GST council announces changes and date extensions for  GST return filing

GST rate cut was the major announcement made by the Goods and Services Tax Council in its 23rd meeting in Guwahati.  Apart from that a number of measures were also announced to ease compliance norms with regard to filing of returns. Announcements related to simplification of GST return forms, extension of filing deadlines and reduction in penalties for late filing. 

Changes and simplification of the GST forms

As per original plans, business was required to submit at least three forms to submit the return. They were 

GSTR-1 – Invoice-wise details of supply
GSTR-2 – Receipts of goods and 
GSTR-3 – Overall summary derived from the two previous forms

To reduce the compliance burden on business entities, the GST Council has decided that companies need to file  the GSTR-1 form only up to March 31, 2018. The GSTR-2 form will be brought back to system after a committee appointed by the GST council simplifies the form.  Also the council decided to extend usage of GSTR-3B form till March 31, 2018 from the earlier December 31, 2017 deadline.

Extension in GSTR form filing deadlines

It was stipulated that the GSTR-1, GSTR-2, and GSTR-3 forms should be filed by the 10th, 15th, and 20th of the subsequent month, respectively. The GST Council has announced relaxation in these deadlines for both small businesses as well as large enterprises. 

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Now with these relaxations, companies with a turnover of up to ₹1.5 crore a year are required to file their GSTR-1 forms for each month in a quarterly manner.  Due to this relaxations,  the GSTR-1 forms for July to September are to  be filed by December 31 while that for the months  October to December needs to be filed only by  February 15, 2018 and that from  January to March  by April 30, 2018.

Companies earning ₹1.5 crore or more a year need to file their July to October forms by December 31. Thereafter, they should file monthly returns. But can have a gap of 40 days from the end of the taxable period. That is, the returns for November to be filed by January 10, those for December by February 10, and so on.

Reduction in penalty for late filing of GST returns

The GST council slashed the penalties associated with late filing.  For companies with nil tax liability for a particular month, the penalty for delays has been cut to ₹20 per day. It was ₹200 per day earlier.  For other companies too, the penalty has been reduced to ₹50 per day from the earlier  ₹200 per day.

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