Urging businesses to avoid last-minute rush to file their interim Goods and Services Tax interim returns, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday that businesses should start filing their returns by the 14th or 15th of the next month to gain easy access to GST Network (GSTN) systems and save themselves the trouble of having to go through technical glitches.
Tax payers have continued to throng the GSTN portal over the last few days, resulting in a heavy load on the system leading to technical difficulties for assessees trying to access it.
According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, nearly 75 per cent of the eligible taxpayers were still to file the summarised return (GSTR 3B) for August on the last day. The GSTN, which operates the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime, had no difficulty in uploading returns till Tuesday night, Jaitley said, adding that if 75 per cent of businesses rush to the portal on a single day, there would be trouble.
“Today is the last day to pay taxes for August. Till last night, about 25 per cent people had filed the return and paid their taxes. So, 75 per cent waited for the last day,” he said, adding that the GSTN has the capacity to handle 1 lakh returns per hour, which translates to 24 lakh returns in a day.
Since the businesses have a broad idea about the taxes to be paid, they should start filing returns by 14th or 15th of the next month to have an easy entry into GSTN systems, Jaitley said. He appealed to everybody to file returns early. “It is in their interest,” he said.
The dates for filing invoice-wise detailed return for July had to be extended by a month owing to the heavy rush that prevented taxpayers from filing their returns. Financial Express had reported earlier that only about 36 lakh invoices had been uploaded a week before the deadline for filing full-fledged returns for July, the deadline for which was September 4.
The GSTN has been prone to several technical glitches causing inconvenience to taxpayers. Assessees waiting for the last few days to file returns has only made matters worse.
In its 21st meeting earlier this month, the GST Council constituted a group of ministers to monitor and resolve the glitches in the network. The GoM, headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi, met earlier this week, and said most problems afflicting GSTN would be resolved by the end of October.
To ease compliance burden, the GST Council has allowed businesses to file their initial tax returns in form GSTR-3B in the first six months of the GST rollout till December. Accordingly, the GSTR-3B returns would have to be filed by the 20th of the next month, which means August returns need to be uploaded by September 20.
Over 47 lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed for July and the tally is expected to be similar for August. Taxes to the tune of Rs 95,000 crore were collected in the first month of the rollout. Till noon on Wednesday, only 18.41 lakh businesses had filed returns for August.