GST Network (GSTN) on Wednesday said it has launched the facility of filing monthly and quarterly sales statement GSTR-1 through SMS for businesses with nil tax liability.
With GSTN already allowing SMS-based filing of sales return GSTR-3B for nil filers and late fees for such filers also stands waived, the move would allow such businesses to file their pending GST returns and clear the backlog, experts said.
Officials said that of the 1.23 crore GST-registered businesses, about 20 lakh businesses have nil tax liability and majority of them have not filed their goods and services tax (GST) returns. Under GST, returns of a particular month can be filed only when returns have been filed for all the previous months since registration under the tax regime.
The GST Council in its meeting last month waived late fee for delayed filing of GST returns by registered entities with nil liability between July 2017 to January 2020.
The late fees for delayed filing of nil returns for February-July 2020 has also been waived provided the returns are filed by September 2020.
GSTN, which is the technology backbone for GST, said taxpayers can send SMS to '14409' from the registered mobile number for filing nil GSTR-1.
GST Network CEO Prakash Kumar said, "Some common mistakes have been observed while typing and sending the SMS that eventually lead to the unsuccessful filing. We are trying to make taxpayers aware that filing should be done in the prescribed format only to avail the facility."
AMRG & Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said, "This move by the government would encourage taxpayers, especially MSME and the nil filers to come forward and file the tax returns before September 2020, which also help clear out backlog of pending compliances.