Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what is the new update on the availability of Form GSTR-9 on the GST portal for FY 2019-20?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the facility to file an annual return in form GSTR-9 for FY 2019-20 is now available. The form is enabled for taxpayers whose table 8A computation has been completed. Computation of table 8A of the said return for auto-population from returns is in progress which is likely to be completed soon. Taxpayers need to ensure that all applicable returns of the said year have been filed before attempting to file the said return.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, the due dates for the GST audit of FY 2018-19 & 2019-20 are clashing. What issues are the taxpayers facing due to this?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, the due dates for the GST audit of FY 2018-19 & 2019-20 is 31st December 2020. Whereas, the facility to file an annual return in form GSTR-9 for FY 2019-20 is made available on 11th December 2020 itself. So, the time provided is very short, considering the parallel deadlines under the Income Tax Act and Companies Act. The GSTN Portal also presents significant difficulties in terms of filing speeds and downtime. Due to lockdown, where the annual returns and GST audits of FY 2018-19 have not been completed yet, it is very difficult to even consider completing annual returns and audits for FY 2019-20 by 31st December 2020.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what do you think is the solution to the above-mentioned problems?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, where, the due date for Income tax audits & returns for AY 2020-21 has added to the burden of statutory compliances, the only solution to taxpayer’s problems is an extension of the due date for furnishing Forms GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C for FY 2019-20. Work on a uniform and consistent basis cannot be done due to overlapping deadlines, which under COVID prone environment, ought to have been extended suo-motu by the Government.
Arjun (Fictional Character): Krishna, what should the taxpayers learn from this?
Krishna (Fictional Character): Arjuna, December is a very crucial month for all of us, as all the due dates have come in a line to comply with. All over the world, where recovery from the pandemic has just found its path, the burden of compliances, else heavy penalties falls in the taxpayer’s court. The government should consider the practical issues and difficulties faced by taxpayers and provide some relief in compliances, where impracticability has opened its doors.