The most fascinating thing about writing about GST is the fact that you can write anything, well, GST is like that work-in-progress sculpture open for interpretation – you can call it Ganesha, you can call it Durga, you can call it anything till it’s completely sculpted (I’m sorry about the secular eyebrows here!!) Secondly any piece in GST law is worth the article for the same reason mentioned above, and this piece here is about few substantial amendments made recently.
GST Annual what?
Annual return – GSTR-9, as the name suggests would have us all imagine that it would be a consolidated form of the only 2 successfully implemented GSTR’s i.e. GSTR-1 & 3B, essentially it meant that till the very recently concluded Council meeting (31st). A simple amendment of words were proposed & made, replacing the words – “supplies declared in returns” to “supplies made” creating total confusion in the naming ceremony of GSTR – 9 – Annual Return, because it wasn’t a compilation of returns anymore.
With this amendment GSTR – 9 now means; consolidating your returns, identifying what’s not identified in your returns, consolidating the identifications & settling dues!!! Ufff! After this herculean task, the dealers also have to get through the certification of reconciliation statement (GSTR – 9C) prescribed on basis of turnover by an eligible Chartered Accountant.
GSTR – 9C, an aptly worded return, I say aptly worded because in an idealistic scenario it is a reconciliation statement alone, the audit of GST returns are taken care at the GSTR – 9 stage itself while matching your mismatches! What’s not on track here is audit is done by the preparer himself defeating the entire Audit syllabus, now you know why the institute isn’t too happy with what’s up with GST!!! Further to add to the miseries of year end GSTR’s, the portal hasn’t come up with its first copy yet, pushing the first round of errors that much far!
Am I late for the waivers of late fee?
Waivers, GST portal has more waivers than SBI right now. The late fee for virtually every return was targeted to be waived off, going by the hassle on portal – a great move! But again the waiver waived off on key words & intricacies of dates! To substantiate – late fee were waived off to dealers who filed their July – Sept 2017 returns during December 22nd – March 31st 2018, to process this for a lay man – GSTR’s filed just around the due dates attracts late fee where as GSTR’s filed by those who broke law for long doesn’t!
The Bright Side
However, it would be unfair to not give any credit to the decisions that seem on right path as of now. To name few;
Boils down to us
Though the negative paragraphs seem bigger and heavier, GST if done as promised can reach consensus & ward off the issues of erstwhile tax laws. Unfortunately GST has been the key player for political war & like a joker in gully cricket, it’s on both sides, The nation has to realize that there’s more to GST & its implementation to see the best version of GST!!