The government collected a total of Rs 4,172 crore as late fee for delayed filing of various Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns. The amount was collected in the period since the implementation of GST on July 1, 2017 up till February 4, 2019. The fee for late filing of GST returns is Rs 25 per day for Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST). Businesses that have to file GST but don't have any tax liability are required to pay a fine of Rs 10 under CGST and SGST.
The late fee was introduced to discourage individuals from delayed filing of GST returns. In a reply to a query in Lok Sabha recently, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said, "Late fee is levied u/s 47 of the CGST Act, 2017 on any registered person who fails to furnish returns by the due date at the rate of Rs 100 every day during which such failure continues subject to maximum amount of Rs 5,000."
He also added that to transform the experience of taxpayers and to smoothen the transition to the new regime, the government had reduced the late fee for filing in Form GSTR-1 and returns in Form GSTR-3B and GSTR-4 to Rs 25 per day to a maximum amount of Rs 5,000 under CGST and SGST.
In its 31st meeting, the GST Council had announced a one-time waiver for late filing penalty. "Late fee shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case Form GSTR-1, Form GSTR-3B & Form GSTR-4 for the months/ quarters July 2017 to September 2018 are furnished after December 22, 2018 but on or before March 31, 2019," the ministry statement had said.
A total of 1,17,48,408 taxpayers were registered under GST till December 27 last year, according to The Indian Express. Out of that 60,73,574 were existing taxpayers who migrated to GST, while 56,74,834 were newly added.
GST collections have remained below estimates but the average has seen an uptick. In the year 2018-19, the average gross collection has been Rs 97,555 crore as compared to Rs 89,885 crore in the previous year.