With offices shut due to the lockdown, businesses are unable to generate a digital signature that has led to delay in filing returns
In a relief to several businesses, the Central government on Tuesday said that it has allowed businesses to verify through electronic verification code monthly GST returns filed till May 31.
In a notification, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said any registered person during the period from April 21, 2021, to May 31, 2021, will be allowed to furnish the return in Form GSTR-3B and details of outward supplies in Form GSTR-1 verified through electronic verification code (EVC).
Currently, businesses are required to digitally sign the GSTR-3B form while filing the monthly return and paying taxes. However, with offices shut due to the lockdown, businesses are unable to generate a digital signature that has led to delay in filing returns.
AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said, "GST authorities have finally given the first COVID induced relief during the second wave of the pandemic".
Corporate taxpayers can now file monthly compliances through EVC till May 31 and this will benefit thousands of taxpayers who cannot visit offices to collect digital signatures certificate during the lockdown, Mohan added.
EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said, "This is a good relief under these trying times, where many people may not be able to use DSC (which may be lying in office) to file the GST Returns".
Meanwhile, business activity has fallen by a fourth of the pre-COVID levels due to lockdowns imposed by states to contain the spread of the second wave of COVID-19, Japanese brokerage Nomura said on Tuesday.
However, it said the falling activity levels will have a muted economic impact and maintained its growth estimates for the year, saying the lockdowns present “downside risks".
As of April 25, the Nomura India Business Resumption Index (NIBRI) registered its steepest weekly fall in over a year of 8.5 percentage points to 75.9, which is 24 percentage points below pre-pandemic normal, the brokerage said in a statement.
It noted that as lockdowns take effect, mobility has experienced a significant hit and there are signs of the economic pain spreading to the wider economy in facets such as power demand, GST e-way bills, railway freight.
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