Non-Filing of GST Return due to COVID pandemic: HC revokes cancellation of GST Number
It is submitted by the learned counsel for the Petitioner that due to the COVID pandemic, there was no business transaction and therefore, he failed to furnish the returns. Further, a show cause notice dated 21.01.2022 was issued by the 2nd Respondent seeking an explanation for non-filing of the returns. Thereafter, the GST Registration of the Petitioner was canceled by the 2nd Respondent vide order dated 16.02.2022. As against the said order of cancellation, he was not able to file an application for revocation. Hence, he preferred an appeal before the appellate authority. The appellate authority has rejected the appeal on the ground that it was beyond the period of limitation.
It is further submitted by the learned counsel for the Petitioner that in identical circumstances, this Court, in the case of Tvl. Suguna Cutpiece Vs The Appellate Deputy Commissioner (ST) (GST) and others (WPNos.25048, 25877, 12738 of 2021 etc., batch), dated 31.01.2022, issued the following directions:
“229. In the light of the above discussion, these Writ Petitions are allowed subject to the following conditions:
i. The petitioners are directed to file their returns for the period prior to the cancellation of registration, if such returns have not been already filed, together with tax defaulted which has not been paid prior to cancellation along with interest for such belated payment of tax and fine and fee fixed for belated filing of returns for the defaulted period under the provisions of the Act, within a period of forty five (45) days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order, if it has not been already paid .
ii. It is made clear that such payment of Tax, Interest, fine / fee and etc. shall not be allowed to be made or adjusted from and out of any Input Tax Credit which may be lying unused or unclaimed in the hands of these petitioners.
iii. If any Input Tax Credit has remained utilized, it shall not be utilized until it is scrutinized and approved by an appropriate or a competent officer of the Department.
iv. Only such approved Input Tax Credit shall be allowed for being utilized thereafter for discharging future tax liability under the Act and Rule.
v. The petitioners shall also pay GST and file the returns for the period subsequent to the cancellation of the registration by declaring the correct value of supplies and payment of GST shall also be in cash.
we. If any Input Tax Credit was earned, it shall be allowed to be utilized only after scrutinising and approving by the respondents or any other competent authority.
we you. The respondents may also impose such restrictions / limitation on petitioners as may be warranted to ensure that there is no undue passing of Input Tax Credit pending such exercise and to ensure that there is no violation or an attempt to do bill trading by taking advantage of this orders. viii. On payment of tax, penalty and uploading of returns, the registration shall stand revived forthwith.
viii. On payment of tax, penalty and uploading of returns, the registration shall stand revived forthwith.
ix. The respondents shall take suitable steps by instructing GST Network, New Delhi to make suitable changes in the architecture of the GST Web portal to allow these petitioners to file their returns and to pay the tax/penalty/fine.
x. The above exercise shall be carried out by the respondents within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
xi. No cost.
xii. Consequently, connected Miscellaneous Petitions are closed.”
The same has been consistently thereafter followed by this Court in various decisions.
In view of the same, this Court feels that the benefit extended by this Court in the earlier orders referred to above in Suguna Cutpiece Centre’s case cited supra, may be extended to the Petitioner.
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