GSTN chief to head panel to simplify returns

GSTN chief to head panel to simplify returns

The government on Tuesday constituted a 10-member committee under GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey to look into the requirements of filing returns in the current financial year.

The committee, which has tax commissioners from Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh, will also suggest if modifications, including changes in rules, laws and formats, are required in returns. It will submit report by December 15.

"We are also discussing with experts and taking opinion from various other stakeholders as to what simplification could be achieved. The whole idea is that people who are nil filers, who have no sale/purchase transactions, have taken a registration for some future use, they should be able to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B by pressing just a few buttons. That is our ultimate aim," Pandey said.

As many as 40% of the businesses filing returns on the GST Network portal have nil tax liability.

The GST Council had announced forming the committee on November 10 to suggest ways for simplification of the returns filing process. It has also decided to keep in abeyance till March 31 the filing of GSTR-2 (purchase returns) and GSTR-3 (the matching of sales and purchase returns). Now, businesses will have to file simplified initial GSTR-3B forms till March, along with sales returns GSTR-1.

"The committee would look into simplification exercise because all (GST returns) are intricately connected," Pandey said, when asked if the committee would focus on only GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 or all the returns under GST.

The committee will collect feedback from people, the trade and industry and study the whole system in detail and then come out with an appropriate plan.

"If people have very minimal transactions, they should be able to file both the returns in a manner without going through full complications. Therefore, the display of the forms will be based on certain questions and the questions posed to the dealer," Pandey said.

He added that the panel will also look into what information on returns should be taken and at what frequency.

Pandey said the ultimate goal will be to provide convenience to people so that those who are filing the returns can do so without any difficulty.

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