New Delhi, June 11, 2017

GST Network, the company putting in place the technology backbone for goods and services tax (GST), will be ready with revised forms and electronic documents for businesses to upload invoices by the end of the month, senior government officials said.

Readiness of GST is at the heart of the launch given that monthly returns have to be filed electronically through a three-stage process with all invoices to be submitted online and the reconciliation of all the documents done in the same manner before taxes are paid and credits given.

While there are apprehensions that GSTN will not be ready, especially after a revision in forms was necessitated due to a revised format, sources told TOI that the first priority was to be ready with the Excel sheet that will enable businesses to upload invoices on a daily basis. "It will be ready by the last week of June so that businesses can upload information on a daily basis and be prepared to file by the deadline," explained an officer.

The next step would be to be ready with the revised forms as the GSTN reckons that the first set of returns are to be filed only by August 10. "We will have 40 days from the time GST is launched on July 1 to be ready with the forms and we will do that well ahead of the deadline. Forms are ready, we only have to tweak them during the revision process," the officer explained. Similarly, the officer said that businesses need not worry about the quarterly returns because the first bunch will be required to be filed sometime in October.

On Friday, GSTN held a meeting with GST Service providers to allay apprehensions that it would be mandatory for everyone to use them. Small businesses such as shops and those in the business to consumer segment of the market have to file a five-line return and they do not need to attack invoices, which they can do on their own, said a GSTN official.

Even small entities that have business-to-business transactions can do so using the offline tool that GSTN has developed, which as the capability to deal with 19,000 invoices. "It is only larger players who need reconciliation of their invoices that may need so assistance. But it is not as if using GSPs is mandatory," the officer explained.

[The Times of India]