Only about 15% of taxpayers have filed GST Returns, low numbers worry CBIC chief
The dismal figures has prompted CBIC Chairman Pranab K Das to get the tax commissioners to help out with the process and expedite the return filing process.
In a letter to all Principal Chief Commissioners and Chief Commissioners of Central Tax, CBIC Chairman Pranab K Das writes that data available till August 3 shows that only 14,85,863 GSTR-9 has been filed, while all non-composition taxpayers are supposed to file annual returns. This number of taxpayers needed to file GST annual return stands at over one crore. Similarly, the status of filing GSTR-9A stands at 4,33,148 and GSTR-9C at 11,334. About 12 lakh registered taxpayers are required to get their accounts audited and filed under GSTR-9C.
The last date to file GSTR 9, GSTR-9A and GSTR-9C is August 31, 2019, but the dismal figures has prompted Das to get the tax Commissioners to help out with the process and expedite the return filing process.
“Considering the last date is approaching fast, there is a need to reach out to the taxpayers to ask and help them to file the annual returns/reconciliation statement before the due date. Wherever required, they should be guided through the various steps of the return filing process. Towards this end, I request you to organize outreach initiatives in your ones to help the taxpayers file their returns in time. Such outreach programme may be organized at the Commissionerate level as well as Division level. The overarching objective of the exercise is to ensure that the best help and assistance is available to taxpayers in filing their annual returns/reconciliation statement well before the due date,” says the letter from Das.
According to KPMG India, Partner, Harpreet Singh, most dealers are busy in undertaking multiple reconciliations for their pan India operations and sorting the differences. “Also, re-visiting all tax positions and agreeing on them with GST auditors to reduce qualifications is taking time” said Singh.
According to Chartered Accountant, Pritam Mahure, the low numbers of GST Compliances are attributable due to the complex and numerous data requirements for preparing GST Annual Return as well as GST Audit. “Few details, such as eight-digit product codes (HSN) are requested, although legally only four-digit HSN is required. Similarly, HSN-wise purchase summary is another requirement which was not required at the time of monthly GST return, but is now required to be furnished. Given this, GST Council should immediately look into these valid concerns of the GST payers and make the GST Annual Return and Audit process, Good and Simple, in-reality,” says Mahure.
Das in his letter adds that any systemic/policy issue faced by the taxpayer in filing the retur/reconciliation statement should be brought to the attention in the Board urgently.
“Though the numbers look poor at the moment, like any other statutory deadline the compliance would increase significantly with passage of each day towards the deadline” adds Singh.