Section 137 of CGST Act 2017: Offences by Companies

Provisions under Section 137 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act, 2017 relating to “Offences by Companies”, are as under:

Section 137 of CGST Act 2017: Offences by Companies (CHAPTER XIX – OFFENCES AND PENALTIES)

(1) Where an offence committed by a person under this Act is a company, every person who, at the time the offence was committed was in charge of, and was responsible to, the company for the conduct of business of the company, as well as the company, shall be deemed to be guilty of the offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), where an offence under this Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any negligence on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

(3) Where an offence under this Act has been committed by a taxable person being a partnership firm or a Limited Liability Partnership or a Hindu Undivided Family or a trust, the partner or karta or managing trustee shall be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly and the provisions of sub-section (2) shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to such persons.

(4) Nothing contained in this section shall render any such person liable to any punishment provided in this Act, if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or that he had exercised all due diligence to prevent the commission of such offence.

Explanation: For the purposes of this section,–

(i) “company” means a body corporate and includes a firm or other association of individuals; and

(ii) “director”, in relation to a firm, means a partner in the firm.

Amendments History:

1. CBEC notifies 1st July 2017 as the Commencement date for Section 137 of the CGST Act 2017, vide Notification 9/2017 Central Tax.

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Govt. has notified the CGST Act, 2017 on 12th April, 2017, which has subsequently been amended through the CGST (Extension to J&K) Act 2017, Finance Act 2018, CGST Amendment Act 2018, Finance (No. 2) Act 2019, Finance Act 2020, Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Ordinance 2020. Further, CBEC/ CBIC has also issued various Notifications from time to time, relating to the commencement date of various Sections/ Provisions in the respective CGST/ Amendment Acts, wherever required.

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