In the 23rd GST Council Meeting convened at Guwahati, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-led panel made several changes to ease the taxpayers' pain.
It has simplified the return filing process for businesses and traders. GSTR-3B would continue for all taxpayers till 31 Mar'18 while GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 filing was postponed indefinitely.
Deadlines were extended and late filing penalties were relaxed.
Know about the new deadlines!
Only GSTR-1 to be filed for current fiscal
Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said small taxpayers, or in cases of nil tax payments, GSTR-3B will be simplified so that returns can be filed in 2-3 steps.
It was found that 30-40% taxpayers had filed returns under "Nil" category.
For FY 2017-18, taxpayers would only file GSTR-1. Adhia said, "We are running a backlog- where we will file return for July only by December."
Small taxpayers would file GSTR-1 on quarterly basis
According to the GST Council, all the small taxpayers (those with an annual aggregate turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore) need to file the GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis.
Pending invoices for GSTR-1 for the July-September quarter should be filed by 31 Dec'17, while for October-December quarter by 15 Feb'18, and for January-March period by 30 Apr'18.
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Other taxpayers need to file GSTR-1 monthly
Adhia said that GSTR-1 has become a quarterly filing for small taxpayers, giving them more time to file returns.
He added for those taxpayers with an aggregate turnover of more than Rs. 1.5 crore, who have large number of invoices, should file GSTR-1 on a monthly basis.
He added, "We do not want to keep their (bigger taxpayers) returns pending for a quarter."
Bigger taxpayers and monthly GSTR-1 filing frequency
For bigger taxpayers, GSTR-1 filing due dates are:
Pending invoices for GSTR-1 for the July-October period should be filed by 31 Dec'17.
After this, every GSTR-1 form should be filed within 40 days. So, for November, it will be filed by 10 Jan'18, for December by 10 Feb'18, for January by 10 Mar'18, for February by 10 Apr'18, and for March by 10 May'18.
No need to halt GSTR-1 for GSTR-2, GSTR-3: Adhia
Hasmukh Adhia said, "We will open GSTR-1 filing for the subsequent months even without waiting for GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 being filed."
He also added that they have constituted a committee for looking into the returns related to purchase detail, falling under GSTR-2, and invoice matching under GSTR-3 and decision of the returns filing process could be simplified.
GST Council reduces late filing fine for taxpayers
GST Council decided that the late filing penalty for "Nil" taxpayers would be brought down to Rs. 20/day from the existing Rs. 200/day; for other taxpayers it would be Rs. 50/day.
Deadline for those, who have to file the quarterly composition return under GSTR-4, has been postponed to 24 December from 18 October.
Also, TRAN-1 filing now allows a one-time revision until 31 Dec'17.
Extension of dates for submitting forms
Considering the unavailability/late-availability of forms on the GST portal, the Council decided that deadlines for the furnishing of the following forms should be extended:
GST ITC-04 for Jul-Sep quarter postponed to 31 Dec'17; GSTR-4 for Jul-Sep quarter - 24 Dec'17
GSTR-5 for July extended until 11 Dec'17; GSTR-5A for July - 15 Dec'17; GSTR-6 for July - 31 Dec'17; and TRAN-1 - 31 Dec'17.
Goods and Services Tax (GST)