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GST return filing to be a breeze for small businesses
November, 22nd 2017

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) will hold fresh consultation with tax experts and trade bodies to make the process GST filing convenient, especially for businesses that have minimal transactions.

The committee led by Ajay Bhushan Pandey, GSTN chairman, is in the process of simplification of GST returns. It is currently in overseeing the methods to ensure that nil filers are able to file with a few clicks. Pandey heads a panel of VAT commissioners of Karnataka, Gujarat and Telangana, and senior officials from the Department of Revenue and the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

It will submit its report by December 15.

“The whole idea is that people who are nil filers, who have no sale/purchase transactions, have taken a registration for some future use, they should be able to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B by pressing just a few buttons,” said Bhushan.

According to GSTN, about 40 per cent of the businesses filing returns on the GSTN portal have nil tax liability.

The committee will collect feedback from people, the trade and industry and study the whole system in detail and then come out with an appropriate plan.

“If people have very minimal transactions, they should be able to file both the returns in a manner without going through full complications. Therefore, the display of the forms will be based on certain questions and the questions posed to the dealer,” Pandey said, adding that the panel would also look into what information on returns should be taken and at what frequency.

According to the GSTN data, a huge chunk of businesses file their returns after the expiry of the due date. The Council had earlier this month substantially lowered late return filing fees for businesses from Rs 200 at present. Businesses with nil tax liability will now have to pay only Rs 20 as late fee for delayed filing of return while for the rest, the fee is Rs 50.

To ensure higher rate of compliance and within the due date, the committee will collect all the relevant information on returns that should be taken and will also determine the frequency, so that all stake holders are covered.

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