The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has issued a host of orders on Tuesday, giving effect to various compliance relaxations cleared by the Goods and Services Tax Council (GST) last week.

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These cover an amnesty scheme for defaults in filing monthly transaction summary reports (in form 3B) since 2017, late fee waiver for March, April and May and for the March quarter in the case of small firms filing quarterly returns. The terms of the reduced interest rate for delayed tax payments have been made effective from 18 May.

Accordingly, small businesses with sales up to ₹5 crore will get a late fee waiver of 60 days, 45 days, and 30 days from the due date of filing monthly GST returns for March, April and May, respectively. The waiver will be limited to 15 days from the due date for these months for larger businesses. Small businesses that have signed up for the quarterly presumptive tax payment scheme have been given 60 days of a late fee waiver for their March quarter returns, showed one of the notifications.

The amnesty scheme to make good past defaults in monthly return filing obligation specifies that those returns have to be filed by the end of August to avail of this. This is eligible for a concession on the late fee payable. The maximum late fee applicable on delayed tax returns from June onwards has also been reduced to encourage tax compliance.

CBIC also brought out details of the reduced interest liability for late payment of tax. The concessional interest rate is applicable for March, April and May, and the three months ended March for quarterly return filers. As per this, businesses with more than ₹5 crore of sales need to pay a 9% interest rate for up to 15 days from the due date for tax payment. After that, the usual 18% interest will kick in.

In the case of smaller businesses, there is no interest liability for 15 days from the due date in March, April and May. After this, there would be 9% interest for 45 days in the case of March tax payments, for 30 days for April tax payment and 15 days for March tax payments, showed another notification. Quarterly return filing businesses will get exemption from interest for the first 15 days from the due date, followed by 45 days of concessional 9% interest rate, for the quarter ended March.

The concessions have been given because of the disruption and liquidity problems caused by the second wave of the pandemic.

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