After a gap of more than six months, the 43rd GST council meeting was held on 28th May 2021. The meeting was conducted, via video conferencing, under the Chairmanship of the Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

One of the major outcomes of the meeting was the announcement of the ‘Amnesty Scheme’ for late filing of pending GST returns. The Amnesty Scheme under GST is likely to benefit small as well as medium-sized taxpayers. The scheme will also enable the clearance of the backlog of pending GST returns.

 The present article briefly explains the Amnesty Scheme 2021 under GST along with some of the illustrations and FAQs.

Amnesty Scheme and meaning thereof

The word ‘Amnesty’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Amnestia’. The word ‘Amnestia’ means forgetfulness. 

Linking up the meaning, in a legal term, ‘Amnesty’ means reduction or waiver of any legal or procedural compliances arising on account of any offence/ non-compliance for a certain specific class of persons.

Gist of relief available under GST Amnesty Scheme 2021-

As stated above, GST Amnesty Scheme 2021 is recently announced vide the GST council meeting. Interestingly, the amnesty scheme simply reduces the maximum amount of late fee payable due to non-filing of return in Form GSTR-3B.

Normal late fees provisions applicable to late filing of return in Form GSTR-3B

Before understanding the reliefs in details allowed under the Amnesty Scheme, it is important to understand the normal late fees payable for non-furnishing/ late furnishing of return in Form GSTR-3B filing. Accordingly, the late fees payable is-

Particulars

Late fee payable under normal circumstances

Taxpayer having NIL tax liability during the relevant tax period

INR 20 per day per return

(i.e., INR 10 under CGST + INR 10 under SGST)

Any other taxpayer

INR 50 per day per return

(i.e., INR 25 under CGST + INR 25 under SGST).

Understanding reliefs available under Amnesty Scheme-

Let us understand the applicability; reliefs and condition of the Amnesty Scheme- 

Applicable to

The Amnesty Scheme is applicable to all the taxpayers who have still not furnished the GST return in Form GSTR-3B for all or any of the tax period from July 2017 to April 2021.

Reliefs available under the Amnesty Scheme

Particulars

Late fee payable under Amnesty Scheme

Taxpayer having NIL tax liability during the tax period July 2017 to April 2021

The maximum late fee payable is INR 500 per return (i.e., INR 250 under CGST + INR 250 under SGST).

Any other taxpayer

The maximum late fee payable is INR 500 per return (i.e., INR 250 under CGST + INR 250 under SGST).

Condition to be satisfied to avail the benefit of the Amnesty Scheme

The above relief in late fee payable is available only if the taxpayer furnishes the pending GST returns in Form GSTR-3B within the period 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

In nut-shell, the Amnesty Scheme simply reduces the maximum amount of late fees payable for non-furnishing/ late furnishing of Form GSTR-3B from INR 5,000 to INR 500 or INR 1,000, as the case may be.

Notably, the relevant proviso giving effect to the recommendation of GST council with regard to Amnesty Scheme is inserted vide Notification No. 19/2021- Central Tax dated 1st June 2021.

Examples explaining the Amnesty Scheme under GST-

Mr A took GST registration in January 2020. Mr A, however, didn’t undertake any transactions and accordingly didn’t filed any GST returns.

Under the GST Amnesty Scheme, Mr A can file NIL GST return in Form GSTR-3B for the period January 2020 to April 2021 with payment of a reduced late fee of INR 500 per return. However, Mr A will have to file all the pending return within the period starting from 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

Mr B having GST transactions have failed to furnish GST returns in Form GSTR-3B for the period January 2021 to April 2021.

Since Mr B is having tax liability, he can file the pending returns by paying a reduced late fee of INR 1,000 per return under the GST Amnesty Scheme. The pending returns need to be filed from 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

Mr C has obtained GST registration, however, is engaged in outward supplying of goods/ services having NIL rate of GST. Mr C has not furnished a GST return in Form GSTR-3B for the period April 2019 to April 2021.

Accordingly, under Amnesty Scheme, Mr C can file all the pending GST return in Form GSTR-3B by paying a reduced late fee of INR 500 per return. All the returns need to be filed from 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

FAQ relating to Amnesty Scheme under GST-

Who is eligible for the Amnesty Scheme under GST?

Every registered taxable person who has failed to furnish return/ returns in Form GSTR-3B during the tax period July 2017 to April 2021.

Which period is covered under the Amnesty Scheme?

The tax period from July 2017 to April 2021 is covered under the Amnesty Scheme.

What is the relief available under the Amnesty Scheme?

Amnesty scheme 2021 offers a reduction of the maximum amount of late fee payable towards non-filing of GST returns in Form GSTR-3B during the period July 2017 to April 2021.

What is the condition for availing benefit under Amnesty Scheme?

In order to avail the benefit of late fee reduction under the Amnesty Scheme, the taxable person is mandatorily required to furnish all the pending returns in Form GSTR-3B within the period 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

How much late fee is required to be paid under Amnesty Scheme?

As per the Amnesty Scheme, in the case of NIL tax liability, the maximum late fees payable would be INR 500 per return. However, under any other case, the maximum late fees payable would be INR 1000 per return.


CA Poonam Gandhi

About the author

Poonam Gandhi is a Chartered Accountant and a Lawyer. She is a Professional Freelance Content Writer/ Editor and an Educator.

She masters in creating result-oriented as well as Search Engine Oriented Content. Currently, she is associated with some of the topmost leading sites of India.

She holds more than 3 years of experience in the content field. Before entering the content writing field, she possessed a wide practice experience of more than 9 years, specifically, in the field of Indirect Taxation.

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