In an effort to plug goods and services tax (GST) evasion and frauds and ease compliance, the existing GST return filing system is being enhanced to have an in-built invoice matching system to determine input tax credit and liability. The returns will be auto-populated to minimize errors, ease reconciliation and simplify compliance.
The group of ministers (GoM) on Information Technology (IT) led by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi took stock of the preparedness and the timelines in a meeting held on Friday.
The load handling capacity of GST Network (GSTN) has also been enhanced to 300,000 taxpayers at one point of time as against 150,000 taxpayers earlier to avoid glitches during peak hours.
A dedicated team of 60 tech persons has been set up to expeditiously deliver functional changes to the GST System under ‘Returns Enhancement and Advancement Project’ (REAP), which started in April.
Being developed as an alternative to the earlier proposed simplified return system that was put in abeyance in March, the new approach revolves around advancing and enhancing the existing return filing system to ensure ease of taxpayers. It is divided in five teams and various components are being developed.
“The new features in the existing return system will not only bring ease to taxpayers by way of auto-population of returns, but will also fix the drawback in the current system with respect to invoicing matching and determination of input tax credit and liability. The functionality will be ready by September and will be rolled out after approval from the GST Council,” Modi told Business Standard.
Taxpayers with a turnover of less that Rs 5 crore will also be allowed to file summary returns (GSTR 3B) on a quarterly basis, likely from November. Around 70 per cent taxpayers are likely to get covered under the quarterly return filing system.
In the current system, taxpayers are required to file GSTR-1 for outward supplies and GSTR-3B, which is summary return for sales and input tax credit and GSTR 2A, which is a purchase-related tax return. GSTR 2A is automatically generated for each business by the GST portal. When a seller files his GSTR-1, the information is captured in GSTR 2A.
But GSTR 1 and 3B are not linked, hence different values can be filed. The two returns will now be linked to get a system generated liability and a functionality is being developed for auto-populating valued from GSTR 1 and 3B.
Also, return form GSTR 2B will be introduced for availing input tax credit, which will plug leakages and frauds. In the current system, the input tax credit claimed on self-declaration basis, resulting in a mismatch many a times. Under the new system, GSTR 2B will be generated on the basis of GSTR 1 filed between two due dates by counter-party suppliers, for availing credit in GSTR 3B in a month. “GSTR 2A will suggest exact credit to be claimed to taxpayers in GSTR 3B,” said Modi.
The earlier proposed new return system requiring fewer details, was earlier expected to be introduced from October last year, but was postponed to April 1, 2020, but was eventually put on hold in March in view of lack of IT preparedness.
“Infosys chairman Nandan Nilekani was of the view in March that instead of giving a new instrument, we can enhance the capability of the existing system. It will not cause pain to the taxpayers in terms of adaptability,” said Modi.
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