The 26th (Goods and Service Tax) GST Council meeting held today (March 10), concluded bringing relief to exporters as the existing GST return filing system has been extended by three months till June this year.

Filing GST returns now has a wider time window because in the 26th meeting on Saturday, Arun Jaitley-chaired GST Council has decided to extend the existing system of filing returns by another three months till June instead of April. He also said that the Group of Ministers on the Income Tax will look into the GST filing and consult tax experts among others. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday, after the GST Council meet, said the electronic way or e-way bill for movement of goods between states will be implemented from April 1. However, for intra-state movement, the e-way bill would be rolled out in a phased manner starting April 15.

To begin with the e-Way Bill, intra-state category e-bills will be phased through four groups of states. Each group will come under it every week after April 1 and efforts will be made to implement it across the country by April end. The first phase of states will include 15 states which has agreed to implement it on trial basis. However, the e-trial phase was deferred on account of technical glitches on the official website. So an e-bill will be generated and carried for movement of all goods valued at over Rs 50,000.

Besides this, there was an extension of filing GSTR-3B returns because in the 23rd GST council meeting, it was decided that filing of GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 forms would stop and only the filing of GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B would continue. However, the present return filing system is still cumbersome for tax payers and cost of compliance has gone up mainly because people are not able to handle the present system of filing returns. Which is why the GST return dates were extended and alongside that, tax exemptions to exporters have also been extended by six months to September.

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