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GST: Matching of invoices, returns to start soon

The government will soon start the process of matching returns and invoices under the Goods & Services Tax (GST) as the IT backbone for the tax reform measure stabilises and the need to assess the extent of taxes due takes centrestage, government sources said. They also said that the revenue position after the introduction of GST was comfortable. The government is also working on making the new tax system more user-friendly and has lined up several steps to hand-hold taxpayers. Under the GST system, returns filed under forms such as GSTR-1 and 2 have to be matched with the GSTR-3 to ensure that the claims made by taxpayers are correct. The government has extended the deadline for filing returns several times as taxpayers have complained about the technical glitches that had affected the IT backbone - the Goods & Services Tax Network (GSTN). Since then, the GST Council has undertaken several measures to ensure stability of the system and has asked Infosys, the technology provider, to fix the glitches. The numbers of returns have also steadily increased and the government's promise of hand-holding taxpayers is also expected to bolster confidence among traders and the business community. Earlier this month, the GST Council unveiled a series of steps to help calm jittery businesses and undertook sharp cuts in rates of nearly 200 items to help consumers. The worries over revenues have also receded with receipts under GST registering steady gains. In October, GST receipts, including cess, totalled Rs 95,131 crore. The glitches in the IT system and uncertainty linked to the tax reform measure had triggered concerns over revenues. The government has maintained that it will take a few months for the system to stabilise.

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