As the deadline for GSTR-1 for the month of July ended on 10th October, reports says that out of 65 lakh traders, only 40 lakhs have filed their returns under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.
Earlier, the government had extended GSTR-1 filing deadlines by two months and waived off the per day delay penalty of Rs. 100 to help people file returns.
Last week, after the GST Council meeting on Friday, it was also clarified that there would be no further extension of deadlines for GSTR-1.
In filing of GSTR-3B also, the numbers were less than expected.
As per data released by the Finance Ministry, for the month of July, 64 per cent filed returns till August 31 and for August, 55 per cent filed returns till September 25.
Glitches in the GSTN is being blamed for such low filings. While taxpayers tried their best to upload invoices and stick to the filing deadlines, the GSTN stopped working for three-four hours several times in the past couple of months, making taxpayers go through harrowing times. Left with no choice, the government extended the filing deadlines.
In order to fix the technical glitches in the GSTN portal, the GST Council, on September 9th, had formed a Group of Ministers (GoM) under Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi was set up on September 9 after the meeting of the GST Council and since then the committee has met twice. The committee has identified 25-odd glitches to be fixed.
Meanwhile, at a core group meeting held yesterday of Finance Ministry officials responsible for smooth functioning of GST, both central and state government officials and tax commissioners were asked to find out specific reasons for such low number of filings. Trying to ease compliance burden on taxpayers, the GST Council that met on October 6 had relaxed filing norms for small businesses with turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore, allowing them to file quarterly returns instead of monthly.
Revenue collections too have shown a decline month on month in the very first two months of roll-out of the country’s biggest tax reform. Collections for July was Rs. 94,000 crore and for August it stood at Rs. 90,669 crore.