Small Businesses & MSMEs Demands Waiver On Penalties on Late Payments & Defer GST Return Filings
Apprising government of their inability to meet the deadline for GST payment which falls on the 24th every month, around 89 per cent of small businesses have demanded the government to waive the penalty on late payments and defer GST return filings for the March to May period till June 30, said a survey.
The survey was conducted over the past week by LocalCircles of 2,456 such enterprises located in 122 districts. The participants included MSMEs, startups, micro-entrepreneurs and service providers.
On May 1st, 2021 the Finance Ministry provided certain relaxations. However, instead of extending the no penalty and interest filing date for small businesses to June 30th, 2021 they were only given an extension to file March and April without late fee for a 30-day period. An interest waiver was given if filing was done within 15 days from the due date, a 9 per cent interest rate for period of 15-30 days and an 18 per cent interest rate to be levied if filing was done post 30 days.
”Small businesses from across the country have been raising the issue of their inability to meet the GST payment deadline as most have been shut due to local lockdowns and curfew restrictions. A visit by the accountant or a visit to them is not an option for most businesses since early April and hence the majority are unable to make their GST payment. Similarly, most have been unable to file the return for the quarter ending March 31,” LocalCircles said in a note.
“Overall, 73 per cent small businesses want no penalty and interest on March GST payment and return filing till June 30, while 78 per cent want no penalty and interest on April and May GST payments till June 30. Overall, 89 per cent small businesses want no penalty and interest relaxations on GST late payments and return filing till June 30,” as per the survey conducted by the community platform.
LocalCircles had escalated the need for relaxation of the March 21 GST payment and return to the Finance Ministry on April 23, but the relaxations granted by the Ministry on May 1 were not enough, the survey noted.