The GST Council in its 28th meeting held recently under the Chairmanship of PiyushGoyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs has approved the new return formats and associated changes in law. It may be recalled that in the 27th meeting held on 4thof May, 2018 the Council had approved the basic principles of GST return design and directed the law committee to finalise the return formats and changes in law. The formats and business process approved were in line with the basic principles with one major change ie, the option of filing quarterly return with monthly payment of tax in a simplified return format by the small tax payers.
All taxpayers excluding small taxpayers and a few exceptions like ISD, etc shall file one monthly return. The return is simple with two main tables. One for reporting outward supplies and one for availing input tax credit based on invoices uploaded by the supplier. Invoices can be uploaded continuously by the seller and can be continuously viewed and locked by the buyer for availing input tax credit. This process would ensure that very large part of the return is automatically filled based on the invoices uploaded by the buyer and the seller. Simply put, the process would be “UPLOAD – LOCK – PAY” for most tax payers.
Taxpayers would have facility to create his profile based on nature of supplies made and received. The fields of information which a taxpayer would be shown and would be required to fill in the return would depend on his profile.
NIL return filers (no purchase and no sale) shall be given facility to file return by sending SMS.
The Council approved quarterly filing of return for the small taxpayers having turnover below Rs 5 crore as an optional facility. Quarterly return shall be similar to main return with monthly payment facility but for two kinds of registered persons – small traders making only B2C supply or making B2B + B2C supply. For such taxpayers, simplified returns have been designed called Sahaj and Sugam. In these returns details of information required to be filled is lesser than that in the regular return.
The new return design provides facility for amendment of invoice and also other details filed in the return. Amendment shall be carried out by filing of a return called amendment return. Payment would be allowed to be made through the amendment return as it will help save interest liability for the taxpayers.
About 93 per cent of the taxpayers have a turnover of less than Rs 5 crore and these taxpayers would benefit substantially from the simplification measures proposed improving their ease of doing business. Even the large taxpayers would find the design of new return quite user friendly.