The government on Saturday ruled out further extension in filing of returns under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime after December and advised taxpayers to file them in advance and not wait for the last day.
"We have kept long deadlines for GST filing. For at least six months, the taxpayers have to file their own assessment. There will be no extension later," Union Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told reporters here after the first meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) that was formed to tackle the IT-related glitches in the GST Network (GSTN).
The GST Council has allowed businesses to file GSTR3B, which is a self-assessment of their sale and purchases, till December.
"Initial hiccups are there but no mass scale failure. Initial issues need to be sorted out. We have decided a plan of action. The attempt was to work around the difficulties to eliminate problems, leading to better understanding of all stakeholders," he added.
As decided in the last GST Council meeting on September 9 in Hyderabad, returns for July have to be filed by October 10 under GSTR1, by October 31 under GSTR2 and by November 10 under GSTR3.
"The deadline for filing of returns under GSTR3B, which is a self-assessment of summary returns will be the 20th of the next month. We have already extended the period for GSTR3B by six months. People have to file the returns by then (six months). There is not going to be any extension of time for GSTR3B," said Adhia.
Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who heads the GoM as its convener, said though 47 lakh traders/dealers have filed returns under GSTR3B for July, the number for August was only 3.05 lakh till date.
"As there are only four days left for filing the returns under 3B for August, I appeal to all the registered taxpayers to file their summary returns under 3B at the earliest and not wait till the last date (September 20)," he said.
Assuring the taxpayers that the government would be able to iron out 70-80 per cent of the technical issues being faced in filing returns by October 30, Modi said the people should not wait for the last day.
"The general tendency is that people wait for the last day resulting in heavy rush. There is heavy rush to file returns in the last 3-4 days before the deadline," he added.
IT services firm Infosys is taking care of the IT infrastructure for GSTN as its sole vendor.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who heads the GST Council, had set up the five-member GoM on September 12 to study and resolve the IT challenges faced in the implementation of GST after many member states complained to him last week that the glitches were causing problems for taxpayers in filing returns.
Besides Modi, other GoM members are Chattisgarh Minister for Commercial Taxes Amar Agarwal, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byregowda, Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac and Telengana Finance Minister Etela Rajendar.
GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey and GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar assist the GoM in addressing the glitches.
Modi also said a daylong meeting of tax officers of state governments was held on Friday with the GST Network (GSTN), stakeholders, bankers, tax experts, big corporates and Infosys regarding the glitches faced in filing returns.
The GoM meeting will be held every 15 days, mostly in Bengaluru, with the next meeting scheduled in the first week of October.