No late fee on filing GSTR-9 and 9C till 12th Feb directs Rajasthan HC

No late fee on filing GSTR-9 and 9C till 12th Feb directs Rajasthan HC

The Tax Bar Association of Jodhpur filed a PIL in Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan regarding difficulties being faced by the tax practitioners and the taxpayers while filing GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. The hon’ble high court of Rajasthan after considering the matter directed that the taxpayers are now eligible to file GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C till the 12th of February without filing any late fees. Here is the order of the Hon’ble high court of Rajasthan.

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR RAJASTHAN
JODHPUR
D.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 1805/2020
Tax Bar Association —-Petitioner
Versus
Union of India & Ors. —-Respondents
For Petitioner(s) : Mr. Sanjay Jhanwar, Rahul Lakhwani,
Mr. Prateek Gattani
For Respondent(s) : Mr. Vipul Singhvi.
Mr. Anil Bhansali & Mr. Dixit Panwar
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE MR. INDRAJIT MAHANTY
HON’BLE DR. JUSTICE PUSHPENDRA SINGH BHATI
Order
05/02/2020

The name of Shri Sanjay Jhanwar as learned counsel for the petitioner be read in the earlier order passed by this Court today
in the morning.

Learned counsel for the petitioner was directed to implead the service provider, who operates the GSTN portal, as party respondent. The name and address of the service provider shall be provided by the learned counsel for the Union of India.
The present petition has been filed by the Tax Bar Association raising the issue about non-functionality of the respondent’s portal i.e. www.gst.gov.in, as a consequence of which, various assessees are unable to upload their returns both GSTR9 and GSTR9C. In view of the fact that the portal was having problems, the respondents issued a notification vide Annex.6 dated 3rd February, 2020 at page 52, requiring the assessees to furnish their returns under Section 44 of the GST Act read with Rule 80 of the Rules for the Financial Year 2017-18 by 5th February, 2020 (Rajasthan).

Learned counsel for the petitioner Association drew our attention to Annex.4 seeks to show that when an assessee attempted to upload the returns/forms in GSTR9 and GSTR9C on 31.01.2020 at 5:09 PM, the website of the Govt. noted as follows:

“ Dear Tax Payer
1,50,000 tax payers are already submitting their
returns at this moment…
Please wait for your turn in a few minutes…
Thank you for your patience.”

Similarly attempts were made thereafter on the self-same date at 6:58 PM as well as 7:50 PM with the same result. It may be borne in mind that the last date fixed for filing of returns originally fixed to 31st of January, 2020. Although a “tweet” was issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) on 31.01.2020 at 10:30 PM indicating that the last date has been extended in a staggered manner ending on 3rd, 5th and 7th February, 2020 yet in accordance with the notification that was issued thereunder, came to be issued on 03.02.2020. Consequently, all remaining tax payers were clubbed into two dates i.e. 5th and 7th February, 2020. It is essential to note that last date for filing returns in the State of Rajasthan was 5th February, 2020.

Learned counsel for the petitioner also drew our attention to the subsequent attempts made by the advocates/tax consultants to upload the assessees’ returns on 3rd February as well as 4th February, 2020. In spite of several such attempts, they have not been able to upload the same. He has further drawn our attention that although time has been extended upto 5th February, 2020 yet in the evening of 4th February, 2020 at 8:03 PM attempt was made to upload the return, but such return required mandatory deposit of “late fee”. In other words, the software portal had not been updated at least till that date, even though the notification dated 3rd Feburary, 2020 was already issued by the Govt.

Learned counsel for the petitioner fairly submits that on verification of the portal today, it appears that software glitch requiring the assessee to deposit “late fee” has been corrected and attempts are being made by various assessees within the State to upload their returns/forms in course of the day. We have, by the order passed this morning, called upon learned counsel for the Union of India/CBIC to take instructions on the issue of the serious uploading problems being faced by the assessees. In the said order, we had directed Mr. Vipul Singhvi, learned counsel for the Union of India, to seek instructions from the appropriate authorities about the technical difficulties being faced by the assessees in uploading their returns/forms and further, to consider the request of the assessees for extending the time for uploading the returns. We called upon the learned counsel for Union of India to intimate this Court at 2:00 PM the response of the concerned officers.

To read more in details, find the enclosed file

40_18027_cw_1805_2020_05022020

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