On 19th Aug. 2017, Central Government announced that the last date for filing returns and payment of taxes for GST taxpayers has been extended to 25th August, 2017. An announcement on these lines was expected as explained in an earlier post on this blog.
As per new guidelines the last date for filing the first return and payment of taxes under GST is on 25th August, 2017. But, for those taxpayers who intend to claim credit for taxes paid in the past tax regime (under the old Central or State tax structure by filing their form TRANS -1), the last date for filing returns is 28th August, 2017.
The government was compelled to give this extension mainly due to technical issues faced by the GSTN portal on account of heavy rush in filing of returns prior to the earlier dead line of 20th August, 2017. The GSTN portal suffered some technical glitches as it was not able to cope up with huge number of returns being filed by taxpayers in the last minute.
In view of this, the finance ministry issued a statement that: “The GST Implementation Committee, consisting of state and central government officers, has taken a decision to extend the last date for payment of GST for July 2017 to August 25, 2017.”
It also said that certain flood-hit states as well as Jammu and Kashmir had sought such an extension.
The Finance Ministry has requested all taxpayers to file their returns at the earliest so as to avoid recurrence of glitches in the filing process on account of large scale last minute filings. But in fact, taxpayers claim that they are facing problems in their filing process, even now. As a confirmation, GSTN tweeted, saying “The GST portal is experiencing some issues. Kindly try after some time.”
The website of ‘gst.gov.in’ also ran a scroll: “We are experiencing slowness and are working to improve the response. Please bear with us.”
Understandably, it is not going to be an easy matter to resolve quickly looking at the fact that over 71 lakh excise, service tax and VAT payers have migrated to the GSTN portal and over 15 lakh new assessees have registered on the platform. There are going to be more glitches and issues until these taxpayers learn to do their filings efficiently on time and on the other hand GSTN network becomes capable to run smoothly without hiccups for a large number of taxpayers to file returns simultaneously.