Tax practitioners say extending the date is not an option. Only simplification of filing of returns can solve the problem.
Filling of annual returns under Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be a tall task, feel tax practitioners. The figures of returns filed by the central government indicate that only 17% of returns for the financial year 2017-18 have been filed in over five months, with only three weeks left, they wonder how the remaining 83% returns will be filed. They say extending the date is not an option. Only simplification of filing of returns can solve the problem.
Businessmen under regular GST have to file annual return GSTR-9, while dealers who have opted Composition Scheme by paying lump-sum tax need to file GSTR-9A. Those filing GSTR-9 need to file audit return in form of GSTR-9C.
Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC), in its recent note, admitted that only 14,85,863 have filed GSTR-9, 4,33,144 dealers have filed GSTR-9A and 11,334 dealers able to file GSTR-9C. Axat Vyas, member of the core committee of National Action Committee (NAC) of GST Practitioners said that there are an estimated 89,11,797 dealers supposed to file GSTR-9, 15,82,127 dealers supposed to file GSTR-9A and 3,14,818 dealers supposed to file GSTR-9C. This amounts to 16.67% compliance for GSTR-9, 27.38% compliance for GSTR-9A and only 3.6% compliance of GSTR-9C. Overall compliance is about 17.85%. CBIC has also asked its field staff to conduct an outreach exercise to ensure all returns are filed. But tax practitioners see things differently.
“This data has been declared by CBIC. Over 17% of returns have been filed in over five months. How will remaining 83% returns be filed in the remaining three weeks,” asked an agitated Lalit Ganatra, a tax practitioner. He blames the problems in filing returns to complicated provisions and so extending the deadlines will not work. “We have time and again suggested that the government should make forms for returns simpler,” he said.
Ganatra told DNA that it is not just complicated for tax practitioners to understand these forms and procedures, even the staff of Central GST and State GST fail to understand things. “When they themselves, how will they clear the air for us?” he asked.
GST was rolled out in the country on July 1, 2017 and the deadline for filing of annual returns for the financial year 2017-18 has been extended in past because of a host of issues. The deadline for filing of Income Tax Returns has also been extended to August 31, overlapping with GSTR annual returns, which has made things more difficult, feel tax payers.
- Tax practitioners say extending the date is not an option. Only simplification of filing of returns can solve the problem
- Only 17% of returns for the financial year 2017-18 have been filed in over five months