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Small taxpayers might be waived off of filing annual returns

Annual Returns Filing

In order to ease the compliance burden for small taxpayers, the upcoming Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting is likely to waive off the requirement to file annual returns for taxpayers below the annual turnover of ₹ 2 Crore. It is reported that the GST Council in its meeting on September 20 will consider exempting the small taxpayers from filing annual GST returns such as GSTR-9, GSTR-9A and GSTR-9C for the financial year 2017-18 only or FY2018-19 as well.

The central government has gone a step ahead and started working on the necessary changes which are required for this to take effect. The Law Committee associated with the GST Council has also made a proposal to facilitate such an exemption. However, this can only be implemented after the Council gives a nod and issues a notification.

The due date for filing annual returns and annual audit forms for the financial year 2017-18 have already been extended from August 31 to November 30, 2019. During the recent round of interactions with industry, taxpayers, and tax officers, the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has been taking feedback on how to ease compliance and reduce tax frauds. She also stated that her ministry is taking the necessary steps to improve the economic condition of the country.

The proposal can be a huge relief for small taxpayers and also a right step for the government towards improving the ease of doing business. However, putting technical glitches behind the reasoning might not be a good sign for the future of a prospective digital economy.

Many assessees, especially the smaller ones, are still struggling with the annual returns. Experts believe HSN and rate-wise summary of inward supplies, vendor-wise bifurcation of inward supplies under reverse charge and bifurcation of credit into input and input service are some of the issues troubling many taxpayers.

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