On the advice of the 43rd GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) notified that the revised Section 50 GST interest Provisions will take effect on June 1, 2021.
Section 50 of the CGST deals with interest on late tax payments and states that "Every person who is liable to pay tax in accordance with the provisions of this Act, but fails to pay the tax or any part thereof to the Government within the period prescribed, shall pay, on his own, interest at the rate of one percent per annum on the amount of the tax or any part thereof remaining unpaid."
Except where such return is furnished after the commencement of any proceedings under section 73 or section 74 in respect of the said period, interest on tax payable in respect of supplies made during a tax period and declared in the return for the said period furnished after the due date in accordance with the provisions of section 39 shall be levied on that portion of the tax that is payable.
In the months of March, April, and May, there is no interest responsibility for smaller enterprises for 15 days from the due date. Another notification stated that there would be 9% interest for 45 days in the case of March tax payments, 30 days in the case of April tax payments, and 15 days in the case of March tax payments. For the quarter ending March, businesses that file quarterly returns will be immune from interest for the first 15 days after the due date, followed by 45 days at a concessional 9 percent interest rate.
Small enterprises with sales of up to Rs5 crore will be exempt from late fees for 60 days, 45 days, and 30 days, respectively, from the due date of filing monthly GST, returns in March, April, and May. The waiver will be limited to 15 days for larger firms from the due date for certain months. According to one of the notices, small businesses that have signed up for the quarterly presumptive tax payment program have been issued a 60-day late charge remission for their March quarter filings.
The CBIC also detailed the reduced interest liability for late tax payments. For quarterly return filers, the concessional interest rate applies in March, April, and May, as well as for the quarter ending in March. According to this, businesses with more than $5 million in sales are only needed to pay a 9% interest rate for up to 15 days after the due date for tax payment. After that, the standard 18 percent interest rate will apply.