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GST Network starts pilot testing of filing of returns

Gearing up for the roll-out of the country’s largest tax reform, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is carrying out a pilot test on return filing.

“It will be a live test using 4,000 taxpayers and will be conducted over this fortnight,” said a senior official.

Once the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented from July 1, over 80 lakh assessees are expected to log on to GSTN after a month to begin filing their monthly returns.

Every taxpayer would have three returns to be uploaded every month, including GSTR 1, GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 relating to sales, purchases and the final tax paid, apart from one annual return.

While Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has promised ease in compliance and has assured that in effect there would only be one return to be filed every month, concerns were raised whether the back end IT infrastructure is strong enough to take the load.

The pilot test is expected to help look into these concerns as well as iron out any other wrinkles that may arise.

The results of the pilot test are also expected to be shared with the GST Council in its next meeting later this month.

Migration of assessees

Meanwhile, the official said while migration of assessees to the GST has been stopped as of now, it will be restarted at a later date.

The data of all the enrolled assessees will now be migrated to the new GST system.

Despite the slow pace of enrolment of businesses, about 60 lakh or two-thirds of the assessees of State value added tax (VAT) have been registered under GST. However, the enrolment of service tax and Central excise duty assessees is lagging.

“There is no reason to worry. Even if the enrolment window opens on June 30, taxpayers can easily enrol for GST,” said the official

The enrolment window was open between November 8 last year and April 30 this year.

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