The Goods and Service Tax Council has extended the deadline for filing GST returns for July-September quarter by 10 days and the due date is now January 10, 2018 – for businesses with turnover up to Rs 1.5 Crore annually, under GST.

As per notifications of the CBEC on Friday, based according to the decision made by GST Council, small businesses with an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore or lower were supposed to file the first quarterly GST return for July-September relating to supplies in the GSTR-1 form by 31 December, but now the deadline date has been extended by 10 days and is now changed to 10 January, 2018. Besides small businesses, the companies with annual turnover above Rs 1.5 crore, which were to file monthly returns on supplies for the July-October period by 31 December, can do so by 10 January. And the date for filing returns for November remains unchanged as 10 January.

The decision was taken in accordance with the five-month low GST collection in November 2017 and with a 10-day extension, the Government hopes to provide some relief to businesses which have been struggling with system and data issues of the return filing system. The returns had declined to Rs 80,808 crore, a 14% drop from the collections in August, the first month of tax collection and return filing under the new indirect tax system that kicked in on 1 July. So with more days for all outward supplies by normal and casual registered taxpayers for GSTR-1 returns, the GST council bids for an increase in the number of payers.

It must be noted that this is possibly the final extension and a penalty will be levied for late filing of GSTR. However, to common people’s relief, the penalty for late filing of returns for a Nil taxpayer has been cut down to Rs 20 per day from earlier Rs 200 and for others it has been fixed at Rs 50 a day. Also, once the GSTR-1 is filed, the information will be used automatically, which means next session of GSTR will be comparatively easier and will continue to be on the 10th day of each succeeding month.