Traders face penalties for GST website glitch

Traders face penalties for GST website glitch

The government is seeking to penalise small traders for delays caused by a glitch on its goods and services tax portal.  The authorities have been slapping a late fee of Rs 5,200 on traders for non-submission of returns for August.

 “I tried to file my returns within the stipulated deadline, but the GST Network website denied me access,” said a trader. His annual turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh, which means he is exempt from tax under the GST regime. He showed DH a screenshot of the error message he encountered on the GST portal.

 Tax officials aren’t sure the problem was caused by a GST website malfunction. “In case the GST Network said ‘access denied,’ it is possible there was a problem on the customer’s server,” an official said.

The GST Network is not convinced about the complaints either. “I am not ready to buy this argument. When so many people could file their returns, why couldn’t some?” Prakash Kumar, CEO, GSTN, told DH. Earlier, the GST Council had exempted traders from any penalty for missing the deadline for filing returns for July, the first month of the new tax regime.

Hundreds of traders are being slapped penalties for no fault of theirs, auditors in Bengaluru said. “And the GST Seva Kendra has been indifferent to the problem,” an auditor told DH.

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