LUCKNOW: Around 5 lakh traders in Uttar Pradesh are expected to benefit from a recent decision by the GST Council which exempts those with a turnover of Rs 2 crore or less from filing annual returns for 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Another reduction that was announced was in the tax rate for hotel rooms to boost occupancy and catering. However, a quick analysis shows that this could mean a revenue loss of around Rs 100 crore annually, till occupancy actually does pick up.
Amrita Soni, commissioner commercial tax, said that there are at least 5 lakh traders in UP with an annual turnover of Rs 2 crore or less who were facing problems in compliance, for whom the new rule will come as a boost. The rule is yet to be notified. All traders have been expected to file either monthly or quarterly returns, along with an annual return each year since implementation of GST. “There were some issues with compliance because of which the filing of annual returns has been made optional,” said Soni.
However, finance experts in the city believe that the decision by the GST council to exempt traders from filing the annual return was not taken for any other reason but because of a system error that was not allowing assessees to rectify errors made in monthly or quarterly returns.
A chartered accountant explained that after the new regime was implemented, amendments to any error made in previous GST returns could be made just once. After much back and forth, it was decided to allow industries to make changes in annual returns. However, when people attempted making revisions to previous returns in their annual returns, the system would not permit them to do so.
“Instead of rectifying the system, it seems that the government has simply exempted traders and industrialists from filing annual returns. While this may have eased compliance for assessees, it also means that there are several errors in returns for the past two years. GST was implemented in 2017-18 when several teething troubles were experienced. Most of the pending errors will now not be rectified,” he said.
Meanwhile, the industry is also expecting a boost in occupancy of hotel rooms with GST being reduced from 28% to 18% and 12% respectively for various categories of rooms.
Source- Times of India.