09.06.2022: Kerala GST department invites application from traders to avail benefits of Amnesty Scheme

The Kerala GST Department announced an amnesty scheme in 2022 to pay unpaid tax debts from before the implementation of GST. The amnesty programme will apply to all pending tax arrears, including instances under appeal (except arrears under Kerala General Sales Tax from 2005 onwards).

The policy would apply to outstanding amounts owed under different statutes, including the Kerala Value Added Tax Act, the Central Sales Tax Act, the tax on Luxuries Act, the Kerala Surcharges Act, the Kerala Agriculture Income Tax Act, and the Kerala General Sales Tax Act.

The Amnesty Scheme, 2022 waives 100% of interest and penalties; 40% of the balance tax arrear is waived if outstanding dues are paid in a lump sum; and 30% of the balance tax arrear is waived if outstanding dues are paid in instalments.

The assessee can opt to settle the arrears relating to a particular assessment year, subject to the condition that all arrears falling under the said assessment year are opted.

The decision to take advantage of the amnesty scheme must be made by August 31, 2022.

For those who opt for the payment of arrears in instalments, the first instalment shall not be less than 20% of the amount determined, and such amounts shall be paid within thirty days of the receipt of the intimation. The balance amounts are to be paid in instalments, subject to a maximum of 4 installments.

In the case of demands that have been newly generated after 31.08.2022, the option shall be exercised within 30 days from the date of receipt of the order. In all such cases, however, the final payment must be made on or before December 31, 2022.

The deadline for paying the amount determined by the scheme is December 31, 2022. Tax or interest paid after the receipt of a demand notice shall be given due credit towards tax. 

Taxpayers who have failed to settle arrears under the previous amnesty scheme can also opt for this scheme.

Any amount paid under the previous amnesty scheme will be credited to tax before calculating the arrears to be settled under the Amnesty Scheme 2022.

Those who have compounded offences and paid tax under such proceedings, the tax thereon will be given credit towards tax before reckoning the arrears to be settled under the Amnesty Scheme 2022.

The scheme does not allow for refunds.

In the case of arrears under the Kerala General Sales Tax Act, the amnesty scheme is applicable only to the outstanding dues prior to the 1st April, 2005. But in the case of arrears from 01/04/2005 to 31/03/2022, the principal amount and interest shall be paid. The penalty will be completely waived.

Source: Live Law

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