However, experts said that while excess load is a problem on the last day of filing, when the system shows that it’s busy preventing return-filing, is only a part of the problem.
After taxpayers complained of technical glitch in filing the monthly summary GST returns (GSTR3B), the government on Wednesday said it would allow staggered filing on the basis of turnover and location to ease the load on the system which is witnessed closer to the filing deadline on 20th of every month.
For about 8 lakh taxpayers with turnover over Rs 5 crore, the last date of filing would remain the same. For those below the turnover threshold, they have been further divided into two groups of 46 and 49 lakh taxpayers belonging to two sets of states and UTs whose deadline will now be 22nd and 24th of every month, respectively. However, experts said that while excess load is a problem on the last day of filing, when the system shows that it’s busy preventing return-filing, is only a part of the problem. There are other structural issues as pointed out by a CAG report tabled in Parliament earlier this year.
“These design problems include time lag in payments to appear, multiple OTPs are sent for a single filing, data takes time to reflect, preview of returns show wrong numbers, data uploaded using ASP/GSP takes additional time to reflect, system frequently log out the user,” Rajat Mohan, senior partner at AMRG & Associates, said.
The CAG report had said: “Inadequacies in the system show that there was a failure in not just system design, but its testing by GSTN and acceptance by the tax departments before a pan-India rollout. As such, the executive who has endorsed the system as developed is equally accountable for the problems being faced.”
The first category of 46 lakh taxpayers would be from J&K, Ladakh, Himachal, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. The second set of 49 lakh assessees would be from Chhattisgarh, MP, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
“For further improving the performance of GSTN filing portal on a permanent basis, several measures are being worked out with Infosys and will be in place by April this year,” the government said in a statement.