The GST Council today provided the much-needed relief to businesses by easing return filing requirements as well as lowering the penalty for late filing.
Now, businesses will have to file simplified Initial GSTR-3B returns till March. Also, kept in abeyance are monthly matching of sales and purchase invoice till March 2018.
The GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, also decided to give a simplified GSTR-3B form for those businesses which have nil tax liability or have no transactions to file in invoice.
As many as 40 per cent of the businesses filing returns on GST Network portal have nil tax.
The timeline for filing of initial returns GSTR-3B for all businesses have been extended to March from December earlier. GSTR-3B of a month is to be filed by 20th of the succeeding month.
Also, the Council has substantially lowered late return filing fees for businesses from Rs 200 at present.
Businesses with nil tax liability will now have to pay only Rs 20 as late fee for delayed filing of return while for the rest, the fee is Rs 50.
A committee under GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey has been set up to look into making filing of GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 business friendly.
GSTR-2 is the purchase invoice and GSTR-3 is to be generated by businesses by matching GSTR-1 and 2.
"The time period for filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for the months of July 2017 to March 2018 would be worked out by a committee of officers," an official statement said.
So, till March, businesses with a turnover of over Rs 1.5 crore will have to file only GSTR-1 or sales returns by 40th day of the end of the month. This will be in addition to initial GSTR-3B returns.
For July-October, businesses will have to file GSTR-1 by December 31. The Goods and Services Tax was rolled out from July 1.
November onwards, GSTR-1 is to be filed on 40th day, which is January 10. Similarly, GSTR-1 for December will be filed by February 10.
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