The government allowed the filing of nil monthly returns of goods and services tax (GST) through an SMS-based facility, in a bid to facilitate the taxpayers. Businesses with a nil GST liability in a month will be able to file their return through form GSTR-3B using this facility. The move will improve the ease of GST compliance for more than 22 lakh registered taxpayers, who were otherwise required log into their accounts on the common GST portal for filing their returns every month. "Now, these taxpayers with NIL liability need not log on to the GST Portal and may file their NIL returns through an SMS," according to the official statement.
The government has rolled out the facility on the GSTN portal with immediate effect, which enables registered taxpayers to file a nil form GSTR-3B through SMS.
The status of the returns filed using the facility can be tracked through the GST portal.
Eligible companies can initiate and confirm the nil GSTR-3B returns by sending SMSes to 14409 in the following format:
Initiate Nil Filing
For example: NIL 3B 09XXXXXXXXXXXZC 052020
Confirm Nil Filing
For example: CNF 3B 123456
To receive assistance through SMS, the following text code can be used:
Meanwhile, Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that the COVID Emergency Credit Facility covers all companies, and not just micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
On the subject of GST rates in the sectors affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the weeks-long lockdown, the Finance Minister said, "GST rate reduction will go to the Council. But the council is also looking for revenue."
"The decision for reduction in rate for any sector has to be taken by the Council," Ms Sitharaman added.