Section 59 of GST – Self assessment as per GST Act

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Section 59 of GST – Self assessment as per GST Act

Every registered taxable person shall self assess the taxes payable under this Act and furnish a return for each tax period as specified under Section 39.

Analysis and Updates

Introduction

In terms of Section 2(11) of the Act, “assessment” means determination of tax liability under this Act and includes self-assessment, re-assessment, provisional assessment, summary assessment and best judgement assessment. It is important to note that there is no provision permitting a Proper Officer to re-assess the tax liability of taxable person. The provisions of the law permit a registered person to rectify any incorrect particulars furnished in the returns. In terms of Section 39(9), if a registered person discovers any omission or incorrect particulars furnished in a return, he is required to rectify such omission or incorrect particulars in the return to be furnished for the tax period during which such omission or incorrect particulars as are noticed (on payment of due interest), unless the same is as a result of scrutiny, audit, inspection or enforcement activity by the tax authorities, or such rectification is time barred (i.e., after the due date for furnishing of return for the month of September or second quarter following the end of the financial year, or the actual date of furnishing of relevant annual return, whichever is earlier). As such, reference to such re-assessment in the definition may have to be suitably read down.

It is normally understood that an Assessment is conducted by a proper officer. In terms of Section 2(91) of the CGST Act, 2017 a “proper officer” in relation to any function to be performed under this Act, means the Commissioner or the officer of the central tax who is assigned that function by the Commissioner in the Board;

The CGST Act contemplates the following types of Assessments:

  • Self-assessment (Section 59)
  • Provisional Assessment (Section 60)
  • Scrutiny of returns filed by registered taxable persons (Section 61 )
  • Assessment of non-filers of returns (Section 62)
  • Assessment of unregistered persons (Section 63)
  • Summary Assessment in certain special cases (Section 64)

(i) Self-assessment in terms of Section 59 refers to the assessment made by registered person himself / itself while all other assessments are undertaken by tax authorities.
(ii) Provisional Assessment under Section 60 is an assessment undertaken at the instance of the registered person. Provisional Assessment is followed by a final Assessment.
(iii) Scrutiny Assessment under section 61 is a form of re-assessment (since the self-assessment is made by the registered person himself / itself. A scrutiny of returns conducted by the proper officer who checks for the correctness of the returns filed and intimates the registered person of any discrepancies noticed.
(iv) Assessment of non-filers u/s 62 and Assessment of un-registered person u/s 63 are in the nature of best judgement assessments.
(v) Summary Assessment under Section 64 is a form of protective assessment based on information gathered from the tax authorities in a particular case.

Analysis

Self-assessment means an assessment by the registered person himself and not an assessment conducted or carried out by the Proper Officer. The GST regime continues to promote the scheme of self-assessment. Hence, every registered person would be required to assess his tax dues in accordance with the provisions of GST Act and report the basis of calculation of tax dues to the tax administrators, by filing periodic tax returns.

The provisions of the law permit a registered person to rectify any incorrect particulars furnished in the returns. In terms of Section 39(9), if a registered person discovers any omission or incorrect particulars furnished in a return, he is required to rectify such omission or incorrect particulars in the return to be furnished for the tax period during which such omission or incorrect particulars are noticed (on payment of due interest), unless the same is as a result of scrutiny, audit, inspection or enforcement activity by the tax authorities, or such rectification is time barred(i.e., after the due date for furnishing of return for the month of September or second quarter following the end of the financial year, or the actual date of furnishing of relevant annual return, whichever is earlier). Further, Para 4 of Circular 26/2017 dated 29.12.17, clarifies that in case of summary returns like GSTR-3B, where there are no separate tables for reflecting tax effects of amendments for past periods are available, the figures pertaining to the current month can be adjusted for past month amendments, so long as the amount is not negative. These provisions exhort the concept of self-assessment.

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