New Delhi, May 8, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said that the quarterly filing of returns under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was not workable for taxpayers above Rs 50 lakh turnover.

"For all tax payers it is not workable to have quarterly return because input tax credit has to be given every month," Jaitley said in a letter to All India Congress Committee general secretary Digvijaya Singh.

Only small taxpayers, whose turnover is below Rs 50 lakh per annum under the composition scheme, can avail of filing quarterly returns. But these will not be able to avail of input tax credit.

Singh in a letter to the Finance Minister questioned the requirement of submission of 37 forms in a year by a taxpayer under the GST, which would hamper the ease of doing business.

Currently the taxpayer needs to file only four forms in a year -- one every quarter.

"You (Jaitley) would agree that instead of reducing the number of returns you have increased it by nine times. Would it improve our global ranking in ease of doing business which your government has been promising," Singh wrote.

Jaitley noted that the taxpayer needs to file only his initial return on the 10th of every month, while the other returns on invoice matching and availment of input tax credit are auto-populated.

"The model of invoice matching for eligibility of input tax credit of the recipient has been adopted in the GST design after much deliberation in the GST Council. One of the most important advantages of adopting this model is for curbing the possible tax evasion on account of fake invoice frauds," Jaitley said.

"Though inward returns and monthly returns will be auto-populated, still the taxpayer will have to validate these details before submission and add additional information like GST paid under reverse charge mechanism, details of credit notes etc.," GST expert Pritam Mahure told IANS.

Further, putting onus on buyers (that vendor should file returns) to enable claim of input tax credit would be found cumbersome by small businesses, Mahure added.

[The Economic Times]