GST authorities to accept GSTR-9 and 9C returns without late fees

GST authorities to accept GSTR-9 and 9C returns without late fees

The Tax Bar Association approached the Rajasthan High Court [D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1805/2020] contending that the Forms GSTR-9 and 9C of various taxpayers, for Financial Year 2017-2018, could not be uploaded by the due date because of technical glitches on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) portal.

The Tax Bar Association appraised the High Court regarding technical glitches in filing of Forms GSTR-9 and 9C with various data/screenshots and also the arbitrary fixation of last dates, through ‘tweet’ on Twitter, by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC).

The High Court after taking into consideration screenshots submitted by the Tax Bar Association regarding the unsuccessful attempts of the tax professionals, held as under:

  • GST portal appears to be having technical bottlenecks and thus, the High Court rejected the revenue authorities’ argument by holding that it was a legal right of the taxpayers to file return up till the last date.
  • The High Court directed the revenue authorities to file a detailed reply by February 12, 2020 about the GSTN’s capacity and also to accept the returns in Forms GSTR-9 and 9C without charging late fees till February 12, 2020. 

It is pertinent to note that the CBIC has filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court against the order of the Rajasthan High Court. However, the Supreme Court refuses to interfere with the order of the High Court. The Supreme Court further clarifies that there shall be no penal consequences for delayed filing due to problems of GSTN server. Further, it observes that no further extension would be given post February 12, 2020, through interim order. 

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