Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Traders of the city have asked the Union Finance Minister, who is also the chairman of GST Council, to extend the last date of filing of annual Return of March 2020 GSTR-3B to June 2020. It is necessary as the 15-day extension of the last date (April 20) had expired during lock-down 2.0.

The traders' concern was voiced by Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industry through a letter written to Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday.

Ramesh Khandelwal, President of Ahilya Chamber of Commerce and Industry and secretary Sushil Sureka, said the unprecedented damage done by the Covid 19 pandemic world over, has left the already suffering Indian Economy in a grave situation. "Providing much-needed relief to the stake holders, you have taken a bold step in giving relaxation in due dates, penalty, interest and form submission in GST."

Khandelwal and Sureka said Sitharaman had provided relief for additional 15 days for interest after the due date of April 20, considering the earlier period of lock down which was to end on April 14, 2020, which was notified on April 3.

However, both highlighted to the FM that the situation now stands changed as lockdown has been extended. All business operations are at halt. The taxpayer and the (tax) consultant is unable to access account books. Thus, they are unable to prepare accounts and file GSTR3B for March 2020.

"We also would like to highlight that 9 districts of Madhya Pradesh are under Red Zone category, including Indore. Thus looking at the current situation, It is not expected that the situation will get normal till the end of the month. The tax payer and the consultant need minimum 15 to 20 days to prepare books of accounts, arrange payment and file GST Returns for March 2020.

Thus the filing of the last date of March 2020 returns GSTR-3B must be postponed till June 30, 2020. No penalty or interest should be levied," they pleaded.

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