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PIL in Gujarat High Court seeking an extension of GST Annual Returns due dates amid COVID-19 Pandemic filed by CA

a) The Gujarat High Court to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Chartered Accountant (CA) for the extension of due dates for filing For GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C for the Financial Year 2018-19 due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

b) The petitioner, CA Abhishek Kumar Tulsyan is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India felt the dire need of extension of due dates for filing Form GSTR 9 and GSTR 9C for the Financial Year 2018-19 in wake of various restrictions put in the city due to COVID-19 Pandemic.

c) The petitioner alternatively sought for a direction for waiver of the late fees for delay in filing the GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C beyond the due date as prescribed by way of Notification No. 41/2020 dated May 5, 2020, and Notification No.80/2020 dated October 28, 2020.

d) The petitioner urged that due to the present prevailing situation of corona pandemic in the country and also due to the restrictions on movement strictly implemented across the city by the Government of Gujarat, the compliance of filing GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C for Financial Year 2018-19 within the last date of 31st December 2020 is becoming very tough and impracticable.

e) The petitioner also submitted that he also has various other clients whose accounts and compliances are being managed by him, however, due to limited staff and other business work, he is hardly being able to manage the same.

f) It was also pointed out that the details required for completing the GST Audit and Annual return are not being received promptly and thus completion of audit efficiently is taking more than twice the average time it usually takes for completion of any audit.

g) Further, data verification, analysis, audits etc. requires more time and effort by the professionals. Therefore, the PIL requested the Gujarat High court to direct the respondent authorities to grant relief of waiver of late fees or penalty for filing GSTR 9 & GSTR 9C beyond the last date as per the provisions of Section 47 of the Act.

h) Dr. Avinash Poddar has filed 2 petitions one PIL in the name of Abhishek Kumar Tulsyan and another as Writ in the name of Amit Kishore Agarwal for extension of tile for filing R 9 and R 9C for 2018 -19 and 2019-20. Both the matter are listed for hearing on 31.12.2020.

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