The GSTR 3B return from October 2017 has been allowed to be filed with late fee; amount will be auto refunded within a week after providing proof of filing: Bombay HC

Source: 2018-TIOL-05-HC-MUM-GST     Mar 14, 2018

In a scathing order dated 6th February 2018, the Bombay High Court had in the case of Abicor & Binzel Technoweld Pvt. Ltd. (a manufacturer of robotic and automation equipment) observed –

GST – Celebrations of new tax regime mean nothing – regime is not tax friendly – wake up and put in place the requisite mechanism – It is not the business of this Court to grant such access as is claimed by the petitioner – It is for the authorities to work out the necessary mechanism and set that in place – It must also set up and establish a grievance redressal mechanism – Matter posted: High Court [para 10, 12]

The matter was heard recently.

The petitioner’s counsel stated that despite the Court’s intervention on the earlier occasion and a joint meeting as envisaged in the order dated 24th February, 2018, being convened, there are still some outstanding matters/issues which require immediate and urgent attention of the authorities.

It is further submitted that the Goods and Service Tax Practitioners Association of Maharashtra had approved what are styled as “Minutes of the Meeting” dated 1st March, 2018, between the representatives of this association and the Central and State level Commissioners (GST).

The minutes were tendered before the Bench.

In response, the Additional Solicitor General raised an objection that these are not ‘agreed’ Minutes, but they are drawn up by the association and they could be at best treated as a representation of the association.

The High Court observed that it had no doubt that the remaining grievances of the petitioners in this petition and the association would be redressed and, thereafter, the systems would operate strictly in terms of the Act and Rules.

Nonetheless, the High Court added –

“We record the statement made by the learned Additional Solicitor General, on instructions, that insofar as the grievances of returns without late fees, the petitioner may file their GSTR-3B returns with the late fees first. If that is paid and proof of such payment is produced, that will also be auto credited/ refunded in their cash ledger by the GSTN within a period of one week from the date the payment is made. We accept this statement as undertaking to this Court.

Equally, we expect the learned Additional Solicitor General, to appraise the Commissioner’s of these grievances and, thereafter, ensure that they are followed up either with the council or with the appropriate Authority in the Ministry.”