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Businesses need to adhere to the Goods and Service Taxes (GST) calendars and update them regularly to avoid late payment penalties and interest. GST penalties differ for late payment, not filing GST, and submitting false information. According to the GST rules in force, when a business enterprise fails to file the returns on the due date, the tax department charges a late fee amount for each day of delay. Late payments can lead to an unnecessary increase in compliance costs. This, in turn, will impact a company’s business growth in the long run.

There are various types of GST offences listed under the GST Act, including issuing wrong invoices and issuing GST invoices without supplying goods. In case of a major breach of GST rules which involves a GST amount of more than Rs 5000, the person is liable for GST penalties and is liable for arrest under GST. In case of a dispute regarding GST tax, the affected company or business can approach the GST Appellate Authority or Revisional Authority or the GST Appellate Tribunal for the GST appeals.

Late Payment and Filing of Returns

So what are GST penalties, and who is liable to pay them?

GST penalties are levied for non-compliance with the GST Act 2017. The Income Tax department calculates the late filing fees at Rs 100 per day of delayed payment. Apart from the late fee, the interest payment is also applicable to the amount of GST due, also charged by the government. Please note that the late fee payment cannot be made from the Input Tax Credit available in the electronic credit ledger and has to be deposited in cash. Failing to do the same may result in the arrest under GST ultimately.

Why Pay GST on Time?

Here are the reasons why you must pay GST on time:

● GST returns have to be filed even if there is no tax due by the business.

● If GST returns are not done on time, the late fees get added to the next GST return due. Hence, without late fee payment, a business cannot proceed with filing GST returns.

● An interest of 18% must be paid for the outstanding GST amount in case of returns filed after the due date. If the taxpayer avails of an excess input tax credit, an annual interest of 24% is levied.

Applicable GST Return Forms

GSTR-3B and GSTR-1

The GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 are applicable for the interstate supply of goods. For such categories, the late payment fee is Rs 25 per day under Central Goods and Services Act, 2017, and Rs 25 per day for State Goods and Services Act, 2017 or concerned Union Territory Goods and Services Act, 2017.

The maximum late fee charged in this category is Rs 5000. Those who have nil returns in this category have to pay Rs 10 per day under CGST Act and Rs 10 under SGST Act.


GSTR-4 return has to be filed by a composition dealer. Under this category, a taxpayer must file annual returns before 30th April every year. The tax must be paid at a specific rate based on sales.

The late fee charges applicable are Rs 200 per day, subject to Rs 2000. For nil filing, the maximum chargeable fine is Rs 500.


GSTR 5 is mandated for non-resident taxpayers from the time they start their business. GSTR 5A is meant for Non-Resident Online Information and Database Access or Retrieval (OIDAR) service.

In cases of late filing of GSTR 5 and 5A, Rs 50 per day will be levied, and for nil returns, it will be charged at Rs 20 per day. In the case of a GSTR-5A return, a late fee is applicable at a rate of Rs 200 per day. The maximum late fee imposed will be Rs 10,000.


In the case of annual returns to be filed under the GSTR-9 category, a late fee of Rs 100 per day will be charged under the Central Goods and Services Act, 2017, and Rs 100 for a late fee under the State Goods and Services Act, 2017 or respective Union territories. The maximum late fees applicable are calculated at 0.25% of the turnover for the concerned financial year.

The payment schedules for major types of forms are given below:

Type of Forms

Meant for




For suppliers, outward supplies


11th of next month


Inward supply of goods to avail input tax credit


15 of next month


Finalisation of inward and outward goods supply


20th of Next Month


Composition Supplier


18th of the month succeeding quarter


For NRIs


20th of Next Month


Input service distributor


13th of Next Month


For entities that make tax deductions at the source


10th of next month


For eCommerce companies


10th of next month


Registered taxable person


31st December of the next fiscal year.


For entities whose registration was cancelled

After cancellation of registration

Within 3 months of cancellation of registration


UIN holder claiming refund, details of inward supplies


28th of the month, following the month for which the statement was filed.

How to Pay GST on Time

One of the ways to prevent the late filing of GST returns is to have a calendar for the entire year with due dates marked for the monthly or annual return filing.

Here are other methods to ensure that you don’t pay the penalty:

  1. Always check notifications from time to time, and don’t wait till the last day of return filing. Payments done up to 8 PM are usually credited the same day.
  2. Make it a habit to keep checking filing status, especially if a GST practitioner handles it.
  3. If a business enterprise has failed to file any return since the registration date, the business can cancel the registration from the effective date. This is possible if there was no purchase or sales made.
  4. The Ministry of Finance or authorities may announce a relaxation of the last date for filing returns. It has to be tracked to avail the extended benefits where possible but still ensures that returns are filed within the deadline.

Maintaining proper accounting systems, invoices, and billing help organise data and submit it to the GST portal for returns. Since the uploading process and other procedures have been made simple, it is easier for businesses to submit GST returns.

The computerisation of accounts and networking of all departments in the company make it easier to compile data on inward goods supplies and outward supplies. This enables quicker filing of returns every month, quarter, or annually as the case may be.