Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 23 said that the government is working to make goods and services tax (GST) filing simpler. Announcing a slew of measures to boost the economy, Sitharaman said GST filings would have fewer forms to make the process much easier. GST launched on July 1, 2017, has more than 10 different forms for filing the returns. This makes it a complicated process since separate forms have to be used depending on the type of taxpayer (individual, non-resident, e-commerce firms among others). “This (GST simplification) is really being worked upon. Soon, the GST (filing process) will have less number of forms. On the other hand, the refund process has almost become automated,” added Sitharaman.
Each GST form is used for a different purpose. Further, every form has to be filed within a particular time period each month. Even for normal taxpayers, there are multiple such forms that currently make the process cumbersome. Refunds under the GST process have also been a cause of concern. The finance minister said they are working to remove the glitches in the refund system. Sitharaman said they will discuss GST Network on August 25 to look into the refund process and look at any glitches in terms of the flow of refunds. “We are holding a meeting with GSTN on Sunday to identify problems with the flow of refunds,” she said. However, if there are cases of the system being gamed or tweakings manually being done, there will be assured actions against those responsible, she said, adding, the key was to ensure the refunds don’t get delayed.