In a move that the Finance Ministry says will make it easy for over 22 lakh traders to file nil GST returns, the government now allows such returns to be filed via SMS.
Earlier, even for those who had nil liability under GST to report, they had to make the filings every month by logging into the GST portal—a website that had led to taxpayers getting frustrated over the years after finding it difficult to file returns.
Now, such facility can be availed by a simple SMS.
“In a major move towards taxpayer facilitation, the Government has today onwards allowed filing of NIL GST monthly return in FORM GSTR-3B through SMS,” the Ministry of Finance said in a release.
“This would substantially improve ease of GST compliance for over 22 lakh registered taxpayers who had to otherwise log into their account on the common portal and then file their returns every month.”
These can be filed anytime on or after the 1st of the next month for which the return is being filed for.
Here is how to file Nil GST returns by SMS
Step 1: Initiate the filing by sending an SMS to 14409 from your registered mobile number. An authorised representative for a particular GSTIN number is allowed to file the Nil Form GSTR-3B through SMS. However, the registered mobile number of such a representative cannot be common with other authorised representatives for the same GSTIN.
The message should be as follows: NIL<space>3B<space>GSTIN number<space>Tax period in MMYYYY.
Example: NIL 3B 09XXXXXXXXXXXZC 052020
The user will then receive a six-digit validation code from VD-GSTIND, which will have a validity of 30 minutes.
Step 2: Confirm the NIL filing with another SMS:
Example: CNF 3B 123456
A receipt message should come with an ARN code.
The ARN code can be used to track the status of the return at www.gst.gov.in, by going to Services > Returns > Track Return.
For help, users can SMS HELP 3B to 14409.