The government is mulling cancelling GST registration for 5.43 lakh taxpayers who have not filed monthly tax returns (GSTR-3B) for the last six months or more, sources in the revenue department said. Additionally, the department would ‘persuade’ 25,000 taxpayers, who have not filed returns for October that was due by November 24, to comply with tax return deadlines.
Sources said tax officers have been directed to follow up personally with these defaulting taxpayers so that their GSTR-3B returns due for the month are filed by November 30. These assessees were identified on the basis of last month’s statistics, sources said after a high-level meeting held in the revenue department.
The push for better compliance comes on the heels of tax department’s nationwide drive against fake invoice scams.
It is suspected that fraudsters often register firm under GST but remain mostly dormant on compliance while using the status to claim invalid input tax credit (ITC).
The Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) and CGST Commissionerates has so far arrested 85 persons for availing or passing on ineligible ITC fraudulently and have booked 981 cases against more than 3,119 fake GSTIN entities identified across the country, sources said.
Sources said it was highlighted in the review meeting that while 80 lakh GSTR-3B returns have been filed this month (for transactions in October), the department would undertake measures to send reminders to 25,000 taxpayers to comply.
The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has also been directed to send 1 lakh SMSes and e-mail reminders per day to the taxpayers, particularly to the defaulting taxpayers, to file the return in due time, sources said.
According to the GST return filing schedule, the GSTR-3B returns were expected to be filed in a staggered manner by November 20, 22 and 24 for transactions made in October. Taxpayers with turnover above Rs 5 crore annually are expected to file returns by 20th of any given month.
After declining in the first five months, the GST collections came in higher in September and October compared with the corresponding period last year. In September it was Rs 95,480 crore, about 4% higher and in about 10% higher in October at Rs 105,155 crore.