GST Council relaxes return filing rules for July-August, rollout confirmed from 1 July

New Delhi: The GST Council on Sunday relaxed return filing rules for businesses for the first two months of the rollout of the new indirect tax regime even as it stuck to the 1 July launch date.

The industry has been pushing for deferment of the tax implementation.

The GST, the biggest tax reform in India's 70-year history, will require firms to file three online returns each month. Some business lobby groups have urged a delay to the rollout to allow more time to get ready.

As per the revised return filing timeline decided by the Council, for July, the sale returns will have to be filed by 5 September instead of 10 August. Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by 20 September instead of 10 September earlier.

File image of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Reuters

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Reuters

"To obviate any lack of preparedness, a slight relaxation of time for two months -- July-August -- has been given. From September, strict adherence to time will go on," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters.

In relief for AC hotels, the Council decided to raise the threshold for the 28 per cent tax to RS 7,500 from Rs 5,000 at present. This would mean that an 18 per cent GST will be levied on bills of Rs 2,500-7,500

The Council decided to tax lotteries in two segments -- with state-run ones attracting 12 percent GST and the state-authorised 28 percent.

Additionally, it has cleared six rules, including anti- profiteering. "I hope we are not compelled to use it (anti- profiteering)," Jaitley added.

"A number of companies and trade have been raising the issue of lack of preparedness. We don't have the luxury of time to defer GST implementation," Jaitley made it clear.

The official launch of the goods and services tax (GST) is slated for mid-night of 30 June and 1 July.

Once fully up and running, the GST would require companies to file a complete return of their sales invoices by the 10th of the following month, with a second of their purchase invoices by the 15th. A third return would calculate their tax bill.

"Relaxation for filing transaction-wise returns in July, August ... will provide relief to the industry," said Harishanker Subramaniam, head of indirect tax at EY India.

The GST marks a technological leap forward for India - it will be driven by an IT bac end that can process up to 5 billion invoices a month. It also poses a huge challenge for larger companies to remodel their business process, while many small-time traders lack the technological know-how to cope.

The GST Council will meet again on June 30, the eve of the launch, Jaitley said.

(With additional inputs from Reuters)


Published Date: Jun 19, 2017 07:09 am | Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 07:09 am


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