What has changed in the process of GST returns filing?

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The GST Council on Saturday approved the new return formats and associated changes in law - a move that will simplify the tax filing process. In its last meeting, 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 are in line with the basic principles with one major change - the option of filing quarterly return with monthly payment of tax in a simplified return format by the small tax payers.


After the change, all taxpayers excluding small taxpayers 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. In simple terms, the process would be "UPLOAD - LOCK - PAY" for most taxpayers.

The taxpayers would have facility to create their 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/her profile.

NIL return filers (no purchase and no sale) shall be given facility to file return by sending SMS.  

The Council has also approved quarterly filing of return for the small taxpayers having turnover below Rs 5 crore. According to the Finance Ministry, quarterly return shall be similar to main return with monthly payment facility but for two kinds of registered persons - small traders making only business-to-business and business-to-consumer enterprises supply.

For such taxpayers, two simplified returns - Sahaj and Sugam - have been designed. "In these returns details of information required to be filled is lesser than that in the regular return," the Ministry said in a statement.

The simplified design provides facility for amendment of invoice and also other details filed in the return. Amendments will be carried out by filing of a return called amendment return. Payment would be allowed to be made through the amendment return as it would help save interest liability for the taxpayers.

According to the government, 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.

Source - https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/gst-council-tax-filing-simplified-gst-returns-process/story/280509.html


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