One year on, businesses are still awaiting clarity on the monthly return forms for the Goods and Services tax and waiting for further announcement from the government on the simplified formats. Officials indicated that the new monthly and annual return forms for GST are likely to come into play from next year.
The meeting of the GST Council next month is expected to review the progress on the new returns.
The Council, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, had in May approved a new simplified single monthly return format, doing away with GSTR 2 and GSTR 3.
Under the original proposal, every registered taxpayer under GST was expected to file three monthly returns — GSTR 1, GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 along with an annual return, outlining their purchases and sales along with uploading invoices. But the sheer number of returns every month, problems in the IT systems and high compliance burden led to the GST Council delaying this plan.
Instead, businesses only file GSTR 1 and a consolidated GSTR 3B and the Council has decided that this system will continue for another six months.
“Despite the announcement of the simplification, there has been no forward movement. We are hoping the new returns are launched from October 1 but as things stand it is highly unlikely,” said Bharat Goenka, Managing Director, Tally Solutions.
This time around businesses are also hoping that there will be sufficient time for preparation for them as well as the GST Network to adapt their systems for the new returns, unlike last year when it was a rushed affair.
“Businesses would expect a single modular return where they are required to populate only relevant details for the month,with other details auto-populated. Single returns for service providers having multiple registrations should also be considered to reduce the compliance burden on service providers,” said MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India.
Firms are also hoping that the GST Council will finalise the annual returns for GST as well soon, which they will have to file by December this year.
“Simplification has been the word right from the inception of the thought of this great tax reform. As compliance processes of filing returns impact everyone, the utmost importance is to be given for return filing,” said Abhishek Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan and Co, adding that the government should also not penalise assesses atleast for the first year or perhaps two years for mistakes in the return.
Source: Business Standard, Google.
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