Small businesses and traders will get a bit more time than their larger counterparts every month in filing Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns as per a new schedule the government announced on Wednesday to reduce pressure on the IT systems.
As per the new schedule, all businesses with ₹5 crore or more sales will continue to file returns related to supplies by 20th day of every month while those with lesser sales will get time till the 22nd or the 24th day of the month depending on which state they are from. As per the revised schedule of return filing, around 8 lakh regular taxpayers would have 20th of every month as the last date of GSTR-3B filing without late fees.
The staggered return filing solution was proposed by Infosys, the company that manages GST Network’s IT infrastructure. “For further improving the performance of GSTN filing portal on a permanent basis, several technological measures are being worked out with Infosys and will be in place by April this year," said an official statement from the finance ministry.
Businesses with sales below ₹5 crore in previous financial year will be divided further in two categories. Tax filers from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can file GSTR-3B returns by 22nd of the month without late fees. This category would have around 4.9 million filers.
The remaining 4.6 million taxpayers from the rest of the country with less than ₹5 crore sales can file their returns by 24th of the month without late fees, the statement said. The idea is to reduce the pressure on the IT systems and ensure smooth return filing.
Experts said the move introduced as a temporary measure, could be made a permanent feature. “The staggered manner of GST return filing would hopefully reduce the load on the portal, as industry tends to file the return on the last date only. While it seems like a temporary measure till the time new returns are introduced from April 2020, given the volume of returns, government may want to explore making it a permanent feature," said Pratik Jain, partner and leader of indirect tax at PwC India.