What is Amnesty Scheme for GST?
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. The date of GST Amnesty scheme has been extended till 15th January 2020.

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

Latest Update
08th July 2021

The due date of the tax Amnesty scheme 2019 time limit is extended by two months till 31st August 2021 by the Gujarat government. Now the taxpayers have more time to resolve GST return filing issues in front of officials.
28th May 2021

“To provide relief to the taxpayers, late fee for non-furnishing FORM GSTR3B for the tax periods from July, 2017 to April, 2021 has been reduced / waived as under: -”
“Late fee capped to a maximum of Rs 500/- (Rs. 250/- each for CGST & SGST) per return for taxpayers, who did not have any tax liability for the said tax periods”
“Late fee capped to a maximum of Rs 1000/- (Rs. 500/- each for CGST & SGST) per return for other taxpayers.”
“The reduced rate of late fee would apply if GSTR-3B returns for these tax periods are furnished between 01.06.2021 to 31.08.2021.” Read Press Release
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.

Harpreet Singh, Partner at KPMG, said “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”.

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”.

Amnesty Scheme Approved by Meghalaya Govt for pre-GST Taxpayers
There was a Meghalaya cabinet meeting on Thursday and just after it, the Meghalaya cabinet has approved an amnesty scheme. This amnesty scheme will help pre-GST taxpayers having outstanding dues to be paid to the government by availing a 30% waiver.

Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya stated that the amnesty scheme will at one side help taxpayers with a 30% waiver, and on another side, it will also help the government as a way of revenue. He also appealed to taxpayers to get benefits of the amnesty scheme and also informed that this amnesty scheme will be valid for 6 months only.

Kerala Announces Amnesty Scheme 2020 for Clearing Pre-GST
Kerala government is giving the benefits to clear all the dues that were not considered in previous amnesty schemes like dues under Kerala Value Added Tax Act, Central Sales Tax Act, Tax on Luxuries Act, Kerala Surcharges Act, Kerala Agriculture Income Tax Act, and Kerala General Sales Tax Act. Dues shall be calculated from the date of submission of the option and all the dues shall be paid on the date of the option.

Assessees are barred from partial options (only for a particular period only). Those who opted for the earlier scheme but could not clear all the dues can apply for this amnesty scheme and partial payments (if made) in earlier amnesty schemes shall be credited to the existing scheme (only principal amount). For dues under Kerala General Sales Tax Act, the penalty is valid for dues before 1 April 2005 and in case of dues in-between 1 April 2005 to 31st March, 2020 only the principal amount and interest will be charged. No penalty shall be imposed. ‘Revenue recovery process’ can be withdrawn by the tax authorities if the assessee has already opted for the amnesty scheme.

The due date for availing the scheme is 31 July 2020. 60% less from the balance tax dues if they are paid in a lump sum and 50% in installments. No refund is allowed under the scheme. 100% immunity from penalties.

FAQ’s on GST Amnesty Scheme 2021
Q1. What is the GST amnesty scheme 2021 for waiver of late fees?
A. GST amnesty scheme 2021 is a scheme to waive off the late fees for delayed filing of returns. GSTR 1 and GSTR 3b are the two main returns. There are late fees for late filing of these returns. Even if the turnover is NIL, Late fees are leviable. There are many taxpayers who skipped their return filing and a huge amount of late fees was accumulated. This late fee is levied per month per return basis. It may run into lakhs of rupees even for a small business. The amnesty scheme 2021 is introduced to waive off the late fees for the late filing of these returns.

Q2. Who is eligible for the GST amnesty scheme 2021?
A. Every registered taxpayer under a normal levy is eligible for this amnesty scheme.

Q3. Which period is covered in the GST amnesty scheme 2021?
A. GST amnesty scheme 2021 covers the period from July 2017 to June 2021. Any return during this period can be filed under the scheme. The benefit is available since the inception of GST till date.

Q4. What is the condition to avail of the GST amnesty Scheme 2021?
A. The registered Taxpayer who wants to get the benefit of the scheme is required to file the return within the prescribed period. The period to file a return is prescribed from 1st June 2021 to 31st August 2021.

Q5. Can I get the refund of the late fees paid while filing the returns?
A. Amnesty schemes don’t provide any refund. Thus any late fees paid by any taxpayer are not refundable. Also, the scheme benefits the taxpayers filing the return in the prescribed time period only. Any return even if filed earlier to that time is not eligible for the benefit under the scheme.

Q6. Whether a late fee pending for the returns filed before the announcement of the Amnesty scheme is also waived off?
A. No, The late fee is waived off only for returns filed during the prescribed time. It can’t be before the announcement of the Scheme.

Q7. How much late fees are required to be paid by a taxpayer if they opt for this scheme?

Late fees for normal return is Rs. 500 for CGST per return + Rs. 500 for SGST per return.
Late fees for NIL return is Rs. 250 for CGST per return Plus Rs. 250 for SGST per return.Which notifications cover the provisions related to GST amnesty Scheme 2021?
Notification no. 19/2021 covers the provisions related to the amnesty scheme in GST.

Q8. Which return is covered under the GST amnesty Scheme 2021?
A. GSTR 3b is considered for a late fee waiver under the GST amnesty scheme.

Q9. Whether the Amnesty Scheme provides any immunity from section 16(4)?
A. No, Amnesty Scheme is only for late fees waiver. It has nothing to do with the restriction of ITC under section 16(4).

Q 10. What does it mean?
A. It means that even if a return is filed under the amnesty scheme, ITC is time-barred. Then ITC is not available. The amnesty scheme doesn’t provide for the eligibility of ITC.