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Telangana: Post-GST, less than 5 per cent traders file I-T returns

Telangana: Post-GST, less than 5 per cent traders file I-T returns
Cartoon exhibition on GST held at office of Prohibition and Central Excise on Thursday.

Hyderabad: The first filing of returns by traders under the GST regime is causing the state government some anxiety as not even five per cent of the total 2.10 lakh registered GST traders in the state have filed returns so far. The deadline to file returns is August 20.

The commercial taxes department is expecting a last-minute rush to file returns, which may lead to technical glitches on the GST Network (GSTN), the IT backbone of the new tax regime, as it has to handle huge traffic of crores of invoices and turnover details of lakhs of commercial establishments.

The GSTN is facing problems as it is unable to cope with the rush of filings from across the country and due to this there is still a backlog of 10 per cent GST registrations in the state.

Across the country, not even 20 per cent of the total 80 lakh GST traders have filed returns so far.

An official said that unless the GST network is upgraded, it will not be able to cope with the situation.

Principal secretary, commercial taxes, Somesh Kumar, directed officials and staff in the commercial taxes department to remain alert till August 18 and take up issues regarding technical problems in the GSTN with the Centre. He has also asked staff at all help desks to assist traders in filing online returns.

A majority of the registered GST traders in the state are from the small and medium sectors who are not computer-literate enough to file e-returns in the new system, or lack their own online filing system and are dependent on help desks to get the job done.

The Centre has deferred the filing of monthly returns, GSTR 1 and GSTR 2 till September, but by August 20 traders have been asked to file a simpler return in the form of GSTR-3B for business transacted in the month of July.

Probably anticipating the chaos, the Centre has issued a note explaining simpler returns under GSTR-3B. The government is worried because if all traders do not file returns, the government will be unable to assess exactly how much income it has earned in the first month of the GST regime.

Departments told to prioritise expenditure
The state government has directed all departments to prioritise expenditure in view of a likely cash cash crunch due to the implementation of GST. The government has said that the magnitude of GST impact is not known.

It said the next two to three months would be very crucial for the expenditure budget, particularly on the bill of the works departments which would face direct impact of the GST.

The government in a note to all secretaries said that a slight increase of revenue under GST compared to VAT could be expected in two to three quarters from now.

The government has identified 11 departments that would feel the impact of GST and has asked the secretaries to study the implications on matters such as procurement of goods, services and work contracts.