A number of returns filed in the first seven months since the launch of the Goods and Services Tax have contradicted the claim that the introduction of this tax system will force all taxpayers to be more compliant and follow the system. The number of returns which are being filed each month is not going beyond 70 Lakh though the number of taxpayers which are registered with the GSTN has crossed 1 Crore. Out of these 1 Crore taxpayers, around 18 Lakh of them are under the composition scheme which means that they have to file the returns on a quarterly basis.
As per the data, the CEO of GST Network, Mr. Prakash Kumar stated that around 63 Lakh returns were filed in July followed by 67 Lakh in August and 69 Lakh thereafter in September. From then onwards, the file returns have come down to 65 Lakh in October, 64 Lakh in November and 63 Lakh in December. The numbers of January are awaited. It is being said that the reason behind the number of returns reducing is due to the fact that many taxpayers who have migrated from the GST scheme may not have business at all which is why they have not been filing returns. However, he also says that the number of non-filers is too huge which is why the government needs to look into the matter and find a real reason behind this.
A partner of AMRG & Associates Chartered Accountants Firm, Mr. Rajat Mohan said that in the early couple of months, the registered dealers, as well as businesses, had a fear that if they would not file returns on time, then they will not be allowed to file the returns at all. But, after the extensions provided to the public, this fear amongst the businesses has reduced. This can be one reason behind the number of filed returns getting reduced.