The GSTN Group of Ministers (GoM) has asked Infosys to create a new tax return filing form in an effort to simplify I-T returns for businesses.
Addressing newspersons at the ninth GSTN GoM meeting, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said taxpayers who file 37 returns a year will file just 13 returns when the new format comes into vogue. “It will be a single-page return form and will be approved by the GST Council in the next few days,” he added.
The efforts to simplify the filing of GST returns is seen as a practical approach in the face of mounting criticism over the complexity and time that businesses have to spend on compliance. Further, filing of returns would be done in a staggered manner between the 10th and 20th of each succeeding month, said Sushil Modi. Many businesses found this complex and tedious, and made representations to the government to simplify the tax filing.
“Reporting and maintenance of accounts were a challenge, but this is a good step,” said Ambar Kasliwal, co-founder, BigWin Infotech.
Infosys has been awarded the ₹1,380-crore contract to develop and run GST’s backend system, which initially met with several tech-related glitches.
There were additional issues with regard to taxation of several items, which subsequently the government revised (for 200 items). Businesses had also complained about the non-user friendly software through which they had to file returns. “The complexity and ambiguity will be removed, coupled with the time and effort to file would reduce which are positives,” said Bhavik Mehta, founder, FinREQ, a fintech start-up.
Additionally, according to Krupesh Bhatt, co-founder, LegalDesk, the simplification of forms will help in reducing errors and reduce the time to fix complex tax filings.
Further, Infosys has also developed a software which can help in identifying large number of tax defaulters while filing GSTR1 and GSTR3B. Sushil Modi said the reports generated by the analytics software will be sent to State governments to take action against defaulters.
So far, the number of returns filed was 12.48 crore and number of payment transactions stands at Rs 4.26 crore, Modi said. In June, GST revenue mop-up rose to ₹95,610 crore when compared to ₹94,016 crore in the previous month,according to Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.
Despite the initial glitches, Modi said that collectively they have addressed the problem and Infosys' performance has been good. However, a few months back, the issues with GSTN glitches came to a head when trader's body CAIT said that the GST portal has brought much harassment and mental agony to traders by its non-smooth functioning and has proved a major roadblock in success of a good taxation system (like GST). The body then had said that will contemplate taking the software major to court if issues are not resolved. Infosys has already denied the allegations as “completely inaccurate”.