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GST: Existing return filing system extended

GST: Existing return filing system extended

The all-powerful GST Council on Saturday chose to rollout the requirement of carrying an electronically generated bill for transporting goods between states from April 1 but failed to finalise simplification of the GST filing process though it discussed two models and then chose to take the final decision only in the next meeting.

However, the council failed to arrive at a consensus on simplifying the process of filing tax returns for businesses.

"The current process of return filing has been extended for another 3 months", Jaitley said.

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The E-Way Bill would be launched across the country by June 1. The GST Council extended the present system of return filing by three months.

The council also suspended the provisions for deduction of tax at source (TDS) and collection of tax at source (TCS) till June 30. GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017, and based on the feedback received from stakeholders the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, has made a host of changes in GST norms and procedures. The e-way bill, which would be required to be presented to a GST inspector if asked for, is being touted as an anti-evasion measure and would help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that now happens on cash basis. Two models are presently under consideration and a final decision is yet to be taken. For intra-state movement of goods, the Council has approved phased rollout of e-way bill by dividing states in four zones, with the first group to be finalised on April 7. Ideally, the reverse charge should be limited to purchases by composition dealers only as in other cases its a reveneue neutral excercise but entails lot of paper work.

"Increasing the time period of upfront exemptions for exporters by 6 months and measures to expedite the refunds brings relief to the industry", said Pratik Jain, partner and leader of indirect tax, PwC. Its not clear as to when the E wallet system for exporters, which was announced earlier, will be implemented. "The view was that it should be further simplified", he said. "Taxpayers will need to monitor developments in e-way bills and implement systems that that will consider the staggered manner of e-way bill implementation for intra-state transactions". However, it is expected that the assesses will not face the systems issues and that the network is ready to take the load. "Each group will come under it every week after April 1 and efforts will be made to implement it across the country by April end", Jaitley said. However, exporters got a breather as the tax exemption for them was extended for six more months.


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