The government has extended the deadline for filing of monthly sales return GSTR-1 for July-October by 10 days to January 10 under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Also, businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will now have the provision to file GSTR-1 for July-September by January 10, 2018, as against December 31, 2017 earlier, a finance ministry statement said.
For businesses with a turnover of more than Rs 1.5 crore, GSTR-1 has to be filed for the period July-October by January 10, earlier supposed to be filled by December 31. For December, GSTR-1 is to be filed by February 10 and for subsequent months, it would be the 10th day of the succeeding month. Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to file returns for October-December by February 15 and that for January-March by April 30.
The GST Council had in November allowed businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to file final GSTR-1 returns quarterly instead of monthly returns. The Council had also suspended filing of GSTR-2 returns, which reflect purchases. Tax experts welcomed the extension but said that GSTN needs to function smoothly as taxpayers are facing glitches while filing returns. Also, the government needs to strengthen the regulating mechanism in absence of the filing of GSTR-2 returns.
Atul Gupta, Senior Director, Deloitte India said, “Yet another government extension for filing of GSTR -1 has been announced as the GSTN portal had become exceedingly slow, was not in some cases saving the returns filed or able to show even the status of the returns that were filed. Large number of assesses were struggling since yesterday to upload the return data and hence the extension had become inevitable.
Evidently, the government has to work and make the GSTN portal glitch free and robust to handle the returns load. Undoubtedly, the time is running out for the Government to fix the GST. A significant reason for lack of buoyancy in GST revenues is that tax non-compliance is on the rise in absence of any significant self-regulating deterrence mechanism under the present scheme of returns filing process as, GSTR 2 returns are still not required to be filed…the experience with GSTN portal does seem to suggest that we still have a long way before the GSTN system stabilizes.”
The revised deadlines come on the back of a sharp decline in GST revenue for November to Rs 80,808 crore (as on December 25), the lowest since the July 1 implementation of the new indirect tax regime, raising concerns about the government’s ability to meet the fiscal deficit for the whole year.