The government has notified certain procedural changes in the GST rules, including those related to threshold, for filing annual returns for the 2021-22 fiscal, a move that will help ease the compliance burden on small players.

The changes were vetted by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council at its meeting last week. MS Mani, Partner with Deloitte India, says: “The quick implementation of the decisions taken by the GST Council is welcome as some of these are extremely beneficial to businesses. Industry would prefer a standard date or two every year when changes are implemented in GST as these changes impact their internal systems as well.”

With the amendments notified by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), businesses have also been allowed to make tax payments on the GSTN portal by using IMPS and UPI payment modes.

Businesses with an aggregate annual turnover of up to ₹2 crore in the fiscal ended March 31, 2022 are exempt from filing annual returns for 2021-22, as per the amended rules. KPMG India Partner (Indirect Tax) Abhishek Jain said these changes will help the small players in undertaking compliances, and will lighten the burden for taxpayers with less than ₹2 crore turnover to the extent of filing of annual returns under GST.

Other changes

Other important changes include extension of time-limit specified under Section 73 (determination of tax) under the GST Act for issuance of an order for FY 2017-18 to September 30, 2023. However, no extensions have been provided for any other financial year. In relation to the delayed filing of refund applications during the Covid period (March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2022), extension has been granted that will enable numerous exporters to encash the refunds stuck in litigation.

Jain said considering the Covid scenario of the last two years for India, the government has extended the limitation period under GST for issuance of notice to taxpayers who have not paid/ short paid the tax due. Similarly, relaxation in limitation is granted for filing refunds.

“While the intention of the government is to curb revenue leakage, this change keeps the businesses exposed to departmental audits and assessments for some additional time. This being said, this change also ensures that genuine taxpayers are not denied their refund claims,” Jain added.

The manner of calculation of interest on delayed payment of tax has been notified and that would help taxpayers in making precise calculation of the tax dues. As per the amended rules, every invoice issued by an MSME supplier will have a standard declaration printed on invoice regarding non-applicability of e-invoice. Also, cash ledger balance can be transferred from one GST registered entity to another under the same PAN.

The changes were approved by the GST Council, comprising finance ministers of Centre and State, at its June 28-29 meeting.