Existing system of filing GST returns extended by 3 months: Jaitley

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Simplified sales return GSTR-3B was introduced in July, the month of GST rollout, to help businesses to file returns easily in the initial months of GST roll out.

A new model was discussed extensively and a group of ministers on IT has been tasked to finalise it.

"The council's view was the system with single and simple monthly return, and with no scope for evasion, needed further simplification". So, no decision was taken today (Saturday).

"The existing system has been extended by three months", he told reporters after the Council's meeting.

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Earlier in January, the Finance Minister had said that the implementation of the e-way bill for intra and inter-state movement of goods would start from February 1.

The report quoted tax consultants as saying the different numbers in both forms is valid, as the the GSTR-3B takes up the time of payment of taxes, input tax credit accumulated over months is used, along with the current periods.

"Each group will come under it every week after 1st April and efforts will be made to implement it across the country by April end". However, there would be phased rollout of e-way bill for intra-state movement of goods beginning April 15 and all the states have been divided into four groups. "In the meantime, the modalities of linking State and Central Governments accounting system with GSTN will be worked out so that seamless credit is available to the registered traders whose tax is deducted or collected at source", the release said.

The e-way bill, which would be required to be presented to a GST inspector if asked for, is being touted as an anti-evasion measure and would help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that now happens on cash basis.

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Jaitley said that while there were no tariff items on the agenda of the GST Council on Saturday but only some procedural issues including the simplification of the return filing system.

Movement of goods of more than 50 thousand rupees in value can not be made by a registered person without an E-way bill. To ease exporter woes, the Council has also allowed exporters to continue to claim tax exemptions till October 1, 2018.

It may be recalled that in its meeting held on 6 October 2017, the Council had noted that exporters are experiencing difficulties of cash blockage on account of having to upfront pay GST / IGST on the inputs, raw materials, / finished goods imported / procured for exports.

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