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GST impasse: 2.4 lakh traders still grapple to file returns

Even five months after the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax regime, 2.4 lakh traders in Telangana are still facing glitches in filing returns every month. To provide relief to them, the commercial tax department has come out with a program called 'Official Incharge' for every 200 traders. Under this program one officer will help 200 traders and provide them required assistance and guidance in filing Goods and Services Tax returns. "We have assigned 1343 employees to guide 2.4 lakh traders in the state. The results are very good as the compliance has improved in the last one month," Somesh Kumar, principal secretary of revenue and commercial taxes told TOI. As per the statistics till October, about 15 per cent of the traders who pay indirect tax have not filed their 3-B return. Sensing the danger, the principal secretary has launched the 'Official Incharge' program to involve every official to achieve 100% compliance. The latest figures showed that the state has reached 96% compliance in all categories of GST tax structure. Officials are made responsible for the filing percentage in their respective circles and asked to submit report every fortnight. Though the department has opened Seva Kendra, not many have time to visit the centres to have their doubts cleared. Most of the doubts related to Input Tax Credit and calculation of this has become major challenge to traders. Moreover, traders are complaining that they are far better off in the old system where they used to pay their service tax once in six months and after the GST roll-out, they are forced to file returns every month. Even as the voices of protest over the high tax rates are coming down with the reduction of tax rates. "People are forced to sit before their computer systems for hours together in vain. This is sheer harassment we have been experiencing and the issues have not been resolved even after four months," rued a businessman.

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