GSTN, the company that handles GST returns, said on Monday that small businesses with no tax liability can now file their Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns with text messages.
Small businesses that file returns on a quarterly basis under the composition scheme have been extended the facility for filing returns with no tax payment liability, said the company. This facility has been available since June for larger corporations that file returns on a monthly basis.
The facility would gain about a fifth of the 1.7 million firms that have signed up for the composition scheme and file ‘zero' tax dues statements. They no longer need to login to the GSTN portal for the filing of returns. With only two text messages, their quarterly declaration of self-assessed tax can be filed and checked.
This makes it easier for small businesses to comply, as the authorities initially faced a backlash when the technology-intensive tax system was rolled out in 2017. That led to the reversal of some of the new tax system's security features to ease their pain. Following the treatment of companies during the initial three years, the authorities have started to step up compliance measures in recent months by using data analytics.
Since Friday, two individuals have been arrested by GST officials in separate cases involving the trading of fake invoices intended for tax evasion. Efforts are now underway to position businesses with suspicious transactions under the ‘risky category' and to block their tax refunds.