Easier compliance: From April 1, over 22% GST assessees can just send an SMS for filing returns

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 01, 2019 Published on October 01, 2019

Come April 1, 2020, one out of five Goods & Services Tax (GST) assessees will just have to send an SMS (short message service) to file his/her returns. The only condition for availing of this facility is that their turnover should be ‘nil’.

“Under the new system, assessees with nil turnover will just need to send an SMS and they will receive an OTP (one-time pin/password) and based on the confirmation, filing of returns can be completed,” Prakash Kumar, CEO of GST Network (GSTN), said. Out of the total assessees, 22.73 per cent fall under this category.

GSTN — the information technology backbone of the indirect tax regime — aims to make compliance easy for assessees under the new return system.

According to turnover-wise distribution based on GSTR 3B (existing return form) filed during 2018-19, 70.22 per cent assessees, having annual turnover of less than ₹5 crore and engaged in B2C (business to consumer), B2B (business to business) and reverse charge mechanism based supply activities can opt for quarterly filing of return. This form is called ‘SUGAM’ (RET-3).

About 28 per cent of assessees have annual turnover of less than ₹5 crore and are engaged in B2C and reverse charge based supply. They can opt for ‘SAHAJ’ form (RET-2). All other assessees (engaged in foreign trade or SEZ-based activities) will have to file RET-1. They will be required to file the returns on a quarterly basis but payment of tax dues on monthly basis through a form called PMT-08.

There are little over 7 per cent assessees with annual turnover of more than ₹5 crore. They will have to file the return on a monthly basis through RET-1. Kumar said these assessees are a small in number, but in terms of overall tax payment they contribute nearly 85 per cent. Under the new system, these assessees will have to file the return by 20th of next month, which means majority collection will be with the Government by that date. For other assessees, the filing date is 25th.

Under the present system, one can present two different figures in GSTR 1 (showing liability) and GSTR 3 B (showing tax payment) as they are not auto linked. This could result in showing higher liability, claiming higher input tax credit and paying less tax. However, this will be not be possible under new system as through RET-1/2/3, the taxpayer pays the auto-populated liability (from ANX-1) by utilising cash and ITC (auto-populated through ANX-2) both. Also, it is only the creator of the form will be able to amend the details.

Published on October 01, 2019
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