GST can wait. Let us handle Covid
APRIL 28, 2021
By Vijay Kumar
THE CBIC Chairman, Mr. Ajit Kumar in his weekly letter to his staff this week wrote:
Daily, with a heavy heart, we hear news about the challenges and disruption caused by the pandemic to the lives of officers and staff and their families. As a service we have done well to hold hands and have come out strongly in supporting one another. At the same time, we need to continue to follow the basic protocol for safe social behaviour during these pandemic times. Wishing officers and staff and their families good health and cheer.
Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has submitted to the Finance Minister
We invoke your kind and immediate attention to the following statutory dates in the month of April, 2021 by which the traders have to file their different GST returns. In view of the steep rise in COVID cases in several States, the respective State Governments have taken various strict precautionary measures such as, Night Curfew, Lockdown, containment zones, etc restricting the movement of people to restrict the spread of Covid-19 in their states. During these difficult and stressful times many taxpayers will not be able to compile / provide the details for filing their GST returns on or before due dates so the late compliances on part of trade being not deliberate, the late fee should be waived off permanently till the situation gets normal in the country and it is requested that all the following due dates may be extended for next three months.
We are sure that it will receive your kind and immediate attention and you will be pleased to take necessary action immediately.
The Supreme Court has reportedly extended the limitation indefinitely for the time period for doing any act under any law.
We are all affected by Covid and this is not the time to think of GST. The Government should stop all adversarial actions against taxpayers. No summons, no notices, no audit, no investigations for some time for the safety of the officers and assessees.
Of course, the government needs money. Adam Smith's principles are still relevant.
i The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state.…
ii The tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary. The time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to every other person.…
iii Every tax ought to be levied at the time, or in the manner, in which it is most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it.…
iv Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the state.…
Covid has driven many into the jaws of death, but this too will pass. Let us be hopeful and contribute to the fight against this calamity.
Let us handle Covid - GST can wait.
Tailpiece: The CBI last week arrested a GST officer. It was also alleged that the accused had furnished false and fabricated COVID-19 positive reports in the name of his family members. (probably to avoid arrest)
Until next week