In an effort to ensure a hassle-free GST return filing experience, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has issued an advisory on May 4, 2023 to taxpayers, highlighting the importance of timely filing and providing useful suggestions. This article offers an overview of the advisory and shares valuable tips for taxpayers to follow for a smooth return filing process.
Challenges Faced During GSTR-3B Filing For March 2023
It has come to GSTN’s attention that numerous taxpayers encountered difficulties when filing their GSTR-3B returns for the March 2023 period on April 20, 2023. A deeper analysis revealed that a large number of taxpayers (about 20.05 lakhs) attempted to file their GSTR-3B returns on the last day, many of them particularly during the afternoon. This sudden surge resulted in a waiting queue on the GST system, causing inconvenience for some taxpayers.
GSTN Suggestions for Timely Return Filing
Taxpayers can follow the GSTN recommendations to minimize the difficulties associated with last-minute return filing:
1. Filing NIL Returns and Returns Without Cash Tax Payments
Almost 45% of the returns filed on April 20, 2023, were either NIL returns (no tax liability and no Input Tax Credit (ITC) availment) or returns where no tax was paid in cash. Taxpayers are advised to file these types of returns well in advance, as they can easily be filed earlier. Furthermore, taxpayers can utilize the SMS filing option for NIL returns, which is a quicker and more convenient method and will also help reduce the queue on the GST system.
2. Adopting Month-Wise Return Filing Discipline
Some taxpayers have been observed to upload a large number of invoices (up to 27 lakhs) from previous periods in one GSTR-1 on the due date of filing. Taxpayers are encouraged to maintain a month-wise return filing discipline for all Business-to-Business (B2B) invoices for the month and avoid reporting invoices from past periods in one go. This approach can help prevent an adverse impact on the waiting time for the GST system.
Benefits of Timely Return Filing and Improved GSTN Infrastructure
By planning their return filing more efficiently, taxpayers can avoid the difficulties caused by last-minute rush and it would also benefit fellow taxpayers. Additionally, it is worth noting that the GSTN has made significant improvements to its infrastructure over time, which should make the return filing process smoother for all parties involved.
Timely filing of GST returns not only helps taxpayers avoid last-minute difficulties but also ensures a better experience for all parties involved. By adhering to the GSTN’s advisory, taxpayers can contribute to a more efficient and streamlined return filing process, taking full advantage of the improved GSTN infrastructure.
GSTN Advisory dated May 4, 2023: Advisory for Timely Filing of GST Returns
The department should encourage taxpayers by giving some incentive to those who make timely filing of GSTR-3B along with GSTR-1. This idea will solve the problem of waiting to file returns till last date.