Govt waives late fee on filing GST returns

Faced with lower GST revenues, the government on Monday waived late fee on filing GST returns from July to September. The move is expected to bring more traders into the tax net. It also extended the date for filing returns for all the three months to October 31.

“The due date for furnishing GSTR-1 for the period from July 2017 to September 2018 has been extended till October 31, 2018 for all registered persons having aggregate turnover above Rs 1.5 crore including the registered persons in Kerala, or whose principal place of business is in Kodagu (Karnataka) and Mahe (Puducherry).

“For registered persons having aggregate turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore in Kerala, or whose principal place of business is in Kodagu (Karnataka) and Mahe (Puducherry), the due date for furnishing GSTR-1 for the quarter ended July 2018 to September 2018 would continue to remain as November 15, 2018,” the finance ministry said.

With these measures, the Centre expected to shore up GST revenues. It also expected GST collections to go up in coming months as markets would be in a position to pass on the benefits of rate cuts announced in the end of July and monsoon-related dip in sales would also be over.

Sources in finance ministry said Kerala floods was also responsible for a dip in GST collection in August.

"One of the main factors for the dip in tax revenues was probable postponement of sale of items for which tax rate was reduced by the Council as the decision to reduce the tax rate was taken in the meeting held on July 21, while the notification of the reduced rate came into effect only from July 27, 2018,” they said.

"Since it would have taken some time for the market to pass on the benefit of reduced taxes, consumers would have postponed their decision to buy, expecting the benefit. The actual impact of reduction of rate of taxes would be observed only from next month onwards, as the rate reduction would have got affected only in last few days of the month", they said.

“Slowly after the Kerala floods, the demand for consumer items will increase in the state and adjoining areas,” the sources said.

The GST revenues collected in August were Rs 93,960 crore, while in July, the total collections were Rs 96,483 crore and June, the government earned Rs 95,610 crore as GST levy.
 

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