While the registration for Goods and services tax (GST) returns is around the corner and would be over in less than 72 hours, it is learned that only 6.9 lakh taxpayers have filed their GSTR-3B. The government expects as much as 64 lakh tax returns to be filed for August. The deadline for filing GSTR-3B is expected to end on 20th September.

GSTR-3B is a one-page summary return form that is mandatorily filled by all the normal registered taxpayers on a self-assessment basis. In GSTR-3B, the assesses need to furnish the summary of information about the sales and purchase initiated, available input tax credit (ITC), the taxes payable and the taxes paid. The GSTR-3B tax return, which is the self-assessed form is not expected to be filled by Input Service Distributor (ISD), a non-resident Person, tax collector at source (TCS), tax deductor at source (TDS) and composition dealers.

Sushil Kumar Modi, who is the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar and is currently heading the newly-formed group of ministers (GoM) who are looking into all the glitches that the GSTN is facing, said that 46 lakh taxpayers had filed their GSTR 3B returns for July, but only 3.05 lakh taxpayers had filed for August till 16th September.

The total number of registrations under the GST is 85 lakh out of which 23.18 lakh new taxpayers have registered, while 62.25 lakh taxpayers have migrated from the earlier VAT, excise and service tax regime. Also, about 11 lakh dealers have registered under the composition scheme.

The revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia confirmed that the first cycle of GSTR 1,2,3 was given a lot of extensions as the time for GSTR-1 had been extended to October 10, GSTR-2 to October 31 and GSTR-3 till November 10th but there would be no extensions in the time for form GSTR-3B. Form GSTR-3B, which is the self-assessed summary return, will have to be filed by 20th of every next month.

The experts are of the belief that the GSTN portal will be tested once again when the rush to file the returns for August starts increasing in the last two days. The GSTN network had earlier faced issues and crashed multiple times, which eventually led to the extension of filing the returns. If more than 90% of the assesses file the returns in the last two days of the deadline, then it is going to be a big test for the system.

Also, an email was sent to Mr. Adhia seeking a comment on the GSTR-3B filings by the taxpayers for August, but it remained unanswered. The government is also probing the unexpectedly high transitional input tax credit claims of ₹ 65,000 crores. This has not yet been resolved because of the non-availability of the data from the GSTN. CBEC has ordered the chief commissioners directing them to verify all the credit claims over ₹ 1 crore.