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Govt ready to consider suggestions on tax filing GST simplification
November, 18th 2019

Taxpayers find making amendments and corrections to goods and service tax (GST) returns as the most challenging task, revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said at a marathon meeting with tax practitioners on Saturday, also attended by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

Traders association, representatives from the MSME sector and a senior chartered accountant also attended the meet. Each group filed different returns (GSTR 3B, 1 and 9, among others) to demonstrate the shortcomings to the minister on a real-time basis.

“By and large, straightforward return-filing was smooth and the problem areas pertained to making changes and amendments to the returns filed earlier and issue of credit/debit notes,” Pandey said. He added that some suggestions on introducing new functionalities would be considered. It was decided that the exercise would be undertaken by indirect tax commissioners at the circle level on December 7, Pandey said. “They will invite assessees along with their accountants and file returns, both old and proposed, before the official. Any issues that arises can be dealt with on the spot,” he said.

The new simplified return formats will be implemented from April 1, 2020. The taxpayers can upload their invoices while the system prepares a return for them under the new system. Pandey said it was also decided that the indirect tax department and GST Network will meet regularly to weed out issues. “The system is by and large robust as over 70 lakh people are filing returns every month. However, various previously unseen scenarios do occur when 1.2 crore taxpayers file returns,” Pandey said. He said some of the issues are related to taxpayers not knowing the existence of a functionality in the system. Some problems often occur because of manual errors.

Earlier this week, the government had to extend the deadline for filing annual returns for GST for both FY18 and FY19. The FY18 annual returns had already seen at least four extensions before. From the outset, GST has been dogged by return formats that have been kept in abeyance for being excessively complex.

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