Single returns filing form for GST likely by year-end

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To the relief of all businesses registered under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the government will launch a single tax returns form, which will be fully implemented by the end of this year. It is also working on automated refunds.“For next six months, this is going to be our focus. We are working on the system. We expect it to be fully implementable by the end of this year. It will remove many of the existing difficulties that are being faced,” said Prakash Kumar, CEO, GSTN, on the sidelines of an event conducted by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to celebrate one year of GST.

India Inc has been demanding a single return process with automatic tax computation and calculation of input tax credit, to make things easier for taxpayers.“We gained a bit in the process of simplification by introducing the GST, but that does not mean there is no scope for betterment of the existing system. We are still convinced that we need to do a lot more,” said Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia.Adhia also hinted at launching a single tax return system soon and on making the GST refund claims automated in future.

“Refunds were to be automated from the day one. But people made so many mistakes in their filing that we had to go for the manual system at the last moment,” Adhia said, admitting that it was the technology that failed a smooth transition to the GST era.“Since we had to meet a certain deadline, we needed to hurry up the processes (sic). Somewhere, I made a reference about the technology failing us, but that does not mean that the people in the GSTN failed us. Marvellous people work in the GSTN and despite their efforts, the GSTN still fails us,” the Finance Secretary said. The next meeting of GST Council is scheduled to be held on July 21.

Glitches in taxing e-commerce firms

The government is finding it difficult to tax e-commerce companies as there are uncertainties regarding their places of business, as servers’ are sometimes outside India. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the government is looking into the matter and will to come up with more clarity regarding the e-commerce businesses.