The Indian government has extended the deadline for filing the annual goods and service tax (GST) return and reconciliation statements the for FY 20 till March-end, from existing date of February 28. "In view of the difficulties expressed by the taxpayers in meeting this time limit, government has decided to further extend the due date for furnishing of GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C for the financial year 2019-20 to 31.03.2021 with the approval of Election Commission of India," the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said on Sunday.
Experts termed the extension as a positive step for industry grappling with continuous compliance requirements even as it stumbles to normalcy amid Covid 19 pandemic. "This extension on the last day provides the much-needed relief to the industry and would allow them to comply with the statutory obligation within the extended timeline," said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY. The Union Budget FY22 has proposed to do away with requirement of furnishing the GSTR audit report in the form GSTR-9C.
In the absence of an extension, taxpayers may fail to furnish the requisite forms and may have to bear hefty penalties which would be an additional burden amid challenging times for the pandemic-hit businesses, the industry had said in a representation to the Board
Industry had sought an extension of three months for filing annual GST return or GSTR 9 and reconciliation or audit statements, called GSTR 9C forms, for FY 20, ET had reported last week. The extension till May 31 had been sought due to lack of time for industry to comply since the utility for filling returns was enabled in December last year.
Industry executives said that they have been working with limited manpower even after lockdown restrictions were lifted, even as businesses were trying to revive and strengthen operations. “Because of lesser time and manpower available for reconciliation and diligence, support in form of relaxation of timelines for compliances (is needed),” they said in the representation. In the absence of an extension, taxpayers may fail to furnish the requisite forms and may have to bear hefty penalties which would be an additional burden amid challenging times for the pandemic-hit businesses, the industry had said in a representation to the Board.