Following complaints of procedural hassles, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has extended the deadline for filing annual returns and audit forms, under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, by three months till March 31, 2019.
Earlier, businesses had complained about these returns — GSTR 9, GSTR 9A and GSTR 9C.
The CBIC also said these forms will be made available on the common GST portal soon.
Archit Gupta, chief executive officer of ClearTax, said: “Given that the filings for GSTR-9 online had not begun, an extension was required.”
Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said the move would alleviate the pressure on enterprises.
Following the introduction of GST, the time available for reconciling accounts and adjustments with changes in accounting formats was too short, putting firms under pressure.
Abhishek Jain, partner at EY, said this was quite a sought-after extension by the industry, specifically for players struggling to collate the information that are required to be disclosed in these forms.
Besides the issue of online filing, businesses have complained that annual returns require too much detail, such as the break-up of purchases in three categories — raw materials, capital goods and services. As these are not required in the monthly or quarterly returns, businesses not only sought deferring of the deadline, but also suitable changes in the forms.
Harpreet Singh, partner at KPMG, said: “The annual returns format should be simplified to include only the summation of monthly returns, without asking for any details.”
In addition, the last date for credit for 2017-18 ended on October 25, the last date for filing of September transactions. The industry wants it to be allowed in the annual forms.
Gupta said several aspects of the form must also be re-looked at, by the government, such as allowing credit that could not be claimed at the time of filing, in September 2018.
With the December-end deadline deferred, Pratik Jain partner at PwC, said: “It ensures we can now plan our year-end holidays.”