Record 92pc of large taxpayers file annual returns within deadline

'Large' refers to taxpayers with turnover more than Rs 2 crore

GST officers seek clarification from companies for mismatch in sales returns, e-way bill data [File] Representational image | AFP

On day of fire and misery at GST Bhavan, there was still reasons for cheer. A record 92 per cent of eligible large taxpayers filed their annual returns within the deadline last week.

'Large' refers to taxpayers with turnover more than Rs 2 crore. GST Network statistics show that a record number of assessees paid within the deadline. More than 42 lakh regular taxpayers filed GSTR-9 and 9.46 lakh filed reconciliation statement GSTR-9C. This augurs well for a boost to GST receipts, something the government has been pinning its hope on in these days of economic gloom.

The returns pertain to accounting year 2017-18 which was delayed due to state demands as well as court orders. In fact, the deadline was deferred four times, with finally the Supreme Court stepping in last month, setting February 12 as the final deadline. Any assessee who has not filed returns can still do so, along with a late fee of Rs 200.

While Annual Return filing (GSTR-9) is optional for taxpayers having annual turnover up to Rs 2 crore, the same is mandatory for those having annual turnover above Rs 2 crore. Such taxpayers are also required to file Reconciliation Certificate known as GSTR-9C, which can be filed only after filing of GSTR-9.

What makes the record number of filing even more heartening for the government is that out of the 42 lakh plus who filed GSTR-9, as much as 32.92 were not mandated to file it (as their turnover was below Rs 2 crore).

Out of the total 92.58 lakh GST assessees, only 12.42 lakh have a turnover above Rs 2 crore.