As we all are aware, GSTR 3B is due to be filed on the 20th of the subsequent month. For the month of November, the GSTR 3B filing date is the 20th of December, for the month of December, the GSTR 3B filing date will be 20th of January, 2018 and so on. In our previous blogs, we have dealt with how to file GSTR 3B returns, how to match the same with other GST returns, how to correct it and the penalties involved for not filing GSTR 3B. It may be recalled that the GST Council has attempted to make the life of the taxpayer a little easier, by waiving off late fine for GSTR 3B filing in the months of August and September.

However, the GST Council has rolled out a few more changes to the GSTR 3B rules and measures to ensure a smoother and easier GSTR 3B filing experience. Let’s go through them:

Changes enabled for August and September GSTR 3B returns

One of the major problems plaguing traders was the non-availability of editing facility for the GSTR 3B return for the months of August, September and October. Over 2,00,000 traders encountered difficulties in August, September and October since there was no editing facility in GSTR 3B, July being the only month in which it was made available. Responding to the pleas forwarded by traders across the country, the group of ministers (GoM) specially constituted to take stock of issues in GST implementation, has recommended and advised that a provision to correct GSTR 3B be made available on the GST portal from 20th November, 2017.

Most of the GoM’s initiatives so far have borne fruit. Most of the technical glitches in the GST portal have been addressed to accommodate about 1,30,000 returns per hour, which has led to a reduction in revenue shortfall – from INR 12208 Cr in August to INR 7560 Cr in October. The expectation is that this move too, will go a long way in making GSTR 3B filing easier, contributing towards the revenue collection efforts.

Quicker GSTR 3B filing on GST portal

Until now, while filing returns on the GST portal, taxpayers were shown all tiles with payments whenever they entered the Returns dashboard. But from mid-December, starting with the GSTR 3B returns due this month, a new functionality has found its way into the GST portal, making life easier for the taxpayer. Under this new functionality, a few questions will be asked as soon as the taxpayer enters the Returns dashboard and only the relevant tiles will be displayed to the taxpayers, based on the answers to those questions. In addition, for those taxpayers who have “zero” GSTR 3B returns, the experience can now be completed in one click, as no tile will be displayed for them.

However, the most important measure will be the introduction of a help section on each page, for the convenience of the taxpayer. This will help immensely in solving those queries, which taxpayers may have related to GSTR filing, on a real-time basis.

Revisions to GSTR 3B

We are all aware that filing GSTR-3B is a mandatory process. Even if a taxpayer has no transactions during a month, he will still have to file a NIL return. Failure to do so will attract a late fee of INR 50 per day of delay for a normal taxpayer, and INR 20 per day of delay for taxpayers having NIL tax availability for the month, along with the applicable interest.

As discussed earlier, late fees for the months of July, August and September were waived, wherein any late fees paid were to be credited back to the Electronic Cash Ledger, and could be utilised to make GST payments in future. But from October onwards, late fees have become applicable, and in accordance to this, the GST Council has revised the form to file GSTR 3B online.

The form now has an additional table i.e. 5.1, titled “Interest and Late Fee” to account for any payments with regards to Interest & Late Fees, as shown below:
Form gstr-3b

In conclusion, all these measures are bound to help taxpayers file their GSTR 3B returns more smoothly and easily – which is beneficial both for the taxpayer in terms of compliance experience, and the government in terms of revenue collections.

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