NEW DELHI: The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has liberalised the annual return filing requirement for businesses with effect from 1 August, showed three official orders.

Accordingly, businesses with upto 2 crore annual sales in FY21 need not file annual returns for that year, showed one of the orders. This is expected to be a relief to many small businesses.

CBIC has also done away with the requirement of a separate reconciliation statement in form 9C to be submitted by businesses, certified by a chartered accountant or cost accountant, showed the second order. The Central Goods and Services Tax (Sixth Amendment) Rules, 2021 which is effective from 1 August instead introduces self-certification.

As per this, businesses with sales of 5 crore and above have to self-certify the statement reconciling the value of supplies declared in the return furnished for the financial year, with the audited annual financial statement.

The idea is to reduce the compliance requirement and allow self-certification where possible in order to improve the ease of doing business. This puts the responsibility on taxpayers to furnish true and accurate details in their annual return on self-certification basis.

The intention of permitting self-certification was announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her union budget for FY22. The government is open to reducing compliance requirement because the digitisation of various filing requirements makes data available from various tax and statutory agencies. Analysis of this data helps in detecting mismatches and in checking tax evasion. Both direct and indirect tax authorities, including the customs department, have been sharing data for effective tax administration.

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