The huge compliance burden posed under GST has been a matter of huge concern for India Inc. Recently, senior officials from the GSTN and GST policy wing, with a view to remedy the hardships faced by the taxpayers, announced certain steps that are proposed to be taken to improve the overall compliance framework. The key proposal is scrapping of new returns format proposed last year and streamlining the existing GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns. This is a welcome move given that the industry is well settled with the existing return formats.
A series of other changes have been proposed to the GSTN infrastructure and return formats. Key changes include:
- Enhancement of the capacity of the GSTN common portal to handle 3 lakh taxpayers at any single point of time (increased from 1.5 lakh currently).
- Facility to create vendor/ customer master for the taxpayer on the portal dashboard.
- A matching tool for taxpayers on the GST portal to match the details of purchase register and GSTR 2A.
- A communication channel between buyer and supplier, to communicate with vendor for the missing invoices.
- Showing the status of registration and refund application on the portal dashboard.
- Compilation of common errors encountered by taxpayers on the portal and the solutions thereof, along with videos.
- Option to download GSTR 2A for up to 500 transactions immediately as opposed to the current practice where taxpayers are required to raise a request for generation of Form GSTR 2A in excel form.
- Additional columns in Form GSTR 2A to include date of filing of GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B of the vendor.
- In case of amended invoices, Form GSTR 2A shall show both amendment date and original return filing date which shall help in keeping track of the amended invoices.
- IGST paid on import of goods to be directly flown to the GST portal from ICEGATE (Indian Customs Electronic Gateway) and displayed on the dashboard of the GST portal.
- Auto-calculation of liability in GSTR 3B based on the data furnished in GSTR 1 in order to reduce the chances of difference between GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B.
- Linking of Form GSTR 2A and ICEGATE to GSTR 3B for auto-flow of ITC with the facility to edit the amount at the user’s end.
- Delinking of original invoice details with credit and debit notes as well as amendments to credit/debit notes so that the taxpayers are not required to report the original invoice details while filing GSTR 1 and GSTR 6.
It is imperative to note that the relevant notifications and updated APIs to give effect to the above changes is expected to be released soon. Needless to say, these measures would contribute a great deal in easing the compliance burden and will provide much-needed relief to taxpayers. Slowly and steadily, the government is moving towards its vision of creating a fully automated tax ecosystem, and augmenting trust and transparency among all stakeholders.
The writer is Partner and Leader – Indirect Tax, BDO India)