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GST Council Approves Simplified GST Returns

Updated on: Jul 6th, 2021


9 min read

The GST Council in its 31st meeting decided that a New GST Return system will be introduced to facilitate taxpayers. In May 2019, a prototype of the offline tool has been shared on the GST Portal to give the users a look and feel of the tool. The look and feel of the offline tool would be the same as that of the online portal.

Latest Update

24th June 2022
The 47th GST Council meeting was held on the 28th and 29th of June 2022 in Chandigarh. Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman chaired this meeting and made recommendations to revise rates for revenue augmentation and correction of inversion while pruning the GST exemption list. Compliance relief was granted to e-commerce suppliers and composition taxpayers.

29th December 2021
The 46th GST Council meeting was held on 31st December 2021 in New Delhi. Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman led meeting has decided to defer the GST rate hike to 12% for textiles.

1st September 2021
45th GST Council meeting was held on 17th September 2021. Tax concessions on COVID-19 essentials got extended, Matter on GST compensation to states was taken up, correction of inverted tax structure, etc were on the agenda.

28th May 2021
43rd GST Council meeting took place on 28th May 2021. The Council approved the GST amnesty scheme to be re-introduced, the late fee was rationalised for all taxpayers, especially for small taxpayers and IGST is exempted on import of COVID treating equipment and relief materials up to 31st August 2021.

Summary of Different GST Returns

ITR Sahaj is ITR-1 and ITR Sugam is ITR-4, now GST will have Sahaj and Sugam forms. Regular taxpayers with a turnover of up to Rs 5 crores can now file GST returns on a quarterly basis against the earlier limit of Rs 1.5 crores, either in ‘SAHAJ’ or ‘SUGAM’.

Small taxpayers making only B2C supplies can file Sahaj returns. Taxpayers making B2B supplies or making B2C and B2B supplies, but having turnover of Rs 5 crore or less, have been given an option to file ‘Sugam’ Returns on quarterly basis. The quarterly returns will be mostly be similar to the monthly returns, but require lesser information to be filled as compared to the regular returns. The taxes have to be self-assessed and paid on a monthly basis even for small taxpayers opting for the quarterly return scheme. The monthly returns are compulsory to be filed for taxpayers having turnover above Rs. 5 crores. Their return too has been simplified and now contain only two main tables – One to report outward supplies and another for availing ITC based on invoices uploaded by the supplier For availing ITC, invoices uploaded by the seller can be viewed and accepted or rejected by the buyer on a continuous basis. This largely auto-fills the return form based on the invoices uploaded by the buyer and seller. The new simplified process can be summarised as – ‘UPLOAD-LOCK-PAY’.

Taxpayers can create their profiles based on the nature of supplies made and received by them. The return would show only those information fields that are relevant to the taxpayer’s profile. Also, taxpayers without any purchase or sale in a period can file NIL returns through an SMS. The new returns also provide taxpayers the facility to amend their invoices and other details filed in the return by filing an amended return. Taxpayers can also make payment through the amendment returns and save on their interest liability. All taxpayers other than small taxpayers have to compulsorily file monthly GST returns.

Highlights of Proposed Return Filing

Download the Detailed Proposal of New GST Return filing Process.

Monthly GSTR: due on 20th of next month

  • Not applicable to composition dealers, ISD, NR, persons liable to collect tax at source or deduct tax at source
  • Return filing dates shall be staggered based on the turnover of the Taxpayer which shall be calculated based on the reported turnover in the last year i.e. 2017-18, annualized for the full year based on self-declaration of the estimated turnover. A questionnaire will be available on GST portal for a taxpayer to conclude his category

Quarterly GST returns

  • For NIL Filers –  Nil filers are those with no output tax liability and No Input tax credit both satisfied. But have to report by SMS, the NIL transaction statement/declaration the first and second month of that Quarter
  • For taxpayers having the turnover of up to 5 crores in preferring Financial year-Tax payment is monthly

Continuous uploading and viewing of Invoices

  • Invoices uploaded by 10th of the next month auto-populated in the liability table of the main return of relevant tax month
  • uploading of invoices by the supplier anytime-> Viewable by recipients

For example:
If invoice no. 1 of April is uploaded on 8th of May and invoice no. 2 of April is uploaded on 15th of May by the supplier, the recipient shall be able to avail input tax credit for invoice no. 1 with the return of April filed on say 20th May and for invoice no. 2 he shall be able to avail input tax credit with the return filed for the month of May, filed on say 20th of June.

Invoice uploaded but return not filed

Will be treated as a self-admitted liability by the supplier and proceedings will be initiated against him after a reasonable show cause.

Missing invoice reporting

What if the supplier does not upload the Invoices/ Documents. Then, Reporting of missing invoices by the recipient can be delayed up to two tax periods to allow the recipient to follow up and get the missing invoice uploaded from the supplier.

For example:
Purchase invoices received by the recipient in April on which input tax credit has been availed but not uploaded by the supplier shall be reported by the recipient not later than the return of June filed in July. Information about the missing invoice uploaded by the recipient shall be made available to the supplier. Taxpayers filing quarterly returns shall report missing invoices in the next quarter.

Amendment of Invoices

  • Once an invoice is locked by the recipient, no amendment of the same shall be allowed
  • So, Amendment of an invoice may be carried out by the supplier where input tax credit has not been availed and the invoice has not been reported as locked by the recipient

Amendment Returns

  • Wrong entries being made in the return, there would be a facility for filing this return
  • Facility to file two amendment returns for each tax period
  • Payment would be allowed to be made through the amendment return as it will help save interest liability

Tax Payment

  • Monthly Returns filers: Liability declared in the return shall be discharged in full at the time of filing of the main return by the supplier as is being done at present in the present return FORM GSTR 3B.
  • Quarterly Returns filers: In the first and second month of every quarter, they would use a payment declaration form. In this, self-assessed liability and input tax credit on self-declared basis shall be declared. But this will be full payment of the liability arising out of uploaded invoices only.

Declaration of Exports

  • Table for export of goods in return would contain details of the Shipping Bill also
  • A registered person can either fill this information at the time of filing the return or after filing the return
  • Filing the details of the Shipping bill in the return at a later date shall not be considered as the filing of an amendment return

Declare the Purchase of Ineligible ITC in Annual Returns only

Did You Know 28 th gst council

Filing the details of the Shipping bill in the return at a later date shall not be considered as the filing of an amendment return.  Earlier, all taxpayers having turnover between Rs 1.5 crores upto Rs 5 crores had to file monthly GST returns in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B. Also, the GSTR forms had more tables and information to be filled. This move by the Council is aimed at increasing the ease of doing business for all taxpayers.

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Quick Summary

The GST Council introduced a New GST Return system, allowing quarterly filing for small taxpayers. The online tool prototype is available on the GST Portal. Updates from various meetings were shared, including compliance relief and revised rates. The simplified process includes 'UPLOAD-LOCK-PAY' with quarterly and monthly filing options. Additional features like continuous invoice uploading, missing invoice reporting, amendment returns, and tax payment details are highlighted for users.

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