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One-nation-One-tax-one-form GST filing process ready for roll-out

The Union finance ministry is finally ready to move ahead with the one nation-One-tax-single monthly return system for the GST,
a step that will simplify the whole process of filing returns and also getting ITC.

Last May govt announced the three-phase plan to address complaints about the difficulties in filing multiple returns.
As per the plan, for six months, in a transition phase, businesses would continue to file two returns, GSTR-1 and GSTR 3B,
a summarised return form. After first six months, they would move to a single filing on a to-be-introduced form.
For consumer-facing businesses, the simplified form would be about total sales while for business-facing businesses.

That move was delayed while the back-end, the GSTN (GST Network), was being made ready for this.
Now, govt. officials directly wants to be familiar with the simplified form is ready, and could be launched by July-2019.

No further clearances are required the simplification process because the GST Council already cleared the three-phase plan in May-2018.

The third phase will involve invoice matching across GSTR-1 and GSTR-3.

The introduction of the new simplified process of one form monthly basis will reduce the annual compliance burden of traders
from 24 GST returns (GSTRs) to just 12, apart from one return for the entire financial year, the officials said requesting anonymity.

1-July-2019 will see a trial run of the second phase, the officials cited above said.

One of the major criticisms of GST was the compliance burden of filing returns. This was one of the reasons for the principal Opposition, the Congress party, to criticise the new tax regime. Traders, too, have been demanding a reduction in the number of returns to be filed.

“The new return mechanism should help the industry as multiplicity of filings is avoided, with a single monthly return in place. However, it also means that greater control would need to be exercised on vendor’s compliances as [after a transition period] input credit will be limited to the extent of GST amount reflected on the portal,” said Pratik Jain, partner and leader-indirect tax, PwC.

“The reconciliation between the company’s purchase records and that reported by the vendors would need to be performed on a regular basis and can’t be the year-end exercise. Government, on the other hand, would expect significant reduction in tax leakage once the new mechanism is fully implemented,” he added.

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