Mumbai, January 15, 2018

Maharashtra GST Commissioner says mass notices will be sent to defaulters soon.

More than half the traders in the state did not file their monthly returns for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) R-1 for October and November, despite a 10-day extension in the deadline, according to the data received from the state GST department. The government had last month announced an extension of deadline till January 10 for filing monthly sales returns for July to November for traders with turnover above Rs1.5 crore. Businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs1.5 crore had to file the returns for the quarter July to September.

However, as on January 12, only 37 per cent businesses had filed GSTR1 for November and 44.18 per cent for October. For the months August and September, the compliance was slightly above the 50 per cent mark. Sources in the department said the lower rate of compliance was a result of the government’s lenient approach over the past few months.

“In the past couple of months, the government has relaxed several norms and traders have taken it for leniency. Many were expecting yet another extension,” said a senior official. Another source said that technical glitches in the portal could have been a reason. “On the last two days, there was a rush on the portal. Many chartered accountants were also under tremendous pressure,” he said.

Ashish Bang, a city-based chartered accountant, said that while the number of businesses liable to file returns had increased drastically, the portal was not equipped to handle the rush. “There were many issues on the site. For instance, a user would be thrown out of the portal midway through filing details and would be asked to do a fresh login,” said Bang, adding that rumours around a possible extension could also have caused confusion. State GST Commissioner Rajeev Jalota said the department has already started issuing notices to defaulters.

“We are not waiting for the system to be updated to auto-generate notices. A week ago, the department started issuing notices and in the next week mass notices will be issued,” said Jalota.  Currently, the penalty for late filing is Rs 20 a day for zero returns. In any other case, the penalty is Rs 50 a day.

[The Indian Express]