New Delhi, September 18, 2017

GSTN says the ‘composition scheme’ for traders with up to Rs75 lakh annual sales is now open till 30 September

The GST (goods and services tax) Network, or GSTN, the company that processes GST returns, on Sunday offered two more weeks for small traders who missed an earlier opportunity to sign up for a liberal compliance scheme involving quarterly return filings.

GSTN said in a statement that the ‘composition scheme’ for traders with up to Rs75 lakh annual sales is now open till 30 September. Those who opt for this can file returns on a quarterly basis unlike the others who have to file returns on a monthly basis. The earlier window for signing up for the scheme had ended on 16 August, under which about 11 lakh assessees signed up.

The decision to extend a second opportunity for those who missed out was taken at the last GST Council chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley on 9 September in Hyderabad. Those who sign up before 30 September will get the benefit of the scheme from 1 October, until which they will be treated as normal assessees.

Under the scheme, small businesses, manufacturers and restaurants will be subject to a GST rate of 0.5%, 1% and 2.5% respectively on turnover.

“The composition scheme has been designed to simplify and reduce the burden of compliance for smaller taxpayers. Businesses opting for the scheme will see a lesser compliance burden as they will have to file returns only once in a quarter,” the GSTN statement said quoting chief executive officer Prakash Kumar.

Giving small businesses another opportunity to opt for quarterly payments is likely to ease the burden on the IT infrastructure supporting GST, which has faced several glitches.

A ministerial panel led by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday reviewed the technical problems in the IT system with officials from Infosys Ltd, the company that built the IT network. The ministerial panel set a roadmap to resolve the glitches so that 80% of the problems will be rectified by October end, Mint reported on Saturday. The ministerial panel also urged tax payers to file returns well in advance and not to wait till the last day.

[Livemint]