Economy

‘Nil’ category GST assessees can file returns by SMS

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 08, 2020

To ease compliance, the Finance Ministry on Monday rolled out an SMS (short messaging service) facility for assessees filing ‘Nil’ GST monthly returns. This is expected to benefit nearly 22 lakh assesses.

As on date, everyone has to log into the GSTN portal for filing the return. Now, for some specified ones, it will be possible with SMS through registered mobile number.

A new section (67A) has been inserted in GST rules to implement the new system. It says: “….for a registered person who is required to furnish a Nil return under section 39 in FORM GSTR-3B for a tax period, any reference to electronic furnishing shall include furnishing of the said return through a short messaging service using the registered mobile number and the said return shall be verified by a registered mobile number based One Time Password facility. For the purpose of this rule, a Nil return shall mean a return under Section 39 for a tax period that has nil or no entry in all the Tables in FORM GSTR-3B.

Commenting on the new system MS Mani, Partner at Deloitte India said: “Filing nil returns through an SMS would significantly help smaller businesses as they now focus on businesses revival and would improve the ease of doing better.”

Self declaration

Barring those in composition scheme, every GST assessee has to file a monthly return through FORM GSTR 3B, which is a monthly self-declaration regarding actual tax paid. Under the law, if not filed within the stipulated date, there will be penalty of ₹50 per day, if the assessee has any tax liability due and ₹20 per day in case of Nil liability. In case of tax due, interest at the rate of 18 per cent to be levied.

Many of the assesses have Nil liability, but since they continue to be registered, they are required to file the return and fill so many columns. Now, things will change for them. In a statement, the Finance Ministry said that the functionality of filing Nil FORM GSTR-3B through SMS has been made available on the GSTN portal with immediate effect. The status of the returns so filed can be tracked on the GST Portal by logging in to GSTIN account and navigating to Services>Returns>Track Return Status.

An assessee with NIL liability can initiate the filing by sending a SMS to 14409.

Published on June 08, 2020

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