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WFH No Reason to Cancel Co.’s GST Registration: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High court has ruled that goods and services tax registration cannot be cancelled if business was not carried out from the premises due to the pandemic.

The order was issued in case of an appeal filed by International Value Retail against revenue department and GST authorities, where the letter had issued a show cause notice and adjudication order cancelling the company’s registration for not carrying out its businesses from official premises but from home, in November 2020.

“Only due to extraordinary compelling circumstances of Covid-19 and in following the protocol and norms of Covis-19, temporarily petitioner was not carrying his business from the premises in question, officially registered premises, and they were carrying business in question from home,” justice Md Nizamuddin said in the order.

“Considering this fact of the case, I am inclined to set aside the impugned order dated 9 November 2020 by which the respondent concerned has rejected the petitioner’s application for revocation of cancellation of its GST registration,” the order stated. ET has seen a copy. The court also directed revenue authorities to consider afresh the company’s application for revocation of cancellation of its registration under GST Act in accordance with law.

The court further directed the authorities to pass a “reasoned and speaking order” after hearing the petitioner or an authorized representative, within four weeks and to consider the documents to be placed by them at the time of hearing.

During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country went into a nationwide lockdown from March-end till June, and phased opening was adopted over the following months.

During this time, many businesses opted for ‘work from home’ policy for their employees, even as business activity from registered premises came to a grinding halt, albeit temporarily. S-ET

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