Inter-ministerial panel meet on Feb 24 to decide GST return filing process

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi

Ahead of the GST Council meeting on March 10, a ministerial panel under Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi will meet here on Saturday to firm up the simplified "single-stage" return filing process.

In the run up to the meeting, key members of the return simplification committee Nandan Nilekani and CBEC excise commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha, along with GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey, today met Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.

After the meeting Pandey said over the last two months the return simplification committee has held series of meetings with state governments and trade associations.

"On Saturday, the GoM will meet and discuss various available options on GST return simplification," he said.

The GoM under Sushil Modi will look at finalising the simplified return filing system on February 24, which will be then taken up by the GST Council on March 10.

"Any system that emerges has to ensure that the government revenue is protected and it has to be convenient for taxpayers," Pandey said.

It will "mostly be a single-stage" return where invoices would be matched while buyer makes the payment for supplies.

The GoM would also consider separate dates of return filing for MSMEs and large businesses.

Pandey, however, said the "feasibility" of doing so has to be looked into.

The new return filing process will be rolled out from the next fiscal after giving suitable time to businesses to adapt to the new software and also to GST Network to develop a new system for glitch free filing of returns.

In the new system, GST returns would be auto-populated based on the invoice details filed by businesses on the GSTN portal.

AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said after 200 days of GST rollout, the biggest expectation of businesses from the government is stability in the GSTN system for ease in return filing.

"What we expect is that government wants to shift from GSTR 1& 2 to the new machinery of real-time invoice uploading and accepting. This new mechanism will have multiple challenges and multiple risks which include a change in law by way of parliamentary action," Mohan said.