In a possible disappointment to the dealers hoping for a relief from filing their GSTR-3B returns at the last moment, the government has categorically refused to extend the deadline for filing the returns, and appealed the taxpayers not to wait till the last day to do so. Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, who is heading the newly-formed Group of Ministers to look into the glitches of the GST Network, on Saturday said that dealers’ tendency to rush to file the returns only at the last minute causes the system to crash, even as the panel has decided to remedy the system glitches.
The GoM met for the first time today in Bengaluru and took stock of the issues being faced by the businesses in filing the returns, and the GST Network’s preparedness to handle 300 crore invoices. The GSTN administration apparently sought to explain to the GoM how a rush before the last date of filing returns led to malfunctioning of the systems.
The GST Council, the highest decision-making body of the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, had on previous Saturday decided to form a five-member panel to look into the technical glitches facing GST Network (GSTN). The first meeting of the GoM within a week of it being constituted on September 12 signals the government’s intent of wasting no time in its quest to iron out the issues faced by businesses.
Sushil Modi today said that while there are 85 lakh dealers who have registered on the GSTN under the GST, only 3.3 lakh people have filed their GSTR-3B for the month of August. Further, even for the previous month of July, only 46 lakh taxpayers have filed their 3B returns so far, Sushil Modi said.
Seeking to highlight the capabilities and merits of the GSTN, Sushil Modi said that India’s GSTN is the biggest in the world with minimal human intervention. The GST is a completely IT-based system, and all the filings and audits for GST are online, he said, adding that since July 1, over 22 crore invoices have been filed on the GSTN.
GSTN, the mammoth information technology backbone and portal for real-time taxpayer registration, migration, and tax return filing under GST, had run into a snag when the first deadline for filing of returns approached, forcing the government to extend the last date.
The GoM to look into this matter will now meet once in every 15 days, Sushil Modi said. He added that Infosys, the IT behemoth responsible to manage GSTN, has also agreed on a timeline for solving the technical issues with the network. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, Chhattisgarh Minister of Commercial Taxes Amar Agrawal, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda and Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajender are other members of the GoM. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey and GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar also reportedly attend today’s meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government implemented GST nationwide earlier this year in the most sweeping tax reform India has ever seen since its independence. GST replaced a slew of central and state taxes and levied with a single uniform tax across the nation, making it easier for businesses to move goods from one state to another. However, GSTN, the system supposed to handle the filing of the returns, suffered glitches due to the rush of filing invoices as the deadline approached.