As we already know that department has already extended deadline of filing return GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C, several times. The reason being technical issues faced by the Department.
Now, the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice R F Nariman and Justice Ravinder S Bhatt, stayed Rajasthan High Court order extending deadline of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. Supreme Court has refused to interfere in order passed by Rajasthan High Court and clarified that there would be no penal consequences for delay in filing returns, due to problems of GSTN Server.
As we know, the high court of rajasthan had directed the GST Department to accept the filing of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C till 12th February 2020, without any late fees. This came after taking into consideration screenshots submitted by the petitioner regarding the unsuccessful attempts of return filing during the extended period. The court satisfied that GSTN portal does not have the required capacity to handle the filing of pending returns within the deadline.
Its not taxpayer fault that Department is facing such issues with their servers. So, to charge late fees for the inefficiency of the department doesn’t interest anybody. Thus, in order to save interest of taxpayers, the Supreme Court also directed to refund late fees charges collected by the Department between 5th February, 2020 to 12th February, 2020.
The Apex Court also said, “This is on the basis of Mr. Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General’s statement to this Court that only ₹200/- per day is being charged for the filing of late returns beyond 12th February 2020. He has also assured us that the authorities, both under the Central as well as State Acts, will not invoke any penal powers in this behalf. We do not intend by this ad-hoc order to at all interfere with what the High Court may ultimately do on the facts of this case.”