three quarters. Secondly, it covers the regular taxpayers who did not file GSTR-3B for six months or quarters.

Taxpayer companies can use EVC or DSC for GST filings up to 31st October 2021

The taxpayer companies have been given additional time until 31st October 2021 to authenticate their GSTR-1/IFF and GSTR-3B using the Electronic Verification Code (EVC) or the Digital Signature (DSC). It means that from 1st November 2021 onwards, such taxpayers can only file returns using the DSC of the authorised person for the company.

Earlier, this relief was granted between 27th April 2021 and 31st August 2021. The government had provided the same relief last year between 27th May 2020 and 30th September 2020. The same has been notified vide the Central Tax notification number 32/2021 dated 29th August 2021. A further extension of such relief helps companies comply with GST provisions remotely with ease. 

Rule 138E-Blocking of e-way bill generation for non-filing of GSTR-3B-

Recently, the GST portal blocked e-way bill generation from 15th August 2021 for all those taxpayers who have pending GSTR-3B filings for the last two months or the last quarter. Accordingly, the CBIC notified the Central Tax notification number 32/2021. As per the notification, the e-way bill generation should not be blocked from 1st May 2021 to 18th August 2021 if GSTR-1 or GSTR-3B or CMP-08 is not furnished from March 2021 to May 2021. 

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