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Businesses to get more time to file GST annual returns
November, 15th 2019

The government on Thursday extended the due date for filing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) annual return and the audit report for the first two years and simplified the forms to make it easier for businesses to comply with the filings.

The new due date for filing the annual return called GST return form 9 and a statement based on the audit report in GST return form 9C for FY18 is 31 December 2019, the finance ministry said in a statement. The earlier due date was 30 November. This is the fourth extension being given to businesses to comply with the return filing requirement for the July-April period of FY18 in view of the numerous changes in rules as well as the difficulties faced by them in shifting to the new technology reliant indirect tax regime.

GST retrurn form 9C is a statement of reconciliation between the GST annual return and the audited financial statement of the tax payer.

For filing the annual report and the reconciliation statement for the second year of GST, FY19, the new due date is 31 March 2020. The earlier due date was 31 December. Mint had reported on 13 September, this was likely to get extended. The idea is to give businesses some time after complying with the filing requirement for the first year so that they can prepare for filing returns for the second year.

An official statement from the ministry said the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Thursday notified simplified return forms. With the changes, tax payers need not give the breakup of the tax credits claimed on raw materials, services and capital goods bought by them. Also, they need not give details of purchases and sales at the highest level of details in terms of a globally recognized classification called the ‘Harmonized System of Nomenclature’ for the first two years of GST roll out.

“CBIC expects that with these changes and the extension of deadlines, all the GST taxpayers would be able to file their annual returns along with reconciliation statement for the financial years FY18 and FY19 in time," said the ministry statement. It said that the extension of due date was given in view of the challenges faced by taxpayers.

According to Archit Gupta, founder and chief executive officer of ClearTax, a taxpayer service provider, the extension was not a surprise as the simplification of forms came only now. Gupta said that businesses are now ready to comply with GSTR-9 so they can move on and prepare for the new simplified return filing system.

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