A worker holds his goods and services tax papers. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

Government Releases Three New GST Return Forms

The government has released new return forms that businesses will have to file for paying goods and services tax from the next financial year.

Businesses that have an annual turnover of up to Rs 5 crore have the option to file one of the three quarterly returns—Sahaj, Sugam and Normal.

The new returns would be implemented on a pilot basis from April 1, and will be made mandatory from July 1, according to a decision by the GST Council.

The periodicity—whether such taxpayers choose to file monthly or quarterly returns—will remain unchanged during the next financial year unless changed before filing the first return of that year. Taxpayers filing the “Normal” returns can switch to “Sugam” or “Sahaj” once in a financial year or at the beginning of any quarter.

Taxpayers filing Sugam and Sahaj returns cannot generate sales through e-commerce operators on which tax needs to be collected at source, while those filing normal returns will be able to do so.

A purchaser will get tax credit based on the details of documents uploaded by the seller up to the 10th day of the following month for which the return is being filed. If buyers for instance, file their returns on a monthly basis for January 2019 on Feb. 20, 2019, they’ll be eligible to claim credit on their returns based on the documents uploaded by the seller up to Feb. 10, 2019— irrespective of whether the seller files returns on monthly or quarterly basis.

If the buyer files his return on a quarterly basis, say for the quarter through March 2019 on April 25, she will be eligible to claim credit on the return based on the documents uploaded by the seller up to April 10, 2019, irrespective of whether the seller files returns on monthly or quarterly basis.

The return form gives a more detailed overview of the disclosures to be made and the mechanism in which the new return functionality would operate, said Abhishek Jain, an indirect tax partner at EY India. Taxpayers with annual turnover over Rs 5 crore will have to disclose six-digit Harmonised System for Nomenclature code for items and won’t be able to disclose their sales data between 18th to 20th of the month following the tax period, Jain said.

Also read: April 1 Date Set For Availing Increased GST Exemption Limit, Composition Scheme