Interest on Unpaid Tax Amount:

Understanding Section 50 of the CGST Act, 2017

Extract of Section 50 of the CGST Act, 2017

Section 50 of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Act 2017 outlines the provisions for interest on delayed or unpaid tax payments. This section ensures taxpayers are penalised for late payments, encouraging timely compliance with tax obligations.

Section 50: Interest on Delayed Payment of Tax

(1) Every person who is liable to pay tax by the provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder but fails to pay the tax or any part thereof to the Government within the period prescribed shall for the period for which the tax or any part thereof remains unpaid, pay on his own, interest at such rate, not exceeding eighteen per cent., as may be notified by the Government on the recommendations of the Council.

(2) The interest under sub-section (1) shall be calculated as may be prescribed from the day succeeding the day such tax was due to be paid.

(3) A taxable person who makes an undue or excess claim of input tax credit under sub-section (10) of section 42 or undue or excess reduction in output tax liability under sub-section (10) of section 43 shall pay interest on such undue or excess claim or such undue or excess reduction, as the case may be, at such rate not exceeding twenty-four per cent., as may be notified by the Government on the recommendations of the Council.

Key Provisions and Implications of Section 50

  1. General Interest Rate for Delayed Payment (Sub-section 1)
    • Interest Rate: The general interest rate for delayed tax payments is up to 18% per annum. The government notifies the actual rate based on the recommendations of the GST Council.
    • Calculation Period: Interest is calculated from the day after the due date until the date of actual payment.
  2. Calculation Method (Sub-section 2)
    • Method: Interest is calculated on the unpaid tax amount from the day after the due date of payment until the tax is paid.
  3. Interest for Excess ITC Claim or Output Tax Reduction (Sub-section 3)
    • Higher Interest Rate: For undue or excess claims of input tax credit (ITC) or reductions in output tax liability, the interest rate can be up to 24% per annum.
    • Applicability: This higher rate applies to taxpayers who have either claimed more ITC than they are entitled to or reduced their output tax liability excessively.

Example Scenario

Suppose a business, XYZ Pvt Ltd, fails to pay GST of Rs. 1,00,000 by the due date of July 20, 2023. The company eventually paid the tax on August 20, 2023. The interest calculation would be as follows:

  1. Interest Rate: Assuming the notified interest rate is 18% annually.
  2. Calculation Period: From July 21, 2023, to August 20, 2023 (31 days).
  3. Interest Calculation:

Interest=1,00,000×18×31100×365=1,00,000×18×3136,500=Rs. 1,527.40Interest=100×3651,00,000×18×31​=36,5001,00,000×18×31​=Rs. 1,527.40

Therefore, XYZ Pvt Ltd would be required to pay an additional Rs. 1,527.40 as interest for the delayed payment.

Legal Recourse and Proceedings

Legal Recourse

When a taxpayer is liable for interest under Section 50, they should:

  1. Review the Liability: Verify the calculation of the interest amount to ensure accuracy.
  2. Prepare for Payment: Arrange for the payment of the interest amount and the overdue tax to avoid further penalties.
  3. Consult a Professional: Seek advice from a GST practitioner or tax consultant if there are discrepancies or if you believe the interest calculation is incorrect.

Legal Proceedings

If the taxpayer fails to pay the interest amount, the GST authorities may initiate the following actions:

  • Demand Notice: Issue a demand notice to recover the unpaid interest.
  • Recovery Actions: Initiate recovery proceedings, including attaching bank accounts, property, and other assets.

Penalties and Prosecution

Penalties for non-payment of interest under Section 50 can include:

  • Monetary Penalty: Additional penalties as specified under Section 122 of the CGST Act for non-compliance.
  • Prosecution: In severe cases involving intentional tax evasion or fraud, prosecution under GST laws may be initiated, leading to severe penalties and imprisonment.

Do’s and Don’ts on Receiving an Interest Demand Notice


  1. Review Carefully: Understand the specific details of the interest demand and verify the calculation.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect all necessary documents and information to support your case if you believe the interest calculation is incorrect.
  3. Consult a Professional: Seek advice from a GST practitioner or tax consultant to understand the implications of the interest demand.
  4. Pay Promptly: Ensure timely payment of the interest amount to avoid further penalties and recovery actions.
  5. Maintain Records: Keep copies of the demand notice and all related documents for future reference.


  1. Ignore the Notice: Ignoring the notice will result in further legal action, including additional penalties and recovery proceedings.
  2. Delay Response: Delaying your response or payment can result in higher penalties and interest.
  3. Provide Incorrect Information: Ensure that the information provided in response to the notice is accurate and complete to avoid further queries or issues.
  4. Disregard Professional Advice: Always consult with a professional if you are unsure about the notice’s content or implications.

Legal Remedy

If a taxpayer believes that the interest demand is unjust or if they face undue hardship, they have the following remedies:

  1. File an Objection: Respond to the demand notice with valid reasons and request a re-evaluation if necessary.
  2. Seek Legal Intervention: If the interest demand is deemed to have been issued without proper jurisdiction or in violation of legal provisions, approach the appropriate legal forum.
  3. Request a Review: If there are valid grounds to believe that the calculation is incorrect, request a review of the interest demand by higher authorities.


Section 50 of the CGST Act 2017 provides the framework for imposing interest on delayed or unpaid tax payments. Understanding the provisions of this section and how to respond to interest demand notices is crucial for ensuring compliance and avoiding severe legal consequences. By following the prescribed procedures and seeking professional advice when necessary, taxpayers can effectively manage their tax obligations and address any issues related to interest on unpaid taxes. Proper preparation and timely response are essential to navigating the complexities of GST compliance and ensuring adherence to GST regulations.


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