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Don’t wait for last day to file returns, warns GSTN Chairman
Despite the GST Council giving a one-month extension in filing returns under the new indirect tax regime, businesses should start uploading invoices much earlier, says GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar.
He cautioned against delays on the portal near the deadline due to increased traffic. According to the current taxpayer behaviour on VAT payments, 80 per cent of the taxpayers file returns on the last two days of the deadline -- 50 per cent are found to be filing on the last day and about 30 per cent on the penultimate day, he said. “We are emphasising that the taxpayers should not wait till the last day to upload data on the website. If everyone comes on the last day, they will experience delays on our portal,” Kumar said.
“Taxpayers will start issuing tax invoices in July. But they have to report it in the system by September 5. So what we are telling the taxpayers is that if they have large transactions and many invoices, they should upload the data even before September 5,” he said. “We are providing the facility for them from July 15 to upload the invoice level data, so they will have time to put all the invoices on the system,” he added.
GST will come into effect from July 1 and GSTN provides the IT infrastructure for the new tax regime. According to the original schedule, the returns were to be filed between August 1 and August 20. This date has now been deferred by a month. The first return that was to be filed on August 10, now needs to be filed by September 5. The second return which was to be filed on August 15 will now be filed by September 10 and the third return which was to be filed on Aug 20 now needs to be filed by Sept 15. Those who do not file their returns would have to pay a penalty.
As anxious traders and businesses get ready for the new indirect tax regime, GST may push them into the firefighting mode to tackle issues like internet connectivity or large number of invoices. While small businesses which have only 100-300 invoices a month can upload it online, the bigger businesses will have to download the offline tool from GSTN portal which has the maximum capacity of uploading 19,000 invoices. Bigger businesses will have to upload invoices multiple times, a process they should go for during the night hours or start doing weeks ahead.
“The firms can upload data on the excel sheet of the offline tool and whenever they have time and internet connectivity, connect and upload. If a business has around 100,000 invoices, they can use the offline utility five times or so at night and then it will be done,” he said.