GSTN on track to get taxpayers on board

The Financial Express By Dilasha Seth December 21, 2016. 00:12 IST

The enrolment drive kicked off last month with Puducherry and Sikkim, and covered 19 more states and Union territories.

Despite uncertainty over the goods and services tax (GST) roll-out, the information technology backbone GST Network (GSTN) has initiated the process to migrate over eight million taxpayers on its system.

The enrolment drive kicked off last month with Puducherry and Sikkim, and covered 19 more states and Union territories, including Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

GSTN has worked out a timeline to switch all value added tax, excise duty and service tax payers to the GST network by March 20, 2017. The 15-day enrolment window for value-added tax payers in nine states, including Delhi, Punjab and Uttarakhand, is open till December 30. “It is good that GSTN is sticking to its timeline to migrate taxpayers to its network, as all procedures must be complete before the roll-out. In states covered so far, about 70 per cent of the traders must have already enrolled on the platform,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, the Confederation of All India Traders. It will be compulsory for dealers, with a turnover of more than Rs 20 lakh, to register with GSTN, and those with over Rs 10 lakh in northeastern and hilly states. Under the enrollment procedure, traders are supposed to submit their documents and fulfil the KYC (know your customer) norms and will get registration and unique identity — GST identity numbers from GSTN.

Taxpayers will, however, have up to six months time from the GST roll-out to enroll themselves.

The GST Council is yet to break deadlock on key issues such as the division of control between the centre and states. Only after the Council passes the GST laws, they can be tabled in Parliament and the respective Assemblies.

The next meeting is scheduled for December 22 and 23.

GSTN is a private body developing the front-end infra for with the help of Infosys. It will provide a common platform for registration, return filing and e-payment.

It will also integrate the common GST portal with the tax administration systems of the centre and states. This will facilitate the smooth implementation of the GST regime. It has taken a Rs 550-crore loan from IDFC Bank till April 1, 2017. GSTN is pinning hopes on an April 1 roll-out, as a delay could affect its functioning since the loan raised will only be suffice for expenditure till April 1.

On Target

  • The enrolment drive kicked off last month with Puducherry and Sikkim
  • The 15-day enrolment window for value-added tax payers in nine states, including Delhi, Punjab and Uttarakhand, is open till December 30
  • It will be compulsory for dealers, with a turnover of more than Rs 20 lakh, to register with GSTN, and those with over Rs 10 lakh in northeastern and hilly states
  • Taxpayers will, however, have up to six months time from the GST roll-out to enroll themselves
  • The GST Council is yet to break deadlock on key issues such as the division of control between the Centre and states

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