Giving the industry a breathing time, the government has deferred implementation of the simplified returns to October from earlier deadline of July and came out with clear-cut phase-wise timelines for a transition.
Trial of parts of new returns will start from next month and the whole process would replace the existing returns by January 2020.
However, experts have cautioned about the capacity of GSTN portal to handle returns. "What would also be interesting to see is how the GSTN portal behaves with the new return format and its annexures," said Harpreet Singh, partner at KPMG.
Meanwhile, the GST Council is also planning to implement e-invoicing system. "It remains to be seen as to whether the government would want the e-invoicing system to be implemented simultaneously in a phased manner and how the same would be integrated with the GST returns," Pratik Jain, partner at PwC India, said.
Abhishek Jain, partner at EY, said with a concrete transition plan, businesses would now need to commence work on ERP system changes, business process changes for aligning disclosures with the new return.