GST: exporters hopeful of a single filing format

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on May 03, 2018

The GST Council is likely to consider a long-pending proposal of merging the three GSTR return forms (GSTR 1, 2 and 3) into one which would reduce rejections due to mismatch of entries, bring down the load on the GST network by one-third and expedite refund for exporters.

“The proposal, made by the advisory group to the law review committee of the GST Council, is likely to be weighed at the Council’s meeting on Friday,” a government official told BusinessLine.

The advisory group, which has members from industry bodies such as the Laghu Udyog Bharti, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Confederation of All India Traders and private law and tax practitioners, had suggested merging the triplicate comprehensive tax return forms into one consolidated form, in December 2017. But no action was taken since then as the Centre did not want to disturb the established processes for GST filing as it feared that things could get from bad to worse.

“Since it has now become clear that filing three different forms was leading to mismatch in entries, greater consumption of time and a delay in refunds, the GST Council is expected to seriously discuss the merger proposal,” a government official told BusinessLine.

Exporters are also hoping that their proposal to the government suggesting that the online platform be used for the complete filing process and refund of input tax credit (ITC) would be given a serious thought by the Council.

Online platform

“There is a mismatch in the applications that have been filed online and that have been submitted manually. That is why we have requested the government to come on an online platform for complete filing process and refund of ITC, in line with what has been done for the IGST,” FIEO Director-General Ajay Sahai said.

Sahai said exporters are also looking forward to a positive decision on merger of the return forms, as it would save their time and efforts and also fast-track refunds.

Sahai said the GST refund week was quite successful and many of the issues related to IGST refunds had been taken care of. “Some refunds have flown in and the liquidity situation for exporters is a little better,” Sahai said.

As per rough calculations made by industry, about 25 per cent IGST refunds and 60 per cent of ITC refund is still pending.

Published on May 03, 2018

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