Small businessmen can get relief from the filing of the first annual return and audit report of GST, which has been postponing for two years. It is expected that the GST Council in its meeting on 20 September can exempt those with less than Rs 5 crore turnover from filling GSTR-9, GSTR-9A and GSTR-9C for FY 2017-18. This is expected to provide relief to about 85 percent of the assessees, although the industry is seeking to abolish it for 2018-19 as well.
Extended till 30 November
CBIC recently extended the last date of GSTR-9, GSTR-9A and GSTR-9C till November 30 due to the very low filing till now. However, the trade-industry has been saying from the beginning that increasing the deadline will not speed up filing, as people are not filling it for fear of mismatching the data recorded in the previously filled monthly returns due to lack of edit provision.
According to official and industry sources, the government has made up its mind to free small businessmen from the first year’s annual returns, which may be announced at the council meeting. There is also speculation about this in the trade-industry and taxpayers have completely stopped filing.
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No annual returns justified for 2018-19
Bimal Jain, chairman of the Direct Tax Committee of the PHD Chamber, said that it would be a good initiative to get rid of small businessmen, but it should not only be for 2016-17 but also for 2018-19, because the problems of both the years are same. He said, “So far people have not been able to fill GSTR-9 of 2016-17, while new returns are coming from January, after which the need for annual returns will be eliminated. In such a situation, there is no justification for filing annual returns for 2018-19. Common dealers have to file audit reports annually as GSTR-9, composition dealers as GSTR-9A and those with turnover above 2 crore as GSTR-9C.
No Action in Filing Due to Increase in Date
Federation of All India Trade Divisions General Secretary V.K. Bansal said that there is no movement in the filing even due to the increase in debt, because the annual return picks up all the data from the old returns, in which the mistakes made cannot be edited.
On the other hand, in the two-day conference on tax challenges organized by Delhi Sales Tax Bar Association, most experts sought to simplify the provisions of input tax credit and limit the negative list. It was agreed that Bayer’s input credit should not be withheld if the supplier did not deposit the deducted tax.