A PIL was submitted in the division bench of Rajasthan High court requesting to extend the due date for filing GSTR 9 and 9C due to technical issues being faced by the taxpayers. The due dates were recently extended to 5th February for Rajasthan and other states and for some states it was 7th February.
In the judgement the Rajasthan High Court has directed the GST Department to accept the filing of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C till February 12th 2020 without late fees.
The Petitioner apprised the Court regarding technical glitches being faced by the taxpayers in the filing of GSTR-9 / 9C on the GSTN portal.
The counsels Advocates Sanjay Jhanwar, Rahul Lakhwani and Prateek Gattani also informed the court regarding new ways of extension of the date by CBIC through its twitter handle. The court after taking into consideration screenshots submitted by the Petitioner regarding the unsuccessful attempts of the tax professionals time and again during the extended period was satisfied that GSTN portal does not have the requisite capacity to handle the filing of pending returns within the deadline.
Also according to data submitted by the counsel of Union of India, the portal at its best day accepted about 2,00,000 returns whereas pending returns as of 1.30 PM on 5th Feb are about approx 30 lacs. Keeping the bottleneck of the server capacity of GSTN, the division bench of Rajasthan High Court comprising of Chief Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice Pushpendra Singh Bhati directed the responders to file a detailed reply by 12th Feb 2020 about their preparedness and GSTN capacity.
They also directed to accept GSTR-9 AND GSTR-9C returns without charging any late fees till 12th Feb 2020. In the hearing at 1st instance today in the morning, the court asked the Respondents to seek instructions whether the Respondents are ready to accept the return through email, by today which in the post-lunch hearing at 2 PM and same was declined by the Respondents counsel at the instructions of the Union of India.
The PIL was strongly opposed by the Counsel of Union of India and State of Rajasthan on the ground that the taxpayers should not wait for the last date for filing of the return.
The arguments of UOI were turned down by the High Court on the basis that it is a legal right of the taxpayers to file return up till the last minute. Further, an advocate of the Petitioner Association Mr Sanjay Jhanwar demonstrated various instances of the technical difficulties as faced by the taxpayers through various screenshot up to 04th Feb 2020 during the extended period.
Considering the above difficulties and glitches the due date were allowed to be extended till 12th Feb 2020.
Now let’s see what other states have to do and whether union will go against the above judgement before Supreme court and whether such late fees will not be levied by portal.
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