Indore: SGST commissioner braves volley of compliance woes

Indore: Host of problems with GST compliance came to fore when State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) commissioner Raghvendra Singh faced tax consultants of city in a video conference on Thursday.  The consultants highlighted absence of rectification facility in GST return GSTR-3B as the major reason of all woes and said it was causing a sharp fall in number of GST return filings. “Ever since the all new indirect tax regime was introduced in July, number of GST return filings is continuously falling. As per the provisional figures in July, August and September, about 85 per cent, 65 per cent and 52 per cent registered traders could only file the GST returns due to lack of rectification provision,” the consultants claimed.

Less number of filing of returns has become a major concern for the SGST department, particularly when other states are leading in the return filing. Aimed at identifying the reason behind such drop in numbers and also, the problems being faced by tax consultants and traders, the SGST commissioner initiated the interaction with the members of leading tax consultant association in the state through video conferencing.

Through the interface, the commissioner interacted with parties concerned in all the districts of the state. One by one he discussed the problems with tax consultants of each district. Additional commissioners Rajesh Bahuguna, MC Maravi, leading GST consultants CA JP Saraf, RS Goyal and Ashwin Lakhotia were present at the VC.

Tax consultants highlighted that “Non-availability of rectification provision in GSRT-3B is one of most prominent reason of less number of return filing.” They also demanded that opportunity of undertaking rectification in returns filed in July, August and September must be availed to them. Explaining the problem they said, “As per GST return filing procedure if a trader could not file the return of initial months, he could not do the same for subsequent months as well. Thus, the provision for rectification in GSRT-3B must be provided.”

Another major issue surfaced was about GSTN portal and waiving-off of charging late fee on filing of returns due to technical glitches in the portal, as notification in this regard has already been issued. Only because of this reason about 10-15% traders are not able to file the returns, they claimed.

CA JP Saraf, who was also present in VC along with the commissioner, informed that Soyabean traders and their tax consultants complained that even after supply of the commodity, processing plants were denying making payments to them, saying that they (traders) had not filed GSRT-1.

“ While fact is that the last date of filing of GSTR-1 is being extended till December 31. Some PSU companies are following the same, some tax consultants complained that despite having the provision for traders to make payment of the tax up to Rs 10,000 in bank, banks in the remote areas are refusing to accept the payment,” they said. Similarly, mobile and internet network related problems were also presented before the SGST commissioner by tax consultants of remote districts. They informed that due to poor network of telecom companies, OTPs, which are sent on mobile number of traders, are being received after 10 minutes and expiring its validity.

Bhopal too trailing in return filing

During the video conference, SGST commissioner Singh expressed surprise that despite having all kinds of facilities, Bhopal was trailing in return filing. He said that “Indore and Bhopal both are at par in the contest of facilities. But, one would wonder why the state capital is trailing in GSR return filing.”