India is a federal country and the Union Government derives the taxes from the states of the nation. Few states are exempted from paying taxes whereas few states account for fewer taxes. In order to reduce the ambiguity, the Government of India decided to launch Goods and Service Tax (GST) instead of Service Tax and Value-added Tax (VAT). The Government launched GST on July 1st, 2017.
Goods and Service Tax (GST) returns is the annual return to be filed by taxpayers registered under GST. It is due by 31st December of the year following the relevant financial year as per the Goods and Service Tax (GST) law. However, due to the pandemic situation in the country since last year, most of the last dates have been kept on extending. Not just this but many other things, last dates have been extended and many other events have been canceled and postponed quite a many. The last date to file the Goods and Services (GST) Returns was on 30th April 2021.
The pandemic has realized people that need a passive income source to survive. Since most of the businesses were kept closed due to the lockdown imposed in the country due to the increasing number of cases of COVID- 19, those businesses could not file their annual returns and also seeing to the challenges faced by the taxpayers in meeting the statutory and regulatory GST compliances due to outbreak of the second wave of the COVID- 19. Hence it made the government mandatory to extend the last date to file GST returns and currently for the temporary purpose as of now the date has been extended till May 31, 2021. Several deadlines under the Income Tax Act, 1961 had also been extended due to the pandemic’s resurgence.
What are the changes proposed by the Union Government with respect to Goods and Service Tax (GST) returns?
With effect to the extension of the last date, the government has reduced the interest charged on delayed tax payments and offered a late fee waiver for taxpayers and also stated that these concessions are for a limited time window of a fortnight to a month, effective from May 1. Those traders who are registered under the Composition Scheme will not have to pay interest for 15 days after the normal due dates for tax payments, 9% for the next 15 days, and 18% after this time period.
Instead of levying an 18% penal interest for delayed payments, the Ministry has lowered the rate to zero or 9% for different categories of taxpayers making it relaxful news to the middle-class honest taxpayers. In a similar manner, the late fee has been waived off for 15 days for submitting returns in Form GSTR-3B for the months of March and April for firms with turnover over ₹5 crore and 30 days for those with a turnover of fewer than ₹5 crores.
15 days more have been extended to the transactions transacted for the month of April and returns for the financial year 2020-21 have been extended till May 31 instead of April 30.
What are the modes available to file the Goods and Service Tax (GST) online?
Even the annual income returns and the GST returns can be filed online like how many other services have turned into online mode. Just sitting at home you can file your annual returns without any kind of delay and without having to wait for anyone or for any time. Hence see the last date of filing the GST returns and annual returns and file it before the last date ends and keep updated about any kind of news related to further extension of dates as it is being specified that May 31 date is a temporary day as of now. Therefore stay updated and update your returns within time.