Bengaluru, September 25, 2017

The tax base or those registered for GST has gone up in August but the number of filings so far is lower than the previous month as businesses grapple with technology issues and take advantage of the government's decision to waive penalty for late filing.

So far in August, the second month of GST, around 35 lakh tax payers of the 67.73 lakh required to file returns have managed to pay tax and file returns, which is a little over half the population. Data available with GST Network, the agency managing the IT platform, showed that over 87 lakh businesses have registered so far, which includes nearly 25 lakh new players apart from the 63 lakh or so who migrated from service tax, central excise and state VAT.

In contrast, in July, 36 lakh out of 45.58 lakh eligible entities paid GST, and the Centre collected over Rs 92,000 crore, which translates into nearly 79% compliance. September 20 was the last date for paying GST and filing returns for August, and a majority of the registered dealers could not comply due to various reasons, including technical glitches with the GSTN portal.

Consultants and chartered accountants blamed the IT platform and complained of lack of capacity, a charge that has stoutly been denied by GSTN, with interim chairman A B Pandey telling TOI that the system has sufficient capacity to handle a large volume of filings But traders are not satisfied.

"We expected some improvement in the second month, with the government talking about rectifying the technical glitches. But it has gone from bad to worse," said Praveen Khandelwar, national secretary-general, Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT).

[The Times of India]