In Bengaluru meet, Sushil Modi led GoM to tackle GSTN glitches; may ask big firms to file returns sooner than others

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New Delhi | Published: October 4, 2017 5:53:38 AM

The group of ministers (GoM) headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi will meet on Wednesday in Bengaluru to review the progress made by GST Network — the IT backbone of the new indirect system — in fixing glitches that have plagued the system and frustrated taxpayers in filing tax returns.

sushil modi, sushil modi meeting, gst council meeting, gom meeting, group of ministers meetingBihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi. (PTI)

The group of ministers (GoM) headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Modi will meet on Wednesday in Bengaluru to review the progress made by GST Network — the IT backbone of the new indirect system — in fixing glitches that have plagued the system and frustrated taxpayers in filing tax returns.

The GoM is likely to finalise a proposal whereby large businesses will be asked to pay taxes at the start of return-filing period. This is to ensure that all taxpayers don’t flock to the system in the last few days leading up to the deadline.

The proposal would be considered by the GST Council in its meeting on Friday. The proposal is based on the fact that 4 lakh taxpayers contribute nearly 95% of the revenue, while the number of businesses registered on GSTN is about 90 lakh.

GST Network came under enormous pressure just before the deadline for paying taxes in the month of July and August. This meant that many taxpayers found the system unresponsive at the time of filing the interim summarised return (GSTR-3B). On September 20, which was the last day for filing August returns, nearly 14 lakh taxpayers filed their taxes. However, the compliance continues to be low as only 65% and 55% assessees filed returns during the window available in August and September, respectively.

Additionally, the GoM will review the timelines given by Infosys, the software developer for GSTN, to rectify various glitches. After the first meeting last month, Sushil Modi had assured stakeholders that most of the issues facing the system would be corrected by October-end. Many assessees have found that some of the important forms were unavailable on the portal even as other functions were not activated.

Last week, GSTN activated the facility to amend the registration information provided by taxpayers while migrating and registering. It said while non-core information could be amended unilaterally, some of the information like change in name of business would require the approval of the tax department.

Further, Infosys had told GSTN in the last meeting that it would station technical teams at each state to ensure that the local tax officials and taxpayers alike have technical help at hand. The GoM will also review the progress made by Infosys in this regard.

The GoM was set up by the GST Council on September 9 after it received feedback on difficulty faced by the taxpayers in filing returns. The council had also allowed taxpayers to file GSTR 3B, which doesn’t require invoice-wise details, till December in an effort to mitigate hardships.

In an interview with FE last month, Sushil Modi had refrained from blaming any party for the trouble faced by the IT system. Instead, he said any new system with a massive scale faces problems previously unforeseen.

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