A recent GST Council meeting was all about discussions on providing a more simplified set of return forms. The new layouts for GST Return Forms have now been approved by the Central Government and by the GST Council. From FY 2019 these new set of GST return forms will be applicable.
Here are some of the key changes that will be the part of the new GST Return Forms:
- Single, Simpler and Time Saving
Unlike the previous ones, now the new forms will be less prone to human error and also a simpler form structure comprising of at max 5 to 6 tables. 80% of the form will be auto-populated and this will include sections such as details of supply and purchase/input details. Further, the information will be auto-populated based on the invoices uploaded by the taxpayers. Moreover, most of the data will be auto fetched and dealers will be required to fill the remaining 20% details only.
- Less Taxing
Across the country taxpayer and trader, the community has a common complaint that the tax filing procedure in itself taxing. To fill returns it required an internet connection and also a desktop or laptop system which ultimately increases the expenditures for traders and taxpayers of buying system, electricity, internet connection and maybe manpower (if needed). But not any longer now A welcome change is seen in a new return filing method through SMS and will the facility to allow taxpayers to file their GST returns through SMS will begin.
- One Nation One Return Form
The good news is that from next FY onwards the Central Government will do away with the existing multiple returns with a single return filing. Currently, the list of mandatory return file forms under GST include the likes of GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-2A (for reconciliation purpose), etc. All these will be replaced with one. While earlier India’s PPP makes it difficult to implement a true one nation One Tax structure, a lot of hue and cry was directed towards the excessive compliance burden the GST framework imposed on the taxpayers (especially honest taxpayers and medium to small-scale traders).
Unlike the current forms, the new single form will also enable amendments. The maximum number of amendments/changes that can be made will be limited to two though. Additionally, taxpayers will also be able to report negative balance or liability.
- Profile Based Return Filing
The new FY 2019 will also see profile-based dealer’s filing of returns. The profile could be selected based on the questionnaire filled by the dealer post which returns can be files
“upload – lock – pay” System
Experts call the new returns as a three-step procedure for easy hassle free cost effective return filing. These include:
- Invoice Uploading by Suppliers (Provide return details)
- Approval/Acceptance by Recipients of goods or service.
- GST Payment post return locks by Recipients
The GST will also make room for new provisions like the Sahaj and Sugam schemes for dealer along with new return forms. Currently, dealers with an annual turnover of fewer than 5 crores file quarterly returns and such dealers can either continue with quarterly returns or they can opt for a simpler two return system which is Sahaj return and another one is Sugam return.
Sajah return is for B2C suppliers. With less number of fields and easy to file it has become much simpler. It will be filed monthly. For those who are involved in both B2B and B2C supplies, they can opt for Sugam. Rest of the process is the same. The Sajah and Sugam are only available to dealers with less than 5 crore turnover.