FM to meet GST practitioners to address concerns

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Amid repeated concerns over glitches in the filing of GST returns and getting refunds, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has invited tax practitioner associations, MSME sector representatives, and Institute of Chartered Accountants of India representatives on Saturday to hear their concerns and seek to address them. These practitioners would demonstrate in real-time the various system issues encountered during the filing of GST forms with top officers of GST and GST Network to being present.

“This exercise, along with the different steps being suggested by the various internal committees of the department, aims to further simplify GST forms and make the filling process more userfriendly,” a tweet by Sitharaman’s office said. Small businesses have been complaining about difficulties in filing returns, which they say consumes a lot of time and requires detailed maintenance of accounts, which many are finding difficult to handle. The move comes ahead of the launch of the new tax return forms and weeks after the government announced a new automated refund mechanism to address concerns related to refunds being held up.

Government sources said that automated refund mechanisms through which payments are to be made in 60 days had raised expectations of the money flowing back within a week, as is the case with payments related to the export of goods. While GSTN and the government’s Public Financial Management System have joined hands to speed up refunds, the system is yet to stabilize as the two have to work in tandem. Officials said these glitches would be sorted out over the next few days.

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