In a review conducted by the Finance Ministry this month, a significant gap was found in the filing of returns among Centre-administered assessees in comparison to the states. The conclusion has been made on the basis of the analysis of returns filed in respect of GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-3B.
GSTR-1 is a monthly return statement summarizing all outward supplies furnished by all normal and casual registered taxpayers. Likewise, GSTR-3B is a monthly return filed by every taxable person summarizing the details of outward and inward supplies. An official said, “Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) has asked field officers to ensure no gaps are there in the filing of tax returns.”
A GST Commissioner said that the Centre had requested the administration to go soft during the initial phase of the new indirect tax regime. This could have had a direct impact on the compliance level by businesses. He added, “The state tax officers at times blame the central tax administration for poor compliance and low revenue collection.”
In fact, the GST revenue has been much lower than the expectations with September revenue mop-up falling to a 19-month low. It has alarmed the Revenue Department as lower revenue could lead to a serious impact on the fiscal deficit of the Centre.
In September, the GST collection stood at ₹91,916 Crore by falling 2.67% on a year-on-year basis. As per the data released by the government, the total number of GSTR-3B returns filing for the month of August till 30th September 2019 was 75.94 Lakh.
Some states concerned over lower GST collection have started blaming the faulty tax structure for it. As a result, the Centre has formed a high-level committee of tax officers who are tasked to look into revenue shortfall. The panel which is required to submit its first report in the coming weeks has been tasked to suggest measures to boost GST mop-up, improve voluntary GST compliance, and ways to better administrative coordination.
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