With the August 31 deadline for filing central goods and service tax (CGST) returns only a fortnight away, CGST officials are in a fix as 80 percent of traders in the city have not yet filed their returns. “All taxpayers should file their GST returns for 2017-18 by August 31, else they would face severe consequences, including a hefty penalty,” said chief commissioner of Customs and CGST, Visakhapatnam Zone, Naresh Penumaka. The chief commissioner denied that the cumbersome process is the reason for delay in filing returns and cited a 90 percent compliance rate at the national level, with compliance in some states as high as 70 percent. “Some deliberately delay payment,” he said.
The process involves a consolidated filing of monthly returns filed by traders. The date had been extended several times in past and CGST officials said the deadline will not be extended further. “So the traders who are yet filing the returns should approach the nearest central excise official for filing returns,” suggested Penumaka. The chief commissioner warned that any fraud in input tax credit attempts to use it as working capital or not remitting GST collected from consumers might lead to imprisonment. “Traders should also issue a bill collecting GST as per the reduction effected by the GST Council from time to time,” he added. The target for 2018-19 in Andhra Pradesh has been set at Rs 58,222 crore, but till July 2019 only Rs 16,037 crore has been collected.