Sharp drop in GST collections and GST deadline extensions due to COVID-19, doubled GST fake invoices

Sharp drop in GST collections and GST deadline extensions due to COVID-19, doubled GST fake invoices

Taxpayers catch a break as the finance ministry extends the deadline to file returns. Check out all updates on #GSTThisWeek. 

GST deadline extensions in light of Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown
In a press conference this week, Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced the extension of deadlines for filing income tax returns and GST returns to 30th June 2020 because the nation is currently under lockdown to avoid the spread of the Coronavirus. Check out the highlights of the press address here. 

GST fake invoices more than double in one year
If reports are to be believed, fraudulent cases related to fake GST invoices have more than doubled in the last year. In FY19, there were 1620 cases related to fake invoices, which has doubled to 3866 cases in the current fiscal till January 2020. The states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat have detected the maximum number of cases related to fake GST invoices.

Filing returns has become tougher because of the COVID-19 outbreak, say startups seeking extensions.
With the country on lockdown because of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, startups attempting to file their GST returns in the stipulated time period are finding this task very challenging. Startups with limited technology access are required to collate documents citing expenses from various departments which require further validation from the finance and accounting team. This task is generally carried out in the last week of the month and because of the lock down is currently in a state of indefinite delay. Most startups have requested extensions to file their returns in light of the Coronavirus outbreak. 

GST collections may see a sharp drop in March and April due to COVID-19
Due to a sharp decline in the travel and hospitality sectors in the lockdown period, experts have warned that there might be a significant drop in the GST collections for the months of March and April 2020. According to a research report by SBI, hotels, transport, communication and broadcasting were likely to generate Rs 33 lakh crore worth of value of services in the current financial year but due to the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown, this amount is likely to fall significantly. 

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