Since the inception of GST in the last three years, it’s been a tough journey for all the stakeholders in understanding and processing the system for compliance fulfilments. Though, there have been changes and flexibilities provided by the CBEC from time to time to ensure no default on taxes, still many areas seem to be inconsistent enough to give a sigh of relief to the taxpayers such as the gap between GST laws and the GST portal.

For instance, the GSTN portal does not have an option to connect multiple invoices with a single credit note, or the unavailability of the option to fill the date of filing returns by the vendor, the inability to track the amendment of any invoices, incapability to submit negative values in form GSTR-3B and the list continues for long.

Until recently, the senior officials from the GSTN and GST policy section, have announced a way to resolve the adversities challenged by the taxpayers by notifying certain steps to be taken to advance the complete regulation framework.

Proposed Changes on the GST Portal in September 2020:

Therefore, a series of changes have been announced including the crucial point to scrap new returns format announced last year and reformation of the existing GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns. Some of the key changes include-

a. Improvement of the capability of the GSTN common portal to manage up to 3 lakh taxpayers at any point in time rather than 1.5 lakh as before.

b. Ability to form a vendor/customer master for the taxpayer on the portal dashboard.

c.  An identical tool for taxpayers on the GST portal to affirm the particulars of purchase register and GSTR-2A.

d.  A communication linkage between buyer and supplier, to interconnect with the vendor for the missing invoices.

e.  Screening the status of registration and refund application on the portal dashboard.

f. Assembling common errors come across by taxpayers on the portal and providing solutions thereof.

g. Providing an option to download the form GSTR-2A for up to 500 transactions instantaneously in comparison with the present system where the taxpayers need to request generation of the form GSTR-2A in excel format

h. Offering additional columns in Form GSTR-2A for up to 500 transactions directly stark comparison to the present system which needs to request for form generation.

i. In case of revised invoices, the Form GSTR-2A shall display the details regarding the date of the amendment and original return which shall benefit in the maintenance of a list of the amended invoices.

j. IGST paid on import of goods shall be displayed and transferred in the GST portal from ICEGATE (Indian Customs Electronic Gateway) on the dashboard of the GST portal.

k. Auto- calculation of liabilities provided in GSTR-3B form founded on the data supplied in GSTR-1 to reduce any possibility of differences among forms GSTR 1 and GSTR-3B.

l. Linkage of forms GSTR- 2A and ICEGATE to GSTR- 3B for auto-transfer of ITC along with the ability to edit the quantity at the end of the taxpayer.

m. Dissociatethe original invoice details with credit and debit notes as well as amendments to credit /debit notes so that that the taxpayers are no longer needed to report the original invoice details while filing GSTR-1 and GSTR-6.

Conclusion- Why were the changes so important to be made?

It is important to note that for ensuring smooth compliance executions without any technical problems, there is the utmost need for a simplified yet effective system for GST fillings. It is imperative to note that the relevant notifications and announcements regarding changes are expected to be released soon.

Further, it is obvious that these measures would provide a great deal of ease in the compliance burden, allow provide much-needed relief to the taxpayers, and would ensure better compliance. Thus, it could be said that the government is moving in a path of its vision of a fully automated tax ecosystem” and “expanding trust and transparency” amongst all stakeholders in India.

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