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New Delhi, Dec 30 (Agencies)
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Published on 30 Dec. 2017 9:42 PM IST
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The government on Friday extended the deadline for filing first of the three comprehensive GST returns - GSTR-1 which is populated with sales details - to January 10. 
Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to file GSTR-1 for July-September by January 10 as against December 31 proposed earlier while others can file the same for July-November period by January 10. The filing of GSTR-1 is crucial for the government to match the data with that of the summary return (GSTR-3B), which is being filed by taxpayers every month. 
The government hopes that matching GSTR-1 and summary return can substitute the suspended invoice-matching mechanism to some extent. The summary return form contains information on tax liability and eligible input tax credit. When a supplier files details of outward supplies in GSTR-1, the same can be matched with the summary information provided by her earlier. The GSTR-1 data can also be used to match information on the dealer level as well. For instance, the outward supply details of one dealer becomes the purchase details for his buyer and so on. This can again be cross-checked with the information from summary details of both the dealers in the above example, thus bringing out anomalies. 
Tax officials have said that the GSTR-1 data can finally provide them with a tool to identify tax evasion and revenue leakages. 
The lack of mechanism verifying taxpayers’ data has been cited as one of main reason for falling GST revenue, which stood at just over Rs 80,000 crore in November — lowest in the five months under GST. The GST Council in November had suspended filing of GSTR-2 forms — which contain details of inward supplies — after the IT network failed to cope with the increased load. The Council said that GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 returns would be brought back in April. Meanwhile, it was decided to allow a long rope to taxpayers for filing GSTR-1. After the latest extension, the tax department will have to wait longer for intelligence on tax filing under GST.
Earlier, these businesses were required to file GSTR-1 return for July-October by December 31 and that for November by January 10. 
For the month of December, GSTR-1 is to be filed by February 10 and for subsequent months, it would be 10th day of the succeeding month. The GST Council had in November allowed businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to file final returns GSTR-1 quarterly. 
Businesses with turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore will have to file returns by February 15 for the period October-December and that for January-March by April 30. 
“A significant reason for lack of buoyancy in GST revenues is that tax non-compliance is on the rise in absence of any significant self-regulating deterrence mechanism under the present scheme of returns filing process as GSTR 2 returns are still not required to be filed. The immediate need for the government is to ensure that there are no hiccups in the E-way bills generation from February 1 for inter-state supplies of goods and services so as to check possible tax evasion. The experience with GSTN portal does seem to suggest that we still have a long way before the GSTN system stabilises,” Atul Gupta, senior director, Deloitte India said.

 
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