New Delhi, November 5, 2017

To end last-day rush, deadlines for filing could be staggered

The government could consider a proposal to stagger deadlines for filing of monthly returns under the Goods and Services Tax for small and large firms.

The move would ensure that the rush towards the last few days gets partly dissipated and leads to lower burden on the IT systems as well that often leads to large delays in uploading of returns and invoices.

“The proposal is at a very nascent stage. It was mooted but is yet to be taken up for discussion,” said a person familiar with the development.

This could possibly mean that small and medium firms up to a particular threshold would have a different deadline for filing GST returns while larger companies would have another date.

To ease the compliance burden for companies, the GST Council has already announced a slew of measures including widening of the composition scheme that allows quarterly return filing of returns and allowing firms with annual turnover of up to Rs.1.5 crore to qualify for the facility.

To meet on Nov 10

More relaxations for compliance under the tax regime is expected in the next meeting of the GST Council on November 10 in Guwahati.

“Small and medium taxpayers account for nearly 90 per cent of GST return filers but may marginal or zero tax,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said at the time. Further, despite repeated reminders, return filing in the first two months of GST has seen a rush on the last day, with many businesses keen to file returns.

“Over 50 lakh returns are filed under GST 3B every month. But many taxpayers want to do it on the last day. No system can be made to handle such large traffic,” pointed out another official.

Earlier, Jaitley had also urged taxpayers to not wait till the last day. In August, he had pointed out that nearly 75 per cent of businesses had waited till the last day to file returns and pay GST.

[The Hindu Business Line]