Monday, November 23, 2015

Draft Report on Returns under GST, Oct 2015

GST is a self-assessed destination based taxation system. The submission and processing of return is an important link between the taxpayer and tax administration. This document lists out the salient aspects of the process related to filing of GST returns.

Who needs to file Return in GST regime ?
  • Every registered dealer is required to file return for the prescribed tax period. A Return needs to be filed even if there is no business activity (i.e. Nil Return) during the said tax period of return;
  • Government entities / PSUs , etc. not dealing in GST supplies or persons exclusively dealing in exempted / Nil rated / non –GST goods or services would neither be required to obtain registration nor required to file returns under the GST law.
  • However, State tax authorities may assign Departmental ID to such government departments / PSUs / other persons and will ask the suppliers to quote this ID in the supply invoices for all inter-State purchases being made to them.

Salient Features of GST Returns
  • Filing of returns would only be through online mode. Facility of offline generation and preparation of returns will also be available. The returns prepared in the offline mode will have to be uploaded.
  • There will be a common e-return for CGST, SGST, IGST and Additional Tax.
  • A registered Tax Payer shall file GST Return at GST Common Portal either by himself or through his authorised representative;
  • There would be no revision of Returns. Changes to be done in subsequent Returns;

Types of GST Returns
Eight different types of Returns are prescribed viz. GSTR 1 to GSTR 8; Types of taxpayers for every return and the periodicity of return for different categories of taxpayers is as follows..

Normal/ Regular Tax Payers
  • Normal / Regular taxpayers (including casual taxpayers) would have to file
  1. GSTR-1 (details of outward supplies), 
  2. GSTR-2 (details of inward supplies) and 
  3. GSTR-3 (monthly Return) for each registration. 
  4. GSTR-8 (Annual return)
  • Normal / Regular taxpayers with multiple registrations (for business verticals) within a State would have to file GSTR-1, GSTR-2, GSTR-3 and GSTR-8 (Annual return) for each of the registrations separately.
  • A separate reconciliation statement, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant, will have to be filed by those taxpayers who are required to get their accounts audited under section 44AB of Income Tax Act 1961

Compounding Tax Payers
  • Compounding taxpayers would have to file a quarterly return called GSTR-4. Taxpayers otherwise eligible for the compounding scheme can opt against the compounding and file monthly returns and thereby make their supplies eligible for ITC in hands of the purchasers. Compounding taxpayer will also file a simple Annual return (GSTR-8)

Casual/ Non - Resident Taxpayers
  • Casual/ Non - Resident Taxpayers (other than foreigners) would have to file GSTR-1, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 returns for the period for which they have obtained registration. The registration of Casual/Non –Resident taxpayers will be done in the same manner as that of Normal / Regular taxpayers.
  • Non- Resident Taxpayers (foreigners) would be required to file GSTR-5 return for the period for which they have obtained registration within a period of seven days after the date of expiry of registration. In case registration period is for more than one month, monthly return(s) would be filed and thereafter return for remaining period would be filed within a period of seven days as stated earlier. For these taxpayers the registration format to be used will be the same as that for UN Bodies/Embassies

Key components of GSTR-1 (Outward supplies by Tax payers)

This return form would capture the following information:
  •  Basic details of the Taxpayer i.e. Name along with GSTIN
  •  Period to which the Return pertains
  • Gross Turnover of the Taxpayer in the previous Financial Year. This information would be submitted by the taxpayers only in the first year and will be auto-populated in subsequent years.
  • Final invoice-level supply information pertaining to the tax period separately for goods and services which has to be submitted as follows:
  1. For all B2B supplies (whether inter-state or intra-state) invoice level specified details will be uploaded.
  2. For all inter-state B2C supplies – invoice level details to be uploaded for invoices whose value is more than INR 2,50,000. For invoices below this value, state-wise summary of supply statement shall be filed.
  3. Following parameters with respect to HSN code for goods and accounting codes for services will apply for submitting the information in return relating to invoice level information.
>  HSN code (4 digits) for goods and accounting code for services will be mandatory initially for all taxpayers with turnover in the preceding financial year above INR 5 crores.
> HSN codes (8 digits) and accounting codes for services will be mandatory in case of exports and imports.

  • Details relating to advance received against a supply to be made in future will be submitted in accordance with the Point of Taxation Rules as framed in the GST law.
  • Details relating to taxes already paid on advance receipts for which invoices are issued in the current tax period will be submitted.
  • Separate table for submitting details of revision in relation to outward supply invoices pertaining to previous tax periods.
  • Separate table for effecting modifications/correcting errors in the returns submitted earlier.

Key components of GSTR-2 (Inward Supplies)
  • The information in GSTR-1 shall be auto-populated in concerned tables in GSTR-2. It can be modified by the taxpayer while filing GSTR-2.
  • The details of inwards supplies would be auto-populated in the Input Tax Credit (ITC) ledger on submission of return.
  • GST law should provide that ITC with respect to capital goods will be allowed over a period of 2 years in equal instalments. Further GST law should make appropriate provisions for availment of ITC in case of inputs received in one lot or in multiple lots.
  • Separate table for submitting details in relation to ITC received on an invoice on which partial credit has been availed earlier.
  • Separate table for ISD credit and TDS credit received by taxpayer.

Key components of GSTR-3
  • It would capture the aggregate level outward and inward supply information which will be auto populated through GSTR-1 and GSTR-2.
  • Information about ITC ledger, cash ledger and liability ledger would be updated in real time on an activity in connection with these ledgers by the taxpayer.
  • Details of payment of tax under various tax heads of CGST, SGST, IGST and Additional tax separately would be populated from the debit entry in credit/cash ledger. GST law may have provision for maintaining 4 head-wise account for CGST, SGST, IGST and Additional tax and at associated minor heads for interest, penalty, fee etc.
  • Taxpayer will have the option of claiming refund of excess payment through the return for which appropriate field will be provided in the return form.
  • Details of ITC balance (CGST, SGST and IGST) at the end of the tax period will be auto-populated in the ITC ledger irrespective of mode of filing return.
  • The return would have a field to enable the taxpayer to claim the refund or to carry forward the ITC balance (CGST, SGST and IGST). GST law may provide that the refund will be processed quarterly.
  • It will be auto-populated through GSTR- 1 (of suppliers), own GSTR-2, ISD return, TDS return of deductor, own ITC ledger, own cash ledger and own tax liability ledger.

Annual Return (GSTR-8)
  • All the normal taxpayers would be required to submit annual return. This is intended to provide 360 degree view about the activities of the taxpayer.
  • It is a detailed return and captures details of all income and expenditure of the taxpayer and regroups them in accordance with the monthly returns.
  • This return will provide the opportunity to make good for any short reporting of activities undertaken supply wise.
  • It is to be submitted along with the audited copies of the Annual Accounts and should be filed by 31 December following the end of the financial year for which it is filed.
  • A separate reconciliation statement, duly certified by a Chartered Accountant, will have to be filed by those taxpayers who are required to get their accounts audited under section 44AB of Income Tax Act 1961.
  • Consolidated statement of purchases and supplies based on monthly returns filed by the taxpayer can be made available to taxpayers by GSTN common portal as a facilitation measure for enabling him to prepare annual return.

Steps for return filing
  • Upload final GSTR-1 return form either directly through data entry at the GST Common Portal or by uploading the return through Apps by 10th day of succeeding month. The increase / decrease (in supply invoices) would be allowed, only on the basis of the details uploaded by the counter-party purchaser in GSTR-2, up to 17th of the month.
  • GST Common Portal Network (GSTN) will auto-draft the provisional GSTR-2 of taxpayer based on supply invoice details reported by the supplier on a near real-time basis.
  • Purchasing taxpayer will accept / reject / modify such an auto- drafted provisional GSTR-2. Taxpayer will have the option to download his provisional purchase statement from the Portal or through Apps using Application Programming Interface (APIs) and update / modify it offline.
  • Purchasing taxpayer can also add additional purchase invoice details in GSTR-2 which have not been uploaded by the supplier, provided he is in possession of valid invoice and has actually received such supplies.
  • Taxpayer will have the option to reconcile inward supplies with their suppliers. All the invoices will be auto-populated in the ITC ledger of the taxpayer. The taxpayer is however, required to indicate the eligibility/partial eligibility of ITC.
  • Taxpayer will finalize their GSTR- 1, GSTR-2 through online facility at Common Portal or GSTN compliant offline facility in their accounting applications.
  • Taxpayer will then pay the amount as shown in the draft GSTR-3 return generated automatically at the portal.
  • Taxpayer will debit the ITC ledger and cash ledger and mention the debit entry No. in the GSTR-3 return and would submit the same.
  • Final acknowledgement of receipt of return will be generated after submission and validation of data is completed.

Invoice related Information
  • The invoice level information which will be captured in the returns has been given for invoices pertaining to the following:
  • B2B transactions (Intra-State, Inter-State and supplies to UN organizations / embassies) (both for supply and purchase transactions)
  • B2C transactions (Inter-State B2C supplies for consumer on record (GST Law may provide for mandatory mention of address of the buyer in every invoice whose taxable value is more than INR 50,000. ) (only supply transactions)
  • B2C transactions (Intra-State B2C supplies) (only supply transactions)
  • Export and deemed export supply (only supply transactions)
  • Exempted including Nil rated supply (both for supply and purchase transactions)
  • Bills of Entry relating to import (only purchase transactions) 
  • Credit / Debit note (for sale- purchase return, post-sale discount)
  • Advances received against a 
supply to be made in future
  • TDS
  •  ISD
  • Apart from the basic details such as GSTIN, invoice number and date etc.,
details such as HSN code for goods and accounting code for services, place of supply also have to be given for B2B supplies and inter-state B2C supplies.

Filing of tax returns
  • A registered taxpayer shall file the return at the GST Common Portal either himself or through his authorised representative using the user ID and password allotted.
  • Taxpayer may prepare and submit his returns himself or can use services of Tax Return Preparer (TRP) or facilitation centre (FC).
  • TRPs will have to be approved by the tax administration and allotted a unique ID. The registration of TRP/FC will be done by CBEC/respective State authorities and the registration data will be shared with GSTN.
  • Taxpayer can sign the return using one-time Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). This will do away with the requirement of print-out of acknowledgement of return.

Revision of return
  • It is proposed that there would be no revision of returns.
  • All unreported invoices of previous tax period would be reflected in the return for the month in which they are proposed to be included. Interest, if applicable will be auto-populated.
  • All under-reported invoice and ITC revision will have to be corrected using credit / debit note. These credit / debit notes would be reflected in the return for the month in which such adjustment is carried out.
  • GST Law may also provide for imposition of automatic late fees for non-filers and late filers which can also be in-built in the notices. It may also provide for adequate penal provisions for non-filing of return.

Short filing of return
  • E-return should be allowed to be uploaded, even in case of short payment for the limited purpose of having the information about self- assessed tax liability even though not paid. However, it will be treated as an invalid return.
  • Any invalid return (including the one not supported by full payment) will merely be recorded with unique transaction ID, but not accepted in the system.
  • GST Law may provide adequate penal provisions for short filing of return.

Processing of return
Once the GST return has been uploaded, the portal will undertake the following activities:
  • Acknowledge the receipt of the return and generate 
acknowledgement number
  • Forward return to tax authorities of Central and appropriate State Government through the established IT interface.
  • The ITC claim will be confirmed to purchasing taxpayer in case of matched invoices after 20th of the month succeeding the month of the tax period month provided counterparty supplying taxpayer has submitted the valid return (and paid self-assessed tax as per return).
  • Communicate to the taxpayers about the macro-results of the matching.
  • Auto-populate the ITC reversals due to mismatching of invoices in the taxpayer’s account in the return for the 2nd month after filing of return for a particular month.
  • Aggregate cross-credit utilization of IGST and SGST for each State and generate settlement instructions based on IGST model and as finalized by the Payments Committee.

Anomalies/ difficulties/suggestions in regard to the draft report
  • Here in the proposed system monthly return GSTR-1, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3are proposed which will be time and  manpower consuming. Also proposed are three different datelines? One return by 10th, next by 15th, and final return by 20th. This will be extremely time consuming and will discourage people to get into Business.
  • In the proposed GSTR-1 & GSTR-2 supplier need to mention the Invoice No, date and HSN/SAC. However, one invoice may have multiple goods of same or different HSN and invoice may have run into several pages. Further, one invoice may have goods as well as freight which is a service. In the circumstances how assessee will fill the multiple HSN/SAC code in a single line and if the system allows several lines for one invoice, return may run into several pages. In view of above, it appears that the system is extremely time consuming and will result in only mismatches and will make return filing as most difficult and there will be very difficult of doing Business.
  • In the proposed GSTR -1 supplier need to mention the Transaction id (A number assigned by the system when tax was paid advance received) for adjustment of tax paid on advance received. However, adjustment of advance tax may have different invoices raised, as whole advance may not be applicable for one invoice. And filling same transaction id for different invoices in the same return or in subsequent return will result in mismatches and will make return filing as most difficult and there will be very difficult of doing Business.
  • Thus it seems that the compliance burden may increase substantially on account of filing of monthly returns and submission of invoice level details for B2B and inter-state B2C supplies
  • At present non payment of tax liability of seller imposes no liability on purchaser. In this proposal, purchaser is fully liable for the tax payment of seller. It appears that revenue wants to put entire burden of tax collection on purchasers. Tax collection from any supplier should be the responsibility of tax authorities. The present proposal is extremely faulty. Collection of Tax from any assesses is the responsibility of Tax Authorities.
  • While it is proposed that the input tax credit balance will be auto- populated at the end of the tax period in the ITC ledger, the issue relating to treatment of credit balance during the transition will need to be addressed.
  • In proposed GST, Sales Tax Practioners (STP) who are present doing most of the compliance under the STATE VAT acts are not recognized to issue Annual Return GSTR-8 in respect of assesses covered by Tax Audit U/s 44AB of Income-Tax Act, even though the returns are proposed to be filed by STP/TRP.


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