New Delhi, May 10, 2017

Registration process kicked off in Nov with a fixed timeline and has seen 3 extensions so far

Enrolment under the goods and services tax network (GSTN) to migrate taxpayers to the new indirect tax regime’s information technology system has been temporarily suspended and will reopen in a few weeks.

The GST Network, the IT backbone, is migrating data from temporary or rented infrastructure to a permanent payment portal. Beta testing is being carried out and the setup will be ready for new registrations in the next few weeks.

“We are migrating data from the rented IT infrastructure to a permanent one, which will take 10-15 days. After that we will re-start the registration process,” said an official.

On why the discontinuation in service just a couple of months before rolling out GST, expected on July 1, the official explained registrations on the network had tapered, from 100,000 registrations a day in January to 3,000-4,000 a day by the end of April. “We want people to get the message that they must register on time,” he said.

The registration process kicked off in November with a fixed timeline and has seen three extensions so far. Those who register on this system would be migrated to the GST system.

By April 30, 87 per cent of central excise assessees and 84 per cent of service tax assessees had migrated to the new payment portal.

After the GST roll-out, all traders would require a 15-digit number based on their income-tax permanent account number (PAN). The GSTN is a private body developing the front-end infrastructure with the help of Infosys. It will provide a common platform for registration, filing of returns and e-payments. It will also integrate the common GST portal with the tax administration systems of the centre and the states.

Of the 8.4 million registered taxpayers, around 6 million have registered under GSTN. “There may be some overlapping cases,” said a government official, explaining that lower registrations than the number of taxpayers might not necessarily suggest that all have not registered.

Exemption under VAT is somewhere around Rs 10-lakh annual turnover. So those up to Rs 20-lakh annual turnover will not be required to register, unless they want to avail the input tax credit facility by coming under the GST net.

“One-third of the taxpayers are below the exemption limit. But many of them will register to avail input tax credit. So we expect only 8-10 per cent will not register as they will use the exemption,” said the GSTN official.

Under the enrollment procedure, traders are supposed to submit their documents and fulfil know-your-customer norms. They will get a registration number and a unique GST identity number.

[The Business Standard]