GST Council Recommends Amnesty Scheme for Pending GST Returns

The 49th Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting happened under the Chairpersonship of Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman on 18th February 2019. The Council has made various recommendations on GST compensation, appellate tribunal, approval of the Group of Ministers (GoM) reports, GST rates and other measures for trade facilitation.

Notably, the Council recommend an amnesty scheme for pending returns in GSTR-4, GSTR-9 and GSTR-10. The amnesty scheme announced with conditional waiver/ reduction of late fees will provide relief to a large number of taxpayers.

GSTR-4 is a return under which the composition scheme taxpayer shall file a return once every quarter. GSTR-9 is an annual summary return to be filed by the regular taxpayer once a year, along with all details, including sales, Input Tax Credit (ITC), taxes paid, etc. GSTR-10 is to be filed when a taxpayer’s GST registration has been cancelled or surrendered. It is also known as the final return.

Also, the Council recommend another amnesty scheme to help taxpayers whose GST registration has been cancelled due to the non-filing of GST returns. Under this amnesty scheme, the department would allow the taxpayers to file for the revocation of GST registration which couldn’t file the same earlier.

In another amnesty scheme, the Council recommended conditional deemed withdrawal of best judgment assessment orders in past cases. This amnesty is available for taxpayers who could not file the concerned return within 30 days of the assessment order; however, the return has been filed with interest and late fee up to a specified date. The taxpayer can avail of this benefit irrespective of the following:

  • Whether the taxpayer filed the appeal or not against the assessment order or 
  • Whether the said appeal has been decided or not.

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