To ease uncertainties, govt issues revised GST filing timelines

Amid doubts over readiness of businesses to file their first return under the goods and services tax (GST), the government on Wednesday notified the revised timelines for the months of July and August.

Accordingly, outward supplies in Form GSTR-1 for the month of July will have to be filed from September 1 to September 5.

For the month of August, the final returns have to be filed between September 16 and September 20. The original date for filing GSTR-1 was September 10.

Bipin Sapra, partner (indirect tax) at consultancy firm EY, said that corporates are preparing to file their return, but it cannot be said that everybody is ready at this point of time.

“While broadly, businesses are aware of the format, GST Network (GSTN) is yet to provide the module for the GSTR-2 and the subsequent forms. There are some issues and everybody may not be ready,” he said.

But Amit Bhagat, tax partner at global consultancy PwC, does not entirely agree with Sapra.
He said the government has already given two months’ time to the taxpayers and they have no reasons to complain about time.  “It (filing GST return within the cut-off date) is challenging, but certainly not impossible. The businesses broadly know the details of filing the returns. I don’t think they are not ready. Anyway, they now have to do it. There is no escaping it. The assistance is available in the market,” Bhagat said.

The council, headed by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and members comprising state counterparts, had in June allowed businesses extended timeline for filing final GST returns in forms GSTR-1, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for July and August.

While GSTR-1 (GST return-1) contains details of outwards supplies of goods or services in the prescribed format, GSTR-2 would have details of inward supplies of goods or services. The GSTR-3 is the monthly return filed by businesses registered on the GST portal on the basis of finalisation of details of outward supplies and inward supplies, along with the payment of amount of tax.

As the dates for filing the three returns have been extended, businesses have to file GSTR-3B in the interim period, which is asummary of self-assessed tax liabilities with consolidated details of outward supplies and input credit.

Details of inward supplies in Form GSTR-2 for July will have to be filed between September 6 and September 10, a notification from Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said. For August, the date has been set from September 21-25.

“This notification shall come into force with effect from the 8th day of August, 2017,” the CBEC said.

The original date for filing of GSTR-2 was September 15. Form GSTR-3 for July will now have to be filed between September 11-15 and for August the date is September 26-30.

As regards GSTR-3B, the GST Network portal has started the facility for filing of July returns from August 5. The last date for filing the GSTR-3B for July 2017 is August 20, while the same for the month of August 2017 is September 20.

As per latest figures, over 71.30 lakh excise, service tax and VAT payers have migrated to the GSTN portal and over 15 lakh new assessees have registered on the platform. Billed as the country's biggest tax reform, the government rolled out GST from July 1.