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Is your Business ready for these 5 Actions post-lock down? GST Context

Business - Lockdown - Taxscan

Overview of the current situation of Businesses amid the Lockdown

Let us sum up the current situation of Businesses during the Lockdown due to the Pandemic in one word: Improvise. People usually talk about thriving even in tough situations, high time we start taking actions on our words.

The Pandemic & the severity of its effects were unpredictable for all of us. This has created a twisted situation all over the nation & the Industry.

On one hand, where the Lockdown has even caused insolvency in Businesses, some others still tend to thrive despite all the negativity that surrounds.

Here enters the Term Improvising. Although the term cannot affect all the areas of the industry, it can definitely cover a big part.

It may not be possible for all Businesses to improvise to the situation but with such a massive shift in circumstances comes a massive change of workflow & demand.

Let’s understand this better, in such situations where people are not allowed to get out of their houses, let alone opening their offices & running their Businesses Industries such as Restaurants, Educational Counselors, Tuitions/coaching’s, Placement Firms, Salons, etc. shall see a downfall.

But since people are staying at home now more than ever, they are going to have more time in their hand to do things but from home, this gives the edge to e-Commerce & internet related services, such as Entertainment Industry, the Gaming Industry, Online Classes (educational & artistic), Fitness Apps & many more Cloud-based software & services.

Now some Businesses can improvise & bend towards digitalization but some others have no other choice but to struggle & halt their Businesses for the time being.

Some areas of the Industry remain ever-green, not being affected much by the lockdown such as Banks, Pharmacies, Hospitals, Conventional Stores & Taxation, etc., while the others’ existence depends highly on their surroundings.

Talking about Taxation which is a major source of the Government’s revenue generation, the Government can definitely extend the Filing dates but they cannot pause or halt the Tax System.

The Tax system may have slowed down its pace for the moment but as soon as things shift towards normalcy they will pick up their pace & it may become tough for Businesses to comply.

The Government has already hinted or given an idea of their plans on Indirect Taxes- GST post-lockdown.

Since you have some time in hand at the moment you can utilize it for smart work, bracing yourself & your Business for Better GST Compliance.

5 Immediate Actions Businesses must take post-lockdown: GST Edition

The Industries & the entire Country is still held by surprise & chaos right now. There is no certainty as to when can things go back to normal.

The Government is doing its best to provide relief to the people in various forms. Even in the GST context, the Government has provided various relaxations such as the extension of e-way Bill Validity & pushing the due date of GST Return Filings.

But the Government may have important plans post-lockdown with respect to GST to recover from the losses caused by the Lockdown. And Businesses can start preparing for these changes & actions from now on to avoid repercussions.

Listed are 5 things Businesses need to be prepared for post-lockdown :

Pending GSTR-1s & GSTR-3Bs? File them before the Timeslips

With leisure time in hand, Businesses can focus on arranging & organizing their previous or pending GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B. Being two of the most important filings under the GST system, you must ensure to have filed these two Returns accurately for every Tax period of the Year.

GSTR-1 data is used to populate the Buyers’ Purchase Returns GSTR-2A & GSTR-3B is the final return summarizing the amount of tax liability paid & ITC claimed.

Thus these Return filings hold high significance, other than this the two filings play a major role in the Annual Return Filings GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C, which are dated to be filed soon by the Taxpayers.

GSTR-9 cannot be filed even if one single GSTR-1 or GSTR-3B is missing for the year, neither can it be revised in case of any errors in the filings of GSTR-1, GSTR-3B in GSTR-9.

Without a GSTR-9, a taxpayer cannot file their GSTR-9C. Fact, that these Annual Returns are mandatory, to be filed by the mentioned class of taxpayers & non-compliance can levy high penalties, scrutiny & other notices by the Government.

Overall Reconciliation- Significance in your Annual Returns & in Businesses

Not enough emphasis can be laid on Reconciliation in GST. Reconciling or matching the various data & filings ensures that the filings are accurate.

An accurate filing further ensures the right amount of tax liability is levied & the correct amount of Input Tax Credit is claimed by the taxpayer.

Thorough Reconciliation acts as a funnel & filters out the mismatched or defaulted transactions which further the Supplier & the Buyer can settle.

It is important to match the mismatched values or data, for the correct calculation of the Tax Liability & ITC. This also helps the government in taming Tax evasion through bogus Invoices & transactions.

The importance of Reconciliation can also be seen while filing the Annual return GSTR-9C. GSTR-9C or the Annual Auditing of the account books of Businesses is considered the last filing of the year for a Normal/Regular Taxpayer.

The taxpayer needs to submit the Audit Report along with a Reconciliation Statement of the accounts on the GST Portal. Both the reports are reconciled to figure out the differences in Tax liabilities & ITC claims.

Upon mismatches in the reconciliation of the two, the taxpayer will have to explain the reason behind it, with documents to back up the reason so given.

Mismatches can also arise from the wrong filing of any of the other returns such as GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B for any tax period. Hence the overall reconciliation is necessary.

In some cases, taxpayers can also receive notices, scrutiny & high Penalties that can severely hinder the working capital of the Businesses.

This makes Reconciliation an essential part of the filing process.

The Time to file your Annual Returns is finally here (GSTR-9)

As per a recent update on GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C given by CBIC on 23rd March 2020, the due date for filing GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C has been further extended to June 30th, 2020.

Although it is uncertain as to when the lockdown will be over, businesses need to start bracing themselves unless the date officially extends any further.

GSTR-9 is the Annual Filing & a compilation of all the data of GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B from the whole year. Hence any mistakes in any previous filings of these forms can directly affect & change the values of the Annual filing.

Form GSTR-9 is basically the computation of the total tax liability of that year, total ITC claimed & the Total tax liabilities paid and pending if any.

GSTR-9 helps in getting a transparent & accurate disclosure of the inward, outward supplies, ITC claims & tax liability on Businesses. Non-filing or inaccurate filing of the Annual Return can levy Notices, late fees & a high amount of penalties, this can affect the working capital of the Business.

Businesses should start preparing for filing this Form before the due date & meet all the prerequisites & requirements to avoid any trouble & friction.

Taxpayers must ensure that all their GSTR-1, GSTR-3B filings & the GSTR-9 filing are complete & made accurate with proper reconciliation.

Is your Business strong & accurate enough to stand an Audit?

GSTR-9C is another Annual Form to be filed after the filing of GSTR-9, & consists of the Reconciliation Statement & Audit reports of the Accounts of the Business.

GSTR-9C contains the Reconciliation statement & the matching of figures of GSTR-9 & the Audited Financial Statement of the Accounts.

The Taxpayer shall have to explain any differences that may arise in the values of the tax liability, ITC & tax liability discharged in the data of the two.

Here reconciliation plays a very major role. Since the errors in this form cannot be revised & can levy penalties & notices on the taxpayers. This can result in monetary losses for the Businesses & again affect the working capital of the Business.

Businesses can utilize this time to make their Reconciliation thorough, detailed & accurate, in order to file precise GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C.

e-Invoicing& New Returns: Stay a step ahead, start the prep now

goods and service tax -Taxscan

Although the implementation date of e-Invoicing & New GST Returns has been extended to October 2020, Businesses need to start preparing to adapt to these new changes, from the earliest.

Businesses can utilize this time to research deeply about the upcoming changes and take the various steps required to adapt better with them.

e-Invoicing Under GST is the process of creating the Invoices in a specified format from the ERP & validating them on the IRP to acquire a unique IRN (Invoice Reference Number) & QR Code. 

This will eliminate the paper invoices, change the format of the invoice, & changes the invoicing process completely.

Businesses need to make changes to the ERPs, & make changes to the system to comply better with the new system.

New GST Returns– Changes in the GSTR filing process are also being initiated & modification in the Return Form & the filing process shall be made soon. The existing GSTR-1 & GSTR-3B forms shall be replaced with the Form GST RET-1

GST RET-1 contains two annexures Form GST ANX-1 (Annexures of the outward supplies) & form GST-ANX-2 (Annexures of the inward supplies).

Because the system of GST Return Filing is revamping completely, Businesses must start preparing themselves & their working processes accordingly to comply better.

For Both e-Invoicing & New GST Returns, Businesses can start preparing from now on as they have time in their hand due to the Lockdown.

This can be a good time to make the relevant changes to their systems & provide the proper training to their staff to comply with the upcoming changes.

Your Constant Partner in the hustle- GSTHero Solutions

APIs can help Businesses with all the above-mentioned tasks, increase accuracy & decrease time consumption, making the situation a win-win for Businesses.

GSTHero is a highly efficient API Solution Provider & provides technological services to both Businesses & Tax Practitioners, to make their GST Filing experience better, smoother & less of a trouble.

GSTHero is a GSP- GST Suvidha Provider authorized by the Government of India. The robust & reliable Solutions provided by this Provider enable Businesses to auto-reconcile for accuracy, e-Invoicing, e-Way Bills Solutions, and GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C Filing Solutions.

Following are the Key Features of GSTHero-

  1. Auto-reconciliation for more accuracy in the reconciliation of the various filings for accurate GST Filing & ITC claiming.
  2. Cloud-based Solution: Access from anywhere, anytime & by multiple users.
  3. GSTR Filing Solutions for filing- GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C
  4. e-Invoicing from within ERP with site-to-site integration
  5. e-Way Bill operations from within ERP with site-to-site integration
  6. No human entries- hence less chance of errors.
  7. Time & efforts saving

Conclusion

To sum up the current & the upcoming situation, it is advisable for the Businesses to utilize the time in hand for the better as it is not much that any Business can do to stand against the lockdown to enhance revenue generation.

Businesses can instead make full use of this time by shifting their productivity into other domains such as digitalization, finish up all the pendency, increase accuracy for better compliance & preparing themselves to adapt better to the upcoming changes.

About the Author- GSTHero– Making Life Simple! GSTHero is the best GST filing, e-Way Bill Generation & E-Invoicing Software in India. GSTHero is a government authorized GST Suvidha Provider. Both Businesses and Tax Practitioners can file GSTR 1, GSTR 3B, GSTR 9, and GSTR 9C with all supporting reports. 1 Click Auto Reconciliation & report-matching feature helps you in claiming up to 100% ITC and finds your GST Defaulting Suppliers. GSTR2A vs GSTR-3B, GSTR-1 vs GSTR-3B, ‘GSTR-1, GSTR-2A & GSTR-3B’ annual report matching is also provided by GSTHero.

GSTHero ERP Plugins provide 1 Click e-Way Bill & E-Invoice, Generation, Operation & Printing from your own ERP like Tally, SAP, Marg, Busy, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle & others itself with high data security.

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