GST Council extends July payment and return filing deadline to 25 August

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A key panel of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Saturday decided to extend the deadline for businesses and traders to remit their taxes and file returns for the month of July—the first month of rolling out the indirect tax reform—by five days to 25 August.

A statement from the finance ministry said that the GST implementation panel with members from union and state governments has decided extend the deadline in view of requests from state authorities and tax practitioners. The statement also acknowledged that some “technical glitches were experienced by last minute return filers.”

The extension of deadline for filing returns as well as for paying tax comes as a relief to many assessees and tax practitioners, who reported difficulty in filing returns in the online portal of GST Network, the IT infrastructure backing the new indirect tax regime. The earlier deadline was 20 August.

The implementation panel takes decisions on matters requiring urgent attention, which are subsequently placed before the council led by finance minister Arun Jaitley.

The official statement clarified that while the new deadline is 25 August, those assesses who want to take credit for the taxes they have paid in the earlier regime for meeting their final GST liability, the deadline for filing returns would be 28 August. Even they, however, have to remit their taxes by 25 August, taking into account the tax credits they are eligible for.

“In order not to face any last moment technological difficulty in submission of return, all tax payers are requested to kindly file their return well before 25th/28th of August 2017 and not wait for the last date,” said the statement.

A major test of GST’s successful implementation would be the ease of filing taxes, matching of the invoices of suppliers and buyers and settlement of tax credits. One development that will add to the burden of the IT systems of GSTN is the increasing number of tax registered indirect tax payers in the new regime.

“Due to the last minute GST return filing rush, the GSTN developed some technical snag because of which the taxpayers were not able to pay tax and file their returns,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY, adding that the five-day extension of deadline was appropriate.

Finance ministry also stated that there were requests for deadline extension from states which are hit with floods, and from Jammu & Kashmir.

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