No extension of Jan. 10 deadline, says govt; technical glitches dog online tax filers
A combination of last-minute filers, glitches on the Goods and Services Tax Network portal, and confusion surrounding the final deadline for filing the GSTR-1 form meant that people faced several hurdles in filing their returns for the April to November period.
January 10 was the deadline for filing GSTR-1 forms for the July to September quarter for taxpayers with a turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore and for the July to November period for taxpayers with a turnover above Rs. 1.5 crore.
Following the circulation of a fake notification on social media claiming that the government had extended the deadline to January 15, the government was forced to issue a clarification that the original deadline stood. “The last date for filing of return in form GSTR-1, for different classes of taxpayers for the relevant periods… remains January 10, 2018,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement. “There has been no further extension of date for filing return in form GSTR-1. Taxpayers may note that there is a fake notification regarding extension of date being circulated on social media.” “What is happening is that since today is the last day for filing GSTR-1 for quite a long period, this is a very crucial date,” said Aditya Singhania, deputy general manager, Taxation at Taxmann, one of the official GST Suvidha Providers. “But at this juncture, with the GSTN portal not functioning properly, with only three or four successful logins out of ten attempts, people are unable to file their returns.”
“In the midst of this, when a fake notification gets circulated in the market, then the tax filers naturally get affected by this,” Mr. Singhania added. “This is creating a big problem.”
The other problem seems to be the systemic issue of tax filers waiting till the last date to file their returns, which overloads the portal. While some said that this was a major problem, others said the portal downtime was not a significant issue. “There have been two broad problems with the GSTN portal,” Archit Gupta, founder and CEO of Cleartax said. “The first is that people are having trouble logging onto the portal, and the second is that the data, once uploaded, is not reflecting on the site.”
“For most of the taxpayers, the clients are sharing their information at the last moment, so consultants are finding it very difficult to file their returns on the last date,” Mr. Singhania added.