THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: About 25 per cent of the total 2.79 lakh business houses in the state registered under the GST have defaulted their return filing. The traders cite the delay in issuing the facility for opting out of the scheme for this.
The State GST Department is now serving notices on businesses that have failed to submit GSTR-3B returns. The department warns strict action against those have not submitted returns even as the new tax regime is into the second year. A total of 5.41 lakh returns are pending.
The notice emailed to the traders offers them an opportunity to file returns within 15 days failing which action will be taken. If the traders fail to act upon the notice, the department will assess their tax amount based on their previous filing. A penalty will also be imposed.
The trader community allege the department coerced them for an early migration to the new regime. In 2017, all registered traders under the VAT regime were asked to migrate to the new regime irrespective of their turnover.
“The GST Department had promised those with less than Rs 20 lakh annual turnover or those with no business would be allowed to cancel their registration within six months.
But the cancellation option was offered only in this fiscal,” said Giri V G, Thiruvananthapuram district president of the Kerala Tax Practitioners Association (KTPA). The late fee for a trader with NIL business between October 2017 and December 2018 would be Rs 63,000. For a trader who did transactions below the Rs 20 lakh turnover, the late fee would be Rs 1,57,500.
Traders organisations and the KTPA plan to approach the government to ask the GST council to announce an amnesty scheme.