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Small firms ‘need help to comply with tax rules’

Small firms ‘need help to comply with tax rules’

India’s small and mid-sized companies should be given more time to comply with the government’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, according to a new survey.

While the government has already relaxed the rules around compliance, more help is needed, a LocalCircles survey of SMEs affected by the lockdown has found.

Some 89% of SMEs are demanding that the government waive the penalty on late payments and defer GST return filings for the March to May period until 30 June. Currently, the government has allowed the delay in filing of some returns, and has waived some penalties for 15-30 days and cut the interest on delayed tax payments.

“Small businesses from across the country have been raising the issue of their inability to meet the GST payment deadline as most have been shut due to local lockdowns and curfew restrictions. A visit by the accountant or a visit to them is not an option for most businesses since early April and hence the majority are unable to make their GST payment. Similarly, most have been unable to file the return for quarter ending March 31,” LocalCircles said in a press release.

“Overall, 73% small businesses want no penalty and interest on March GST payment and return filing till June 30, while 78% want no penalty and interest on April and May GST payments till June 30. Overall, 89% small businesses want no penalty and interest relaxations on GST late payments and return filing till June 30.”

The survey was conducted in the last two weeks of May by LocalCircles, who spoke to 2,456 SMEs in 122 districts.