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How to Calculate Interest on GST Liability – Know the Instructions

Aug 31, 2020

gst-liability

Due to ever changing due dates of GSTR 3B return fillings and relaxations given by the government from payments of GST liability and interest there upon, there is always a confusion on how to calculate the interest on GST Liability.

Interest on GST on Net Tax liability

The key question to answer is “whether the interest should be charged on the Gross Liability or the Net Tax Liability if the GSTR 3B is not filed on time”.

The provision of interest on late payment of GST liability is enumerated in section 50(1) of CGST Act, 2017. The provision is reproduced hereunder for convenient reading.

As per Section 50(1) of the Act:

“Every person who is liable to pay tax in accordance with the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder, but fails to pay the tax or any part thereof to the Government within the period prescribed, shall, for the period for which the tax or any part thereof remains unpaid, pay, on his own, interest at such rate, not exceeding eighteen per cent, as may be notified by the Government, on the recommendation of the Council.”

The above provision of the Act was not clear to tax authorities whether the Interest shall be levied on Gross Liability or net liability. Based on this, there was unrest among business communities as tax authorities started demanding interest on Gross GST Liability.

Considering the pain points of the taxpayers on Interest on Gross Liability or Net Liability, the Finance (No. 2) Act, (23 of 2019) vide clause 100 proposed to amend section 50 by inserting following proviso to section 50(1) of CGST Act, 2017.

“Provided that the 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, except where such return is furnished after commencement of any proceedings under section 73 or section 74 in respect of the said period, shall be levied on that portion of the tax that is paid by debiting the electronic cash ledger.”

The above proviso was in the best interest of the taxpayers as it made it clear that the interest shall be calculated only on Net GST Liability i.e. only that portion which was paid through cash ledger. However, it was released late and in the notification No. 63/2020 dated August 25th 2020, it was made applicable only prospectively effective August 25th 2020.

Which again made the taxpayers worried on the past months implications as there were lot of demand notices from department for charging interest base don gross liability.

Fortunately, the CBIC provided further clarification to the above notification No. 63/2020 via Press release dated 26.08.2020 that this notification issued with prospective effect due to certain technical limitation and given an assurance that no recovery of interest shall be made on gross output tax liability for the period prior to 01-09-2020 by the State and Central Tax administration.

The above press release clears all doubts in the Act and now it is a settled rule that taxpayer shall not pay the interest on gross liability of GST but only on Net Liability of GST after setting of the Input credit.

Vikas Mandawewala

Vikas Mandawewala is a Rank Holder Chartered Accountant and Rank Holder Company Secretary.
He has done his CPA (US-NY and US-CO), CIA (US), and CISA (US). He is also a Registered Valuer (India). He has been providing Virtual CFO services to various startups and mid-sized companies in India.