The GST annual return and GST audit report for the first year, which is 2017-18, must be submitted before December 31, 2018, however, observed three augmentations – March 31, 2019, June 30, 2019, lastly August 31, 2019. However, observing the recent data measurements given by the experts it is seen that only 15 % of annual returns and under 1 % of the audit reports have been furnished.
Further tax authorities have cautioned of severe consequences and substantial punishment if the same are not filed on time. In the following 10 days it is expected that pending 99 % of the audit reports must be furnished and balance 85 % of Annual Returns must be furnished. The last dates normally observe an expansion in numbers, however, is it really practical to accomplish such a drastic number?
One must acknowledge the fact that the said deferrals are not because of dormancy or non-compliance of the taxpayers. There are different explanations, interpretations and technical issues included. The clarification circulars were issued on 04.06.2019 and 03.07.2019. The said circulars can’t be translated in such a limited time. The taxpayer needs some time to return to the different stands taken by them before the circulars were issued and its effect on them. Further, there are interpretation issues in light of different Writ Petitions and Advance Rulings which should be considered by the taxpayers. In fact, the taxpayers are confronting issues of transferring the docs, JSON files, versions changing every now and then, digital signatures not being perceived, error reports not being produced. There must be an appropriate technical cell to help the taxpayers to determine their technical issues.
Indeed, even the CAG in its ongoing report has completely expressed that “One significant territory where the maximum capacity of GST (Goods and Services charge) has not been accomplished is the take-off of the streamlined tax compliance system.” CAG also said there were inadequacies in the GST framework, demonstrating a “genuine lack of coordination between the official and the developers.”
The authorities must welcome the way that GST annual returns 9, 9A and 9C for 2017-18 were accessible online in March 2019 and offline in April 2019. The very certainty that the status of return filings is low ought to demonstrate that the trade and industry are confronting real issues and hardships in the issue. A large portion of the trade and specialists have been consuming the midnight oil and going through ends of the week in the workplace to guarantee consistency. Thus, satisfactory time should be given for assembling the details to guarantee the subjective filing of data. Submission of not proper reports, wrong reconciliations, wrong information and so forth will render the whole exercise of submission of annual return and GST audit report futile. It won’t give the ideal outcomes and will likewise not be useful to the experts. There will be the pointless case as because of the scarcity of time the reports might be qualified and submission of wrong information will prompt unrequired tax liabilities. It might likewise prompt penal outcomes on the trade and consultants for submission of not correct information.
Other than the above there are different components that have the taxpayers and experts on toes for guaranteeing the said consistency. The due date for filing of annual tax forms is likewise August 31, which conflicts with the due date for submission of GST audit reports. The taxpayers are likewise tied up with transferring 2 monthly returns in GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B for the month of August. The exchange is additionally during the reconciliation of ITC guaranteed with GSTR 2A and catching up with sellers for the distinctions for the year ended March 2019. Numerous citizens are likewise in the period of upgrading their systems to align it with the new return forms to be presented from October 2019. Lastly, there have been floods in different areas of India in July and August 2019. This has prompted enormous scale demolition of docs and records.
Different expert associations have effectively spoken before the specialists to expand the due dates for the same. The present government has consistently listened and responded to the issues and problems of the trade right away. Considering the various issues and issues faced by the trade and experts, it is the need of great importance to delay the due date for filing Annual Returns and GST Audit Reports for the financial year ended March 2018 to November 30, 2019, and for the year ended March 2019 to March 31, 2020. Further, as a large portion of the taxpayers have effectively released their GST liabilities for the year ended March 2018 and 2019, delaying the due dates for annual return and GST audit won’t affect the income of the government.
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