CA Hemant P. Vastani
In all my session at The institute of Chartered Accountant on GST on the topic of “Challenges in implementation” I use to highlight the numerous challenges before GSTN . Now the same challenges surfaced as glitches in the GST Network — the IT backbone of the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
The Honorable Finance Minister said the glitches were “transient challenges”, and a committee had been appointed to resolve GSTN-related issues. I fail to understand if the glitches are temporary than why a Committee has been appointed to resolve the issues. This is the third announcement by the finance ministry for the extension of deadlines for filing GST returns.
According to finance ministry after reviewing the functioning of GSTN, it was observed that on 2-3 occasions the GSTN got overloaded. With only 45+ lakhs GSTR-3B, 17 lakhs GSTR-1 and 13+ crores invoices filed, if the system gets overloaded than what will happen if 300 crores invoice will be loaded as per the earlier estimates. The matter is serious and need a serious thought , as each time we cannot blame the system and the technology or the habit of the tax payer .
Initially, (GSTN), was supposed to take invoice uploading services live from July 16. It has deferred the plan to July 24. The than ,GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar says they were not very confident about the preparedness of GST Suvidha Providers, or GSPs, facilitators for uploading invoices/returns on the GSTN website.
GSPs, however, say that GSTN has neither provided them updated APIs (Application Programme Interfaces) nor MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), a technique to carry data from one network to another. While they admit that initial hiccups were expected due to the complexity and enormity of the job, they also say that GSTN does not have sufficient staff for such a big task. GSTN should has sufficient number of Staff with good understanding of law.
According to announcement made now GSTR-1, 2, 3, the return filing date for July, with the Companies having turnover of over Rs 100 crore, the last date for filing GSTR-1 will be October 3. For the rest, it will be October 10,” GSTR-2 for July will have to be filed by October 31, and GSTR-3 by November 10. Dates of GSTR 1, 2, 3 return filing for month of August will be informed later.
Presently, the common challenges faced by the small and medium entreprises are with respect to their security password, which generally takes 4to 5 days, and getting digital signature approved. An executive of a GSP says GSTN has not done the testing of the procedure and that is why these problems are cropping up. Digital signature is mandatory for companies and limited liability partnerships or LLPs. Others can use the electronic verification code generated with the help of a one-time password sent on the verified mobile number.
Another problem in migrating is on account of non-validation of PAN (Permanent Account Number). “The registration is PAN-based, and PAN is based on the nature of the business. Many times, one gets registered as a proprietor but later opts for the LLP structure without changing the PAN. The data received is sent to GSTN based on which user ID and password are generated for applicants. However, in many cases, the quoted PAN did not match the company’s name, delaying the migration.
The biggest problem that traders and small businesses are facing is determining the HSN code which are crucial for levying the correct tax on a product and have to be mentioned in invoices.
Some initial hiccups were always expected during such a huge changeover. The government, on its part, has been proactive in ensuring that the rollout of GST is smooth and does not lead to speculation, panic or profiteering. It has put all its energy and might in checking rumour , clarifying ambiguities/confusions, and resolving taxpayers’ issues. It has set up facilitation centres in all sales tax and excise offices, organised interactive sessions with industry and traders and come out with timely FAQs to clear confusion.