Highlights of New GST Returns

In the 27th GST Council meeting, the GST Council first announced the new GST return filing process. In the 28th GST Council meeting, the new GST returns and return filing process have been approved. Within a week, a draft of the new GST return forms has been placed in the public domain, to seek feedback from businesses, CAs and other industry members. As per the latest update, the GST Council is likely to implement the new return filing process from January, ’19. It is important for businesses to know the changes proposed in the GST return filing process. In this blog, let us understand the key highlights of the new GST return filing process.

a. Simplified monthly return for persons having turnover of more than Rs. 5 Crores

Regular taxpayers having turnover of more than Rs 5 Crores can now file a simplified monthly return. The new GST return form will have 2 main tables:

  • Outward supplies
  • Input tax credit based on invoices uploaded by suppliers

The due date of the monthly return will be 20th of the next month. However, the new GST return filing dates will be staggered, based on businesses’ turnover, to avoid undue load on the GSTN server.

b. Quarterly return for persons having turnover up to Rs. 5 Crores

Businesses having turnover up to Rs. 5 Crores (against the earlier limit of Rs. 1.5 Crores) will have an option to file quarterly returns. Businesses opting to file quarterly returns will, however, have to pay taxes and avail input tax credit on a monthly basis. These businesses have an option to file 3 types of new GST returns:

  • Sahaj: Businesses which purchase from suppliers in India and make supplies only to consumers (B2C) in India can opt to file the Sahaj return
  • Sugam: Businesses which purchase from suppliers in India and make supplies only to other businesses and consumers (B2B + B2C) in India can opt to file the Sugam return
  • Quarterly returns: Businesses which make imports, exports, supplies to SEZ, etc. can opt to file the quarterly return. The quarterly return will be similar to the monthly return but will be simpler and will not require certain details present in monthly returns, such as missing invoices, pending invoices, exempted supplies, etc. to be filled. However, these details will still be required to be filled by businesses filing quarterly returns, in their Annual return.

c. Simplified new GST return filing process: Upload-Lock-Pay

The new return filing process can be summarised as ‘Upload-Lock-Pay’. This means:

Upload: Invoices for supplies made will be continuously uploaded by sellers. Invoices uploaded till 10th of the next month will be available for input tax credit for the buyer.

Lock: The invoices uploaded by sellers can be continuously viewed and locked by the buyers. Here, ‘lock’ means to accept an invoice uploaded by a seller. Buyers also have options to reject the invoice, mark as pending, etc.

Pay: Taxpayers can pay the tax due on supplies after claiming input tax credit on invoices locked.

Here, a point to note is that unlike the current return filing process, only the invoices uploaded by the supplier will be considered for input tax credit for buyers. There is no provision for buyers to upload invoices.

This process will also ensure that the new GST returns are largely auto-filled based on invoices uploaded by sellers and accepted by buyers. Also, all the invoices which are not rejected or marked as pending by buyers will be considered to be accepted and locked at the time of filing of return. These steps will reduce the manual effort required to file the new GST return, especially for businesses where number of invoices is huge.

d. Profile-based return filing

Businesses will have the facility to configure their profile with details of the nature of supplies they usually make and receive. Based on this configuration, each business will be shown only the relevant fields of the return to be filled. This is again a step to customize and simplify the return filing process.

e. Facility to file return by SMS for nil return filers

Persons filing nil return (no purchase and no sale) will have the facility to file the GST return by simply sending an SMS.

f. Facility to amend return filed

Businesses will have the facility to amend invoice details and other information of a return already filed. Amendment of a return can be done by filing an ‘Amendment return’ and taxpayers can pay the additional tax payable through the amendment return. This will help them to save on the interest liability applicable if they have to wait for the next return to amend the details.

Hence, there are many changes that the GST Council has planned to ensure that the new GST return filing process is simple and easy for all businesses. However, it is important for businesses to prepare for the changes that are coming and set in place the required processes to ensure a smooth transition to the new GST return filing process. In our upcoming articles, we will help you understand each of these changes in more detail.

Freedom From Fear – Avoid GST Mismatches and Notices


Over the past few months, several businesses across the nation have been plagued with GST notices from the government. If reports are to be believed, there has been a nearly 34% of GST mismatch or underpayment of GST, amounting to an overwhelming deficit of INR 34,400 Crores. Both taxpayers and firms have been served these notices, in response to all GST returns that have been filed between July and December 2017 – leading to a general feeling of fear surrounding GST compliance. As we start off yet another year as an independent nation, presenting a blog on how we can possibly get freedom from fear – and avoid GST mismatches and GST notices.

Reasons behind GST mismatch

To begin with, there are two major reasons, why GST mismatches occur. First, difference between the self-declared GST liability and available input tax credit, after one has filed summary returns in Form GSTR-3B, and provided invoice-wise details of all outward supplies in Form GSTR-1. Second, difference between values appearing in Form GSTR-3B and Form GSTR-2A i.e. the details of purchases from one’s suppliers. Quite understandably, the latter reason is more crucial for the government, as any incorrect ITC allocation against the tax that is actually paid by the supplier, results in GST revenue loss.

Penalties due to GST mismatch

With the emergence of these GST mismatches and GST notices, it can be fairly assumed that the tax department’s previous soft approach towards non-compliance may be coming to an end in the GST era. The government has gone about its business in a stern manner indeed, mandating a time of 30 days to all businesses who have received a notice. Upon issue of the notice, if no explanation is received within the stipulated date, it will be assumed that one has no explanation to provide, and the relevant proceedings will be initiated against a business. Not to forget the stringent GST procedures, which have stipulated an 18% interest on wrongly claimed ITC, which is bound to discourage tax evasion or manipulation practices. Thus, it is important that businesses know what is to be done to avoid GST mismatches and in turn, avoid GST penalties.

Steps you can take to avoid GST mismatch

Under such circumstances, what could a business possibly do to avoid GST mismatches, thus attaining freedom from GST notices?

Work with the right vendors

One of the first steps that can be taken is to work with the right set of GST compliant suppliers. Doing so will ensure, that at no point in time, is there any GST mismatch between the purchase details uploaded by a business and the data uploaded by its suppliers. This will eliminate the possibilities of varying ITC calculations, and could go a long way to ensure that the data in Form GSTR-3B and Form GSTR-2A is consistent.

Maintain records systematically

Another step, is the need for businesses to keep a close watch on the data being fed in while filing summary returns in Form GSTR-3B and while filing final returns in Form GSTR-1. This requires a fairly high degree of GST compliance concentration from businesses, which can only be made possible by adapting a systematic way of maintaining books of accounts and records of transactions. Quite understandably, those businesses who still go about manual records or who maintain business records on spreadsheets, would be finding it a tad difficult to bring in the necessary corrections, and that too within the short time-frame, which is available to respond to such notices. The need of the hour, naturally, is some automated system or GST software system, which enables a business to be compliant.

However, what is encouraging to note is, that even with the original return filing model having given way to a condensed model with Form GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-3B, the government is able to enforce a fair degree of GST compliance across the country. With the simplified return filing model knocking at the door, it will be the right time for businesses to adapt the right technology, and enjoy freedom from GST notices, avoid GST mismatches and stay away from hassles at the end of the day.

Why you need freedom from the clutter of spreadsheets?


Spreadsheets are a popular method for most small businesses to start maintaining computerized business records, but, as the business grows and the scope of its operations increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to continue working with the clutter of various spreadsheets.

In this blog, we will attempt to discuss, why you probably need freedom from the clutter of spreadsheets, and look at more efficient alternatives such as software to maintain your business processes:

Software better designed for business than spreadsheets

Most book-keeping softwares have been developed by those who understand the various facets of business – accounting, inventory and compliance, and thus are ready to use products. For e.g. an accounting software does not really require any accounting know-how nor any additional formulas or programming; an inventory software has in built stock classification features. With spreadsheets however, you have to design your own process, which may or may not be optimal. While the basic usage of spreadsheets is prevalent, advanced features require time for proper learning and experience. Not to forget the hassle of tedious manual entry, managing multiple worksheets and feeding in complex formulas.

Software provides automated reports quicker than spreadsheets

Business management softwares can quickly generate helpful, high-level financial reports, the reason being – financial transactions are consolidated and managed from one central location, eliminating the need to maintain data in different spaces. Most importantly, financial accounting software provides access to real-time data, which gives you an insight into the financial health of your business. With spreadsheets, compiling such financial reports is a challenge, as data with regards to a transaction is spread across separate worksheets. Thus, the financial reports that you need can be compiled only via careful manual calculation, which is a time consuming process.

Software manages data more accurately than spreadsheets

One of the biggest advantages of small business book-keeping software is that the mathematical back-end is completely managed – including automated postings to ledgers and journals – allowing for accurate business data. Checks and measures can be built into the system to streamline date entry and reduce potential errors. When you use spreadsheets, there is always a possibility to make errors in entering data, or in the formula being used or due to accidental changes or deletions.

Software integrates business operations better than spreadsheets

Mostly, you will come across small business accounting software with inventory handling capabilities. For instance, in a typical trading firm, the accounting package doubles up as an inventory management software as well as an inventory control software and an inventory tracking software. Thus, while you record an accounting transaction, you can also easily send electronic invoices to clients, track payments, manage budgets, reconcile banking records etc. However if you use spreadsheets, separate sheets or systems will need to be maintained for other business operations such as sending, receiving, and resolving payments.

Software manages compliance better than spreadsheets

While some small businesses in India do have internal accountants, some also do outsource accounting to book keepers. In addition, when it comes to compliance, most businesses take the services of auditors with whom the business data is shared for GST return filing. In such scenarios, the external accountant or auditor can work more efficiently, if the data is maintained in conventional business softwares, rather than customised spreadsheets, which makes life easier for the business as well.

While the spreadsheets vs. software debate may rage on and find its natural conclusion, it is important for businesses to understand the difference between “computerized business” and “business on computers”. The need for the hour is not just to understand the advantages of computerized system over manual system and therefore, do the activity of managing business on the computer, but also to use a system that follows the business owner’s train of thought. Given the demands of stringent compliance norms in the GST regime, more businesses across the country will be seen discontinuing their usage of spreadsheets, appreciating the benefits of software and adopting the right technology for their business.

Why You Need Freedom From Manual Business Processes?


Speed & Accuracy – Freedom from time wastage of manual business processes

One of the key differences between manual business processes and automated systems is speed. Business process automation not only helps to process business data faster, but also allows faster data entry and reporting. Add to that the boon of accuracy and you have a strong case for digitalization of business. Traditional manual accounting is a tedious process requiring accountants to spend copious amounts of time mathematically checking numbers in the company’s accounting information. Simple mistakes such as transposing numbers or entering information into the incorrect column could create significant errors – which can be eliminated via automation.

Because of its efficiency and ease of use, computerized systems also allow you to improve inventory control and payment collection, saving time and improving cash flow. As a business owner, one can potentially spend less time looking for errors and more time analysing information for decision purposes. The plethora of reports a business owner has access to while using automated systems – stock valuation, profit and loss, receivables and payables, return on investment – is surely a game changer for any business.

Integration – Freedom from confusion of manual business process management

Another key aspect, which most business owners will need to appreciate, is the importance of integration. Accounting, inventory, compliance are not isolated activities, but are inter-linked with each other, having implications across the businesses. For instance, while accounting, a single transaction is bound to affect your financial records, your stock, as well as your taxes. This indeed becomes a challenge in manual business processes wherein, the same transaction may need to be recorded at multiple places to ensure that all relevant ledgers are affected, whereas in computerized systems, the same can be achieved by the click of a button.

Compliance & Security – Freedom from problems of manual processes

Last but not the least, compliance under GST is something, which can be best handled by automating your systems. Early prevention, quick detection and hassle-free correction of errors, is why digitizing business will surely score over manual business processes any day, especially in the era of GST, which demands a fair level of compliance supported by the right technology. Equally important are the ever-growing concerns surrounding data security and data storage – and it goes without saying that a business using manual systems will obviously find it very difficult to maintain historical business data over the years in bulky books, and also to recover data in case of any mishap or breach of trust within the organisation.

Thus, it is safe to conclude that the preferred step for businesses at this point – is to move on from the age-old system of maintaining manual books, and embrace automation across all aspects of business – accounting, inventory, compliance, banking and much more. Most importantly, moving on from manual systems will guarantee freedom from stagnation, freeing up time for a business to focus on growth, efficiencies and velocity of commerce.

Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4.7

The latest version under Tally.ERP 9 Release 6 series is Release 6.4.7, launched on 2nd August, 2018.

Below are the key enhancements of Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4.7:

Enhanced GSTIN validation

Earlier for few taxpayer types, GSTIN validation was failing in Tally.ERP 9. Now, with this new Release, GSTIN will get validated for all taxpayer types

Option to avail Input Credit under Reverse Charge in current or future period 

  • If your business needs to avail input credit using reverse charge mechanism, you will find it delightfully useful and flexible to take credit on reverse charges in current or future periods
  • If you wish to keep track of total liability towards reverse charges or input credit availed, you can easily do so now with the new report, “Input Credit to be booked”


Highlights of Tally.ERP 9 Release 6 series.

Record Fixed Asset purchases in account invoice mode 

For your convenience, you can now record Fixed Assets purchases in account invoice mode as well. This was earlier possible only in the voucher mode.

Automatic rounding off invoice amountsCreate a Round off Ledger and select Invoice Rounding as the type of ledger. While creating invoice and upon selecting this ledger, Tally.ERP9 will auto calculate the difference value.

Manage e-Way Bills using Tally.ERP 9When you create the invoice before transporting goods, Tally.ERP 9 captures all the necessary details required to capture e-Way Bill. You need not re-enter these details in the e-Way Bill portal again. Just export the invoice in JSON format and upload to the portal for generating e-Way Bill.

  • Enter e-Way Bill Number (EBN) in its corresponding invoice, print the invoice and hand it over to the transporter.
  • You can export JSON file for a single invoice or for multiple invoices together in one go.
  • If the mode of transport, vehicle no., place of supply and State are same for a given set of invoices, you can group invoices accordingly and generate a single JSON file for a consolidated e-Way Bill. But first, you must generate e-Way Bills for each invoice as a prerequisite.
  • Tally.ERP 9 identifies invoices for which e-Way Bills are yet to be generated. You can add, modify, delete, consolidate and track e-Way Bills against invoices.Tally.ERP9 also shows which details are missing in the invoice for the purpose of generating e-Way Bills.
  • You can generate e-Way Bills on behalf of your supplier or transporter; or in cases of purchases and also for credit notes, delivery notes and receipt notes as well.

Click here for release notes

Click here for download

28th GST Council Meeting Updates – Rate Changes for Goods

Reduction in GST Rates – 28th GST Council Meeting

The 28th GST Council meeting saw a plethora of reductions in the GST rate, which are listed as follows:

Reduction in GST Rates from 28% to 18%

As per the 28th GST Council recommendations, the rate of the following goods were reduced from 28% to 18%:

  • Paints and varnishes, including enamels and lacquers
  • Glazier’s putty, grafting putty, resin cements
  • Refrigerators, freezers and other refrigerating or freezing equipment including water cooler, milk coolers, refrigerating equipment for leather industry, ice cream freezer etc.
  • Washing machines
  • Lithium ion batteries
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Domestic electrical appliances – food grinders and mixers, food or vegetable juice extractors, shavers, hair clippers etc.
  • Storage water heaters and immersion heaters, hair dryers, hand dryers, electric smoothing irons etc.
  • Televisions up to the size of 68 cm
  • Special purpose motor vehicles – crane lorries, fire fighting vehicle, concrete mixer lorries, spraying lorries
  • Works trucks which are self-propelled, not fitted with lifting or handling equipment which are used in factories, warehouses, dock areas or airports for short transport of goods
  • Trailers and semi-trailers
  • Miscellaneous articles such as scent sprays and similar toilet sprays, powder puffs and pads for the application of cosmetics or toilet preparations

Reduction in GST Rates from 28% to 12%

As per the 28th GST Council updates, the GST rate for fuel cell vehicles was reduced from 28% to 12%. In addition, the 28th GSTCouncil also decided to remove the previously applicable compensation cess on fuel cell vehicles.

Reduction in GST Rates from 18% to 12%

As per the 28th GST Council meeting updates, the GST rates of the following goods was decided to be reduced from 18% to 12%:

  • Bamboo flooring
  • Brass kerosene pressure stove
  • Hand operated rubber roller
  • Zip and slide fasteners
  • Handbags including pouches and purses, jewellery box
  • Wooden frames for painting, photographs, mirrors etc.
  • Art ware of cork, including articles of sholapith
  • Stone art ware, stone inlay work
  • Ornamental framed mirrors
  • Glass statues, other than those of crystal
  • Glass art ware including pots, jars, votive, cask, cake cover, tulip bottle, vase
  • Art ware of iron
  • Art ware of brass, copper / copper alloys, electro plated with nickel / silver
  • Aluminium art ware
  • Handcrafted lamps including panchloga lamp
  • Worked vegetable or mineral carving, articles thereof, articles of wax, of stearin, of natural gums or natural resins or of modelling pastes, including articles of lac, shellac
  • Ganjifa card

Reduction in GST Rates from 18% to 5%

As per the 28th GST Council meeting highlights, the GST rates of the following goods were reduced from 18% to 5%:

  • Ethanol for sale to oil marketing companies for blending with fuel
  • Solid bio fuel pellets

Reduction in GST Rates from 12% to 5%

As per the 28th GST Council meeting news, the GST rates of the following goods was reduced from 12% to 5%:

  • Chenille fabrics and other fabrics
  • Handloom dari
  • Phosphoric acid – fertilizer grade only
  • Knitted cap / topi having retail sale value not exceeding INR 1000
  • Handmade carpets and other handmade textile floor coverings, including namda / gabba
  • Handmade lace
  • Hand woven tapestries
  • Hand-made braids and ornamental trimming in the piece
  • Toran

Reduction in GST Rates to 0%

This was probably the most lauded section of the 28th GST Council changes. At the 28th GST Council meeting, the GST rate for the following goods were culled down to 0%:

  • Stone / Marble / Wood Deities
  • Rakhi (other than that of precious or semi-precious material)
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Coir pith compost
  • Sal Leaves, siali leaves and their products
  • Sabai Rope
  • Phool Bhari Jhadoo which is a raw material for brooms
  • Khali dona
  • Circulation and commemorative coins, sold by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd to the Ministry of Finance

Clarifications in GST Rates – For specific goods

Apart from GST rate reductions, certain clarifications with regards to GST rates of certain goods also formed part of the 28th GST Council highlights.


Fabrics attract GST at the rate of 5%, but it was subject to the condition, that refund of accumulated ITC because of inverted duty structure will not be allowed. However, considering the difficulties faced by the fabric sector, it was decided in the 28th GST Council meeting, that the refund will henceforth be allowed – and the same will be applicable on all purchases post the notification is issued.


A GST rate of 5%, which was earlier applicable to footwear priced up to INR 500, will now be extended to footwear priced up to INR 1000. Footwear having a retail sale price of more than INR 1000, will continue to attract 18% GST.

Other Clarifications

  • Milk enriched with vitamins or minerals salt (fortified milk) will be exempt from GST
  • Water supplied for public purposes (other than in sealed containers) will be exempt from GST
  • 5% GST will be charged on Pool Issue Price (PIP) of Urea imported on government accounts for direct agriculture use, instead of assessable value plus custom duty
  • 5% GST will be charged on both treated (modified) tamarind kernel powder and plain (unmodified) tamarind kernel powder
  • 5% GST will be charged on beet and cane sugar, including refined beet and cane sugar
  • 5% GST will be charged on marine engines
  • 5% GST will be charged on unpolished kota stone and similar stones (other than marble and granite)
  • 18% GST will be charged on ready to use polished kota stone and similar stones (other than marble and granite)
  • Coal rejects from washery, arising out of cess paid coal on which ITC has not been taken, will be exempt from GST compensation cess