The government has collected a gross goods and service tax (GST) amount of Rs 40,000 crore so far with 13 lakh assessees having filed an interim tax return on the GST Network as of Monday evening. In addition, 22 lakh assessees have filled in the relevant details on the portal but are yet to file return, senior government officials said. Of the total amount of Rs 40,000 crore, Rs 15,000 crore has come in as integrated-GST, which is levied on interstate movement of goods. Another Rs 5,000 crore, a revenue department official said, had been paid by assessees by way of cess on demerit goods such as cars and tobacco. The remaining Rs 22,000 crore has come in as central GST and state GST, which would be split equally between the Centre and the states, government officials explained. The Rs 40,000 crore collected is a gross amount and the final amount in the government’s kitty would be smaller since there would refunds for input tax credit, the official added.
With just four says to go before the extended deadline for filing summarised returns expires on August 25, only 15% of the nearly 86 lakh registered taxpayers have filed so far. Last Saturday, the government decided to extend the deadline for filing the interim summarised tax return to August 25 from August 20 earlier, citing requests from taxpayers and difficulty experienced by the states hit by floods. This came after taxpayers and GST Suvidha providers (GSPs) — IT companies authorised to file return on behalf of customers — complained the GSTN system wasn’t accepting the filings.
“Taxpayers faced some issues when they tried to log in but it was spotted quickly and was resolved in an hour,” GSTN chairman Navin Kumar told FE. Kumar reiterated that technical glitches were not related to GSTN’s ability to handle a rush of taxpayers. “Taxpayers experienced system errors and were unable to file their summary return on GST portal. These technical glitches possibly happened due to heavy traffic. Considering this is the first return for taxpayers under the GST system, it is acceptable that businesses need time to understand the system,” RN Iyer, managing director, Vayana Network, a GSP said.
Although GSTN claims its system is designed to handle a load of 40 lakh taxpayers in the last two days, there are other issues that could trip the system. For instance, only half of the 34 selected GSPs had been connected to GSTN servers till Monday while others were not prepared. Similarly, an estimated 30% of the registered taxpayers are yet to complete the registration process that would allow them to file a return for July.
Approximately 87 lakh taxpayers are understood to have registered on the GSTN portal as taxpayers. Of this, nearly 71 lakh businesses have migrated from earlier VAT, central excise or service tax regime, while 16 lakh new taxpayers too have registered with the portal.