What is Amnesty Scheme for GST?
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council may consider one-time amnesty scheme to
facilitate exit for ‘nil’ filers and non-filers.
The lenient non-filers and nil filers of GST returns will have a one-time Amnesty
scheme from the government to deregister the GST (Goods and Services Tax) Council.
A senior tax official told, “Approximately there are 25 lakh ‘nil’ filer assessees while on an
average 10 percent of assessees have never filed returns so far”. These people do not give
anything but add extra work to the tax system. He said, “A scheme for exit will bring relief to
the taxpayers as it will bring down their compliance cost and at the same time there will be
less pressure on the GST Network”. The government sometimes tries an amnesty scheme to
increase the compliance within the tax laws
As per the law, the person who is registered under GST has to file return anyhow i.e. in any
form. Return must be filed by the registered person either monthly (normal supplier) or
quarterly (supplier choosing composition scheme). Monthly return must be filed by an ISD
(Input Service Distributor) and show the credit distributed details per month. The person
who has to collect tax (TCS or Tax Collected at Source) and deduct tax (TDS or Tax Deducted
at Source) have to file returns monthly showing the details of collected/deducted and other
specified amount. Also, note that a non-resident taxable person has to file the return for the
time period on no transaction
Amnesty Scheme: Late Fee Norms for Defaulters Under GST
Any registered person who did not file the return has to pay the fine as the punishment in
the form of late fee. If GSTR 3B is filed late then, the person must pay the late fee of Rs 50
per day i.e. in case of SGST and CGST (in case of any tax debt) Rs 25 per day and Rs 10 in
each SGST and CGST (in case of Nil tax debt) i.e. Rs 20 per day subject to a maximum penalty
of INR 5,000 from the given due date to the actual date when the returns are finally filed. It
is said that the Amnesty scheme may provide relief from such fees.
”Initial GST days resulted in a lot of non-compliances on account of lack of clarity of the law,
frequent amendments, GSTN portal issues etc. Thus, an amnesty scheme, which can
encourage genuine non-filers to suo moto come out and complete their backlog of non-
compliances without any fear of penal consequences, would be a welcome step,” Harpreet
Singh, Partner at KPMG, said.
Under GST, 1.16 crore people are registered as of now including the 64 lakh people who
moved from the old system. Before GST reign, VAT/ST was the different pieces for
registration in the State, and was low as Rs 1 lakh which could reach up to Rs 20 lakh: the
thresholds for Central Excise was ₹1.5 crore and Service Tax was ₹10 lakh. As per the law, all
such people were shifted to GST.
Singh said “Traditionally, amnesty schemes have generally resulted in increased compliance
and tax revenues. However, the timing of the scheme, immunity from penal consequences
and commitment to not initiate any investigations for those who participate in such scheme
are some critical aspects on which the success or failure of the scheme hinges”.