1. GST Council meeting: SMEs allowed to file returns quarterly instead of every month

GST Council meeting: SMEs allowed to file returns quarterly instead of every month

In a major relief to small businesses, the government has greatly reduced the compliance burden on SMEs with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore by allowing them to file their GST returns every quarter, while keeping the option open to file the same every month.

By: | Published: October 6, 2017 7:47 PM
the government has kept open the window of filing monthly returns too for small businesses, to enable their customers to immediately claim input tax credit. (Reuters File Photo)

In a major relief to small businesses, the government has greatly reduced the compliance burden on SMEs with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore by allowing them to file their GST returns quarterly instead of monthly, as is required now, GST Council member and Bihar Finance Minister Sushil Modi said today.

However, the government has kept open the window of filing monthly returns too for small businesses, to enable their customers to immediately claim input tax credit, another council member and Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said in an interview to ET Now. “It’s a great relief to them, but there is a problem that if they file returns quarterly, instead of monthly, then their buyers’ input tax credit also gets delayed,” Thomas Isaac said. Thus, there is an option open for small businessmen to file monthly returns, he added.

Currently, all businesses are required to file GST returns every month. The October 10 deadline for filing final tax returns under GST for the first month — July — is nearing. The GST returns filing deadline has already been extended twice earlier, from the September 5 deadline originally put in place.

The government has asked the GST Network (GSTN) IT backbone provider to send reminders to over 20 lakh businesses that have yet not filed their GSTR-1 forms, as the revised October 10 deadline nears. The government has already said it will not extend the deadline further for filing the final tax returns.

GSTR-3B is the simpler among the tax returns that businesses need to file under GST. The government allowed businesses the facility to file a simple return using GSTR-3B for their business activity from July to December. Under this form, the companies may input aggregate values of their sales and purchases, without entering the invoice level details, while the detailed sales, purchase and matching returns could be filed later. GSTR-3B for a month must be filed by the 10th day of the following month.

As for detailed returns for the month of July, businesses must file GSTR-1 for sales by the final deadline of October 10; GSTR-2 for purchases by October 31; and GSTR-3 for matching the two by November 10. The dates for filing detailed GSTR 1, 2, 3 for the month of August haven’t been declared yet. These deadlines are applicable to businesses with turnover of less that Rs 100 crore.

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