User-Friendly Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN)

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has sought the views of the taxpayers about their experience and difficulties. A survey was conducted by GSTN on overall taxpayer’s satisfaction during the months of October 2017 & November 2017. The taxpayers for the Survey were selected at random, on the basis of their most recent activity, on the GST portal. The Survey was not conducted State-wise. On the basis of the Survey/ response received, suggestions / concerns were identified. The action/ steps taken by GSTN in this regard is annexed as ANNEXURE.

The aforesaid steps have improved the system and made it user-friendly. Further, the following steps have been taken to make GST system simpler for tax payers:

  • Edit facility is available in returns and other forms.
  • Offline tools for return preparation and other functionalities have been provided.
  • User manual, Video tutorials and FAQs have been provided for different functionalities which can be used by the tax payer.

Approximately 60,000 tax officers/officials of Central/State Government have been trained so that they can assist taxpayer and resolve their queries/grievances and train them on various functionalities.

ANNEXURE
Sl.No. Suggestions/Concerns Action/steps taken by GSTN
(i) There were gaps in general understanding of the electronic processes for complying on GST Portal (Specific technical Issues like Digital signature related problems etc.) Video tutorials and Webinars are being conducted on regular basis by GSTN. Help on portal has also been enhanced and language in text scripts are being continuously monitored and amended as the case may be for better understanding.
(ii) Helpdesk is not able to respond to problems effectively. Trainings are arranged for all helpdesk agents by GSTN regularly. Periodic refreshers are also being held.

Preview facility, offline tools assist the taxpayers in avoiding mistakes. Reset functionality for GSTR-3B was introduced in October 2017 and thereafter for GSTR-4 (Composition Taxpayer Return).

(iii) Mistakes in return cannot be corrected Data for GSTR-1 can be amended in subsequent month’s GSTR-1 through amendment table.

GSTR-3B values of turnover, tax, and ITC can be adjusted in subsequent month’s GSTR-3B.

One click nil return filing has also been introduced.

(iv) Site performance being Slow and has multiple problems Multiple enhancements have been undertaken which has improved the overall site performance. On 20th Feb 2018, 17.97 Lakh returns were filed along with 6.9 lakh payment transactions on the GST portal.

Even at this load, server utilization was less than 30%.

The software has been further tuned to increase the number of logged in users and now 1,50,000 taxpayers can transact and function on the portal at the same time.

(v) Contextual help Not available.

Errors are generic and non-intuitive

GST System has introduced contextual help of all GST related transactions like Registration, Payments, returns etc. This however, is a continuous process.
(vi) It is extremely difficult to reach helpdesk. It takes a long time to respond to issues escalated The number of agents has been increased to 520 and GSTN has also introduced a dedicated Grievance Redressal Portal that navigates a taxpayer to specify the problem in a focused manner. This has reduced generic emails which had a tendency to incompletely and ambiguously describe the problem. A suggestive help text is also displayed on the screen when the taxpayer is narrating the problem on the grievance redressal portal.

This was stated by Shri Ship Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

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