Infosys to design new forms for filing GST returns

Bengaluru: The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has directed its software vendor Infosys to design new forms for filing returns by traders, said its Group of Ministers (GoM) Chairman Sushil Kumar Modi on Saturday.

“We have directed Infosys to design new forms as suggested by the GST Council to simplify filing returns by traders on the network,” Modi told reporters here after the 10th meeting of the GoM, held here to review the working of the network.

“We plan to roll out the new simplified GST returns form in the next 4-6 months for the benefit of dealers or traders paying the indirect tax through the network,” said Modi, who is also Bihar Deputy Chief Minister.

The new forms will enable all businesses to file their annual returns with details of sales, purchases and input tax credit benefits in a consolidated format.

Returns filed in the new forms (GSTR 9 and GSTR-3C) will enable the tax authority to detect evasion and false claims under the GST unlike in the current forms (GSTR 3B and GSTR-1), which do not have a provision to match invoices.

Last date for filing GSTR-1 has been extended up to October 31 and late fee waived off till then.

“Infosys is developing a mobile app for field staff (tax inspectors) to verify accounts of traders during spot inspection and file reports with photos and location,” said Modi.

The GoM has identified 18 companies across the country to develop a uniform accounting software for the smaller tax payers.

“The new software will be given to all small traders to ensure uniformity in filing GST returns,” said Modi.

As decided by the GST Council, e-commerce firms will pay Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) and Tax Collected at Source (TCS) with effect from October 1.

The Union government on September 13 notified October 1 as the date for implementing the TDS and TCS provisions under Section 52 of the Central GST (CGST) Act.

The e-commerce companies have to deduct TDS up to 1 per cent state GST and 1 per cent central GST on intra-state supplies of over Rs 2.5 lakh.

In the case of inter-state supplies of over Rs 2.5 lakh, the TDS will be 2 per cent of the integrated (state and central) GST.

The Council had earlier deferred implementing the TDS and TCS after e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra expressed concerns on compliance burden.

Claiming that GST revenue was improving after the procedures and rules were reformed, Modi said revenue deficit of states had declined to 13 per cent from 17 per cent earlier.

“We are hoping the combined revenue will soon touch Rs 1.3 lakh crore per month with greater compliance by all the stakeholders,” reiterated Modi.

The data and business intelligence by the network is helping the Council to track tax evasions and warn dealers filing fake invoices.

The GST Council’s 30th meeting will be held on September 28 in New Delhi through video conferencing.

For the fiscal 2018-19, 15.71 crore returns have been filed since April 1, with 5.34 crore making tax payment.

About 50.6 lakh new traders have registered under the GST in the last five months.

“We have issued 23.61 crore e-way bills since April 1. Till September 17, 11.38 crore inter-state bills were generated, accounting for 48 per cent of total bills,” added Modi.

According to returns filed so far, 92 per cent of taxpayers have turnover below Rs 5 crore and 20 per cent have filed nil returns.

As the state-run NIC (National Informatics Centre) software on e-way bill enables tracking of goods, tax authorities can detect any mismatch easily.

Till August 8, 65,000 e-way bills were verified and 3,588 inspection reports filed.

The electronics and equipment sector has generated highest e-way bill, followed by textiles sector and iron and steel sector.

The GoM was set up in September 2017 to address the IT-related issues of the GSTN, operated by Infosys since the new tax regime was introduced across the country on July 1, 2017.

Besides Modi, other GoM members are Chhattisgarh Minister for Commercial Taxes Amar Agarwal, Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Krishna Byregowda, Kerala Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Issac and Telangana Finance Minister Etela Rajendar.