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As it is expected with any radical reform or transformation, the unrolling of the GST has also created quite a significant stir in India.
There is palpable concern among taxpayers and businesses over how the new system will work out. Despite the anxiousness, taxpayers across the country have responded very positively to the new interface, with a majority of them having already completed their migration to the new portal.
THE IT BACKBONE OF GST
- The GST System Project is a unique and complex IT initiative. It is unique as it seeks, for the first time, to establish a uniform interface for the taxpayer and a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and states.
- Integrating 36 disparate systems, which were at different levels of maturity would have been too complex.
- Besides GST being a destination-based tax, interstate trade of goods and services (IGST) would need a robust settlement mechanism amongst the states and the Centre. This is possible only when there is a strong IT infrastructure and service backbone which enables capture, processing and exchange of information amongst the stakeholders (including taxpayers, states and central government, accounting offices, banks and RBI).
- In view of the sensitivity of the information that would be available with the agency which will put in place the IT infra, the government must have strategic control over the agency.
- Payment of taxes has started taking place using one challan for all types of taxes which is prepared on the GST portal.
- Once challan is created with GSTIN, name of taxpayer, amount under various tax heads and sub-heads etc., the taxpayer has following two options to pay the tax. He can use Net-banking facility out of 25 authorised banks or print the challan and take it to an authorised bank for payment over the counter (OTC).
- The OTC payment can be up to `10,000 in a month. The taxpayer can also use NEFT/RTGS from any bank operating in India. The money gets deducted from the account of the taxpayer and gets transferred to RBI though the bank. No tax money ever comes to GSTN in any manner.
REDUCING COMPLIANCE BURDEN
Tax compliance is the duty of every citizen. However, making the process of compliance simple and convenient is the responsibility of the government. At GSTN, we have crafted a series of services and technological tools to ensure that paying taxes and filing returns becomes convenient for the last common denominator.
- Checking of claim of input tax credit (ITC) is one of the fundamental pillars of GST, for which data of business-to -business (B2B) invoices have to be uploaded and matched. The invoice level data can be directly entered on the portal by the taxpayer.
- In case the number of B2B invoices is higher, he can use free offline tool developed by GSTN which imports data from Excel sheet and converts it into a json file which is then uploaded on the GST portal. GSTN has already released template of Excel sheet in which taxpayers can keep the business data at invoice level.
- The tool can pull 19,000 line items from Excel sheet to generate a 5 Mb file. The tool can be used multiple times to upload data for creating GSTR-1.
- For those taxpayers who have lakhs of invoices and they want one-stop shop for end-to-end functionality, GSTN has empaneled GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs). The GSPs are going to provide accounting services, inventory and reconciliation services and facility of direct upload into GST system.