Taxpayers to get a feel of GST next month

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Beginning next month, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) will start migrating over 80 lakh taxpayers onto its system. This will facilitate the smooth implementation of the GST regime. “The first part of our software will be ready by end October. Existing taxpayers of value added tax, service tax and central excise will be migrated to GSTN,” said Navin Kumar, Chairman, GSTN.

In an interview to Business Line, he said the GSTN will begin issuing GST identity numbers (TIN) and generating passwords for these taxpayers. “They can log on to our system, familiarise themselves with it as well as provide us relevant information,” he said. The GSTN, which will provide the IT infrastructure for the new indirect tax levy, has already received a list of all the taxpayers, their Permanent Account Numbers (PAN), names of the business entities, and their constitution or form from the tax authorities.

On receiving their ID and passwords, taxpayers will be expected to log on to the GSTN and provide three additional inputs — place and address of business, name(s) of directors or proprietors, and details of bank accounts — which will become part of the GST records.

“Though the taxpayers will have time up to six months after the roll out of GST to provide this information, but we thought we will give them an opportunity to come on the system now itself and familiarise themselves,” said Kumar, adding that annually about four lakh new taxpayers are estimated to enrol on the IT network.

He also expressed confidence that the GSTN will be ready to meet the roll-out target of the indirect tax levy from April 1, 2017. “We will have a beta run from the end of February to end March and will go live from April 1,” he stressed.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday held a meeting where Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka made a presentation on the GSTN and its roadmap. Infosys is the technology partner for GSTN and is developing the system.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on the matter with Jaitley and Finance Ministry officials.

Apart from the Centre, the GSTN is also building the back-end IT infrastructure and software for 19 States and five Union Territories. Kumar said about 10 States such as Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are building their own systems.

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