On the 21st of February, 2018, the GSTN Council and the government introduced some changes in Form GSTR-3B, in a bid to simplify it and making it more user-friendly for businesses across the country. The change has been welcomed by businesses across segments, as the all crucial input tax credit balance is now visible on the GSTR 3B revised return forms.

Why changes in GSTR 3B were made?

One area in Form GSTR 3B, where taxpayers were making frequent errors was the utilisation of Input tax credit i.e. ITC and the calculation of the balance payment of the tax, to be made in cash. The main reason for this happening was that the information of ITC and the information of balance tax payment were at separate screens, causing confusion for the tax payers. However, now in the revised GSTR 3B form, all the required information has been placed at one place for the taxpayer, and it is expected that this improvement in the user interface and process redesigning will make filing Form GSTR 3B more convenient than before.

GSTR 3B revised – What changes have been made?

As per a statement released by GSTN CEO Mr. Prakash Kumar, the following 4 key changes have been made to the process of filing GSTR 3B:

Payment of tax

Earlier, a taxpayer was required to submit the return, in order to ascertain the tax liability amount against his name. Also, once the return was submitted, no changes were allowed. Now however, the entire details – current balance of input tax credit i.e. ITC, current balance of cash registers, tax head wise liability, suggested best way to utilise ITC and the amount of tax liability to be paid in cash or credit – will be displayed in a single table view, before the return is submitted. Thus it will now be much easier for all taxpayers to keep track of the input tax credit, and compute the pending tax liability to be paid for.

Generation of challan

Earlier, a taxpayer was required to manually fill in the input tax credit utilization amount, as well as the amount to be paid in cash, and then generate the challan for the same. Now however, in the revised GSTR 3B form, he has an option to edit the ITC amount to be utilized and not to consider the credit utilisation amount, which is auto-generated and suggested by the system. Once the ITC utilisation is changed by the tax payer, the amount required to be paid gets automatically changed. In other words, the tax payment challan can now be auto-generated, with the click of a button, after offsetting the input tax credit available in the credit ledger.

One of the biggest advantages of this change is, that the earlier scenario of taxpayers putting incorrect tax amount the incorrect tax head, while filling up challan manually, will completely be eliminated.

Facility for downloading draft return

As per the GSTR 3B updates, a new feature of downloading a draft return at any stage of the return filing process has been provided, so that the tax payer can verify the saved details in offline mode.

Tax amount getting auto-filled

As per the latest GSTR 3B news, a taxpayer needs to fill in either the CGST amount or the SGST/UTGST amount. Based on what he feeds in, the other taxes will get auto-populated.

In addition to these 4 changes listed above, the GSTN has strived to make the process easier, by providing detailed user manuals with the step-by-step method of the GSTR 3B revised return filing process, which can now be used by businesses in case of any doubt or query.

Impact of GSTR 3B changes

The straightforward impact of the GSTR 3B revised return filing process is that it will surely make the experience of filing more user-friendly and simpler. It also promises to make the system less rigid, much faster, and reduces the chances of errors completely, as manual input is being eliminated completely. However, what these changes also mean is – that there is a fair chance that the government will continue with monthly Form GSTR 3B returns, post 31st March, 2018 as well. In short, summary GSTR 3B returns are here to stay for the time being, till we hear more from the GST Council on the simplified GST return filing process.

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