The government along with the GST Council released a new set of GST return forms to make the return filing process easier especially for small taxpayers. The forms were released on 30th July 2018 after almost a year since GST was first implemented in India. The new forms aim to make the GST return filing process easier, especially for the small taxpayers.
The drafts of these new proposed forms are now available in the public domain for stakeholders to comment and would be implemented in 2019. With the new year just around the corner, it’d be wise to understand the changes that the new forms bring in the filing process.
5 of the key changes are as follows-
- Single Return Filing
As compared to the existing return filing process which involves filing multiple returns, the new forms would reduce the number of returns to one.
Currently there are multiple returns like GSTR-1, GSTR-2, and GSTR-3, making the filing process a 3-step process. But with the new forms, return filing would be a 1-step process with single filing.
- Increase in Threshold for Small Taxpayers
The threshold for the small taxpayers which was INR. 1.5 crores in a financial year has been increased to INR. 5 crores.
Moreover, small taxpayers will also get the option to file their returns on a quarterly basis with tax payment on a monthly basis. Also, taxpayers who declare zero or nil sales would be able to submit their returns through mobile SMS.
- Pre-Identified Profiles
The number of tables in the forms has also been reduced to 5-6 with a table containing details of purchases/inputs and another for providing supply related details.
More importantly, the GST Council has also created pre-identified profiles on the basis of the invoices previously uploaded by the taxpayers. This means that most of the tables in the return filing form would fetch the data automatically from these pre-identified profiles to make the filing process easier and faster.
- Amending the Returns
In the current returns filing process, there is no option to make changes to returns once they are filed. This has been a topic of discussion since the time the new GST regime was implemented.
With the new GST return forms, the Council has provided a provision for amending the returns. Once the new system is implemented, taxpayers would get to amend their returns twice and also would also be able to report any liability or negative balance.
- Three Different Forms for Small Taxpayers
Small taxpayers will have three different forms to choose from- Quarterly Return, Sahaj, and Sugam. Quarterly Return is similar to monthly returns and would be made easier.
Sahaj form is for quarterly GST filing of B2C transactions. If you have B2B as well as B2C transactions, you can select the Sugam form. Only B2B transactions should be filed on a monthly basis. However even a small taxpayer with a turnover of more than INR. 2 crores would need a GST audit certificate by a CA or CMA.
All in all, the new GST forms are a sigh of relief for taxpayers struggling with the complex and time-consuming return filing process. Once the new forms are implemented, more than 90% of the taxpayers are believed to be able to file their return with utmost ease and convenience.