News Analysis

Taxpayers have to grapple with multiple issues filing GST returns

Satya Sontanam BL Research Bureau | Updated on January 10, 2018 Published on September 07, 2017

Taxing times The ability of the GST portal to cope with high traffic and large data is being tested

Exhaustive process, system glitches among difficulties faced by assessees



With the deadline for filing the first complete returns for GST around the corner, assessees are finding themselves in a tight spot. Due to the many difficulties faced by the tax payers, the last date for filing GSTR1 (returns for outward supplies) was extended from September 5 to September 10. But completing the filing of returns by this date also appears untenable due to the exhaustive process and system glitches.

The steps for filing the returns do not appear too difficult. Details of outward supplies have to be extracted from the accounting system. These have to be converted to a JSON file using GST Offline tool provided by the GST portal. Finally, the JSON file has to be uploaded on the portal. But as the devil is always in the detail, here are a few of the recurring problems faced by the tax payers.

Time-consuming

The ability of the GST portal to cope up with the high traffic and large data is being put to test now. Initial feedback from taxpayers suggests that it is quite slow in uploading, validating and generating reports. Tax payers had to open multiple browsers and shift from one to another to upload their files on the site. Delay in error file generation and the need to refresh online page frequently and the waiting time makes it tedious as well as intimidating.

Missing invoices

Many taxpayers complained that, often, not all the invoices were imported into the offline utility tool provided by the GST portal. The missing invoices need to be tracked and entered manually. To escape such hassle in the last few days, experts advise that taxpayers should collate invoice related data on a regular basis.

Editing online

If the number of invoices under a particular table (say B2B, B2C, exports etc.) crossed invoice limit of 500, then there is no option to enter or modify the data online in the GST portal. For instance, even for a single error, the whole data has to be downloaded from the portal, edited in the offline utility tool and re-uploaded.

No provision to revise

The mechanism of filing revised returns for any correction of errors/ omissions has been done away with in the GST system. The rectification of errors/ omissions is, however, allowed in the subsequent returns. So, one has to be extremely wary of any mistakes while filing the returns as it will impact the tax liability or the input tax credit of the assessees.

Ongoing GST migration

All the assessees paying indirect taxes that were subsumed by the GST had to migrate to the GST regime by registering themselves on the GST website. They faced numerous headwinds while making the transition and though many of these issues have been sorted out, there are still some issues terms of amending core fields like name of business, principle place of business and details of partners. This issue hindered them from raising GST invoices and thus filing the GSTR1.

Despite this chaos, tax consultants believe that the multiple validations make the system more transparent and will cut down tax evasions in the long run.

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Published on September 07, 2017
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