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The GST Return Rollercoaster

The GST return filing due date is extended so many times that it feels like running in an endless marathon…sigh !! On December 8, 2018, the CBIC extended the due date for filing GSTR 9, GSTR 9A, GSTR 9C from 31st December 2018 to 31st March 2019 for FY 2017-18 which was later extended to 30th June 2019.

Unsurprisingly, in the 39th GST Council Meet, the due date for F.Y 2018-19 was further extended up to 30th June 2020.

Audit Limit Increased

In the 39th Council Meet, the audit limit for GST for F.Y 2017-18 and F.Y 2018-19 was increased to INR 5 Crore from INR 2 Crore. Previously, up to F.Y 2017-18, Individuals with income of INR 2 Crore or more were required to file GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. The condition for F.Y 2018-19 remains the same but with increased Audit limit up to INR 5 Crore.

FinMin Nirmala Sitharaman announced a similar change to the Income Tax Audit Limit in her Budget speech. The Tax Audit limit was stretched from INR 1 Crore to INR 5 Crore (with some conditions). The council also announced relaxation to MSMEs from the furnishing of Reconciliation Statement in FORM GSTR-9C for the financial year 2018 -19.

Also, let’s agree that Audits are expensive and tiresome. Usually, one has to do a lot of back and forth with their Chartered Accountants. Hence, life has become easier for many Businesses. Adding on, with the increased Audit Limit, scores of Individuals will save on compliance costs.

P.S. In case, you missed our Blog on Income Tax Audit Applicability, don’t worry, we got you covered.

GSTR-9 last date extended

The 39th GST Council Meet announced an extended last date for filing the GSTR-9 Annual Return. What feels like a Cat and Mouse chase, was lauded by the taxpayers. Individuals and Companies will now be able to file their Annual Return for F.Y 2018-19 by June 30, 2020. Hence, fingers crossed more businesses will comply by filing their GST Annual Return.

Late filing fees a thing of the past

Gone are the days when we worried about late filing fees. Individuals filing their Annual GST Return for F.Y 2017-18 and F.Y 2018-19 won’t be required to pay the late filing fee!!

Prior to the 39th GST Council meet, late filing fees for GST Annual Returns were INR 200 per day of delay. Even though the number of taxpayers filing their GST Annual Returns is steadily increasing, waving off the late filing fees might prompt more people to file their Annual Returns.

It looks like the Government is trying to motivate more people to file their Annual Returns by giving out benefits. Could we see the number of taxpayers filing their GST Annual Return skyrocket in the first quarter of F.Y 2020-21?

New GST System pushed back…again

The New GST Return System seems like a promised neverland. It was announced earlier that the New GST Returns will come in effect from April 1, 2020. But, in the 39th GST Council Meet, the date was pushed back to September 30, 2020… Old School ITD!!

The New Returns claims to bring transparency and efficiency. The Pros of the New Returns outweigh the old by a margin. For instance, the incumbent GST Return System demands the filing of two returns while the New Return System demands the filing of just one Return.

To penalize the Businesses who have delayed the payment of their GST liability, the Council introduced a Retrospective Amendment. Interest will be charged on Net Cash Liability with a retrospective effect, which means that interest on delay in payment of GST would be applicable from July 1, 2017.

It is safe to claim that the New GST Return System is way simpler than the persistent one! Sadly, taxpayers might have to wait to reap its benefits. But, there’s a catch here, Could the New GST System be further postponed amid the Covid-19 Pandemic? Guess, we’ll have to wait.

In other news, GST rates for Mobile increased to 18% from 12%. To address the ailing aviation sector, GST on Repair and Overhaul on aircraft was reduced to 5% from 18%. Also, the Indian Highways Management Company Ltd (IHMCL) and Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) signed an MoU for integrating FASTag with the GST e-way bill system.

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