In line with the recommendations of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, the government has notified dates for filing of first GST returns, for the months of July and August.
The date of filing returns was extended earlier by the Council by a month to give more time to the taxpayers to come into the system.
Under the GST, three forms -- GSTR 1, GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 -- need to be filed every month. For July, the three forms will have to be filed between September 1 and 5, September 6 and 10 and September 11 and 15, respectively, according to a notification issued on Tuesday.
Form GSTR 1 will reflect sales of a business, GSTR 2 will reflect purchases and GSTR 3 will be a combination of sales and purchases.
For the month of August, the three forms will have to be filed between September 16 and 20, September 21 and 25 and September 26 and 30, respectively.
Apart from these three forms, for the first two months of the GST regime -- July and August -- the taxpayers also need to file a form GSTR-3B, which is a declaration of summary of sales and purchases.
The GSTR-3B form for July has to be filed by August 20, while for August it needs to be filed before September 20.
Although there is no penalty for filing GST returns for the month of July and August, experts are of the view that it will be extremely cumbersome for the trader, as he will have to file a total of seven returns in the month of September alone.
"In September, a trader has to file seven returns. It will be very cumbersome for businesses. The government should have considered this. Also, there was no need for filing GSTR-3B for the month of August...it's only a summary. The trader will in any case need to file detailed returns," Chartered Accountant and GST analyst Pritam Mahure told IANS.
GST Suvidha Provider Payworld, which has opened 100 centres across the country to help taxpayers file returns, however, said that the Goods and Services Tax Network model is user friendly and will not be cumbersome.
"We have opened 100 GST centres in Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi, NCR, Punjab, Rajasthan, etc. We will increase this number up to 10,000 this year itself. We charge taxpayers on a subscription model for a year or more than a year," Payworld COO Praveen Dhabhai told IANS.
"We are live on GSTN portal. We will help and guide taxpayers in filing returns. The online and offline model of GST filing is user friendly. It should not be cumbersome for taxpayers," he added.
For September, the last date for GST return filing for forms GSTR 1, GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 will be October 10, October 15 and October 20, respectively and there is also likely to be a penalty for delayed filing.