Existing system of filing GST returns extended by 3 months: Jaitley

GST Council fails to come up with simplified way of filing returns extends present system

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley | IANS

"The current process of return filing has been extended for another 3 months", Jaitley said.

On a related note, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while chairing the meeting said e-way bill system for inter-state transportation of goods would be implemented from April 1, following which the states will be categorised into four lots for the implementation of the provision.

E-Way or electronic-Way Bill for intra-state movement of goods will be introduced in a phased manner. The council felt that there should be a single return every month, it should be simple, not prone to evasion and (there was a need to discuss) how to simplify it further. The pre-GST schemes are being continued as paying taxes first and seeking refunds later-the norm in GST-affects liquidity of the exporter.

Federal indirect tax body the goods and services tax council on Saturday chose to extend the interim procedural relaxations available to exporters, small businesses and e-commerce firms by three to six months and made e-way bills compulsory for inter-state shipment of goods from 1 April.

The inter-state e-way bill last December was approved for an early mandatory roll-out from 1 February but due to technical glitches, it was deferred. "The staggered implementation is also good development as hopefully the portal will be able to iron out teething issues", Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO of Clear Tax said.

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Under the GST regime, an e-Way bill needs to be generated and carried for movement of all goods valued at over Rs 50,000. The Council, however, did not reach a consensus on the proposed simplification of returns filing process as the tax bureaucracy emphasised on removing any scope for evasion while moving towards an easier returns filing process.

"The liability to pay tax on reverse charge basis has been deferred till June 30". So, no decision was taken today (Saturday). "Further, the committee is surprised to learn that no GST revenue targets have been fixed by the government", the Standing Committee on Finance headed by Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily said in its report tabled in Parliament on Saturday.

However, some states such as West Bengal questioned the legality of bringing extra neutral alcohol under GST, while some other states viewed it as a loss of control of their taxation powers and hence, no final decision was taken, the officials added.

As per the decision, exporters presently availing various export promotion schemes can now continue to avail such exemptions on their imports up to October 1, by which time an e-Wallet scheme is expected to be in place to continue the benefits in future.

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