Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, the festival of Navratri has started, and there is a cheerful atmosphere everywhere. Here in GST, new updates by GST Council have brought enthusiasm. So, what are they about?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, as on the occasion of Navratri, nine different avatars of Goddess have their own significance. In co-relation to it, let’s study 9 major updates in GST, which are important for the taxpayers to take note of. Due to future changes & implementation of e-invoicing, it seems that’s the GST department is willing to play Virtual Dandiya with a great enthusiasm with the taxpayers.

Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what are the 9 new updates under the GST law recently notified?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the GST department has brought 9 new updates for the taxpayers to ease the compliance processes, and also to further automate the compliance procedure. The new 9 updates are as follows:

1. The time period for furnishing details in FORM GSTR-1 (for taxpayers having aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 Cr.) for the quarter October 2020 to December 2020 is 13th January 2021 & for the quarter of January 2021 to March 2021 is 13th April 2021. Filing of GSTR-1 before filing GSTR-3B will become mandatory now in the future.

2. The time period for furnishing details in FORM GSTR-1 (for taxpayers having aggregate turnover above Rs. 1.5 Cr.) for the quarters of October 2020 to December 2020 & January 2021 to March 2021 is the 11th of the succeeding month.

3. Return in Form GSTR-3B for taxpayers having aggregate turnover above Rs. 5 Cr., for the months from October 2020 to March 2021, shall be furnished electronically on or before the 20th day of the succeeding month.

4. Return in Form GSTR-3B for taxpayers of the notified states having aggregate turnover up to Rs. 5 Cr., for the months from October 2020 to March 2021, shall be furnished electronically on or before 22nd / 24th day of the succeeding month as notified.

5. The benefit for optional filing of annual return in Form GSTR-9 for registered taxpayers whose aggregate turnover in a financial year does not exceed Rs. 2 Cr., has been extended for F.Y. 2019-20 as well. Also, few amendments are made in Form GSTR-9.

6. Taxpayers having aggregate turnover up to Rs. 5 Cr., now need to mention HSN/SAC codes of supplies made up to 4 digits on tax invoices & returns effectively from 1st April 2021.

7. Taxpayers having aggregate turnover above Rs. 5 Cr., now need to mention HSN/SAC codes of supplies made up to 6 digits tax invoices & returns 1st April 2021. However, taxpayers may not mention the digits of HSN/SAC codes for B2C supplies; but currently, no distinction has been made between B2B & B2C supplies for disclosure of HSN/SAC code.

8. Taxpayers filing NIL returns in FORM GSTR-3B, NIL details in FORM GSTR-1, or a NIL statement in FORM GST CMP-08 for a tax period, may now avail the facility of filing their respective returns by using SMS service just by using their registered mobile numbers. Taxpayers willing to file NIL returns will have to send SMS to 14409 to initiate the SMS facility effective from 15th October 2020.

9. For ITC claim and its reference for filing GSTR-3B, Form GSTR-2A has been prescribed, which was earlier just a statement. This is one of the most important forms for taxpayers to claim ITC henceforth, with reference to rule 36(4).

Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what should the taxpayer learn from this?

Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the GST department is looking towards minimizing efforts of taxpayers for compliance procedures. Now, in the 42nd GST Council Meeting, held on 5th October, it is recommended that effective from 1st January 2021, small taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 5 crore, would file quarterly GSTR-3B and GSTR-1. However, taxpayers will have to upload invoices & pay tax every month. Hence, the number of returns shall be been reduced to 8 from 24. Let’s pray to Goddess to remove difficulties in the lives of taxpayers.

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