In this article you will learn:
The Empowered Group under the Chairmanship of Dr Nandan Nilekani set up Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for implementing the common portal that can be accessed via gst.gov.in.
GSTN is a non-profit, non-government company. It was established to provide shared IT Infrastructure and services to both Central and State governments including tax payers and other stakeholders.
The IT infrastructure involved establishing a uniform interface commonly known as the GST portal for the taxpayers, centre and state governments. This portal was developed to implement GST and related services like registration, return, payment etc.
Thus, GSTN not only provides a GST common portal and efficient back end services to the Centre and State tax departments, but has also created a systematic and user friendly GST ecosystem.
This has further enabled the tax authorities to improve tax compliance and also bring about transparency in the tax administration system. This article talks about the GST website and what constitutes the GSTN portal.
Implementation of GST has been a major development in the indirect tax regime since independence. This is because GST is not only a single destination based tax but also its administration would take place via the common GST online portal.
This means, unlike the previous indirect tax regime, the taxpayers would not be required to go to the tax departments in person for filing tax returns and applications. Although, there are facilitation centres where the taxpayers can file returns and submit returns physically.
Besides providing GST related services, the common portal also updates notifications, circulars and announcements made by the GST Council in the meetings held every month. These announcements help the taxpayers to stay updated with the latest changes or amendments made in the GST act.
In addition to this, the GST portal also offers a wide array of offline tools for the taxpayers which helps them in filing returns and undertaking other aspects related with GST.
What Constitutes gst.gov.in?
Following are the various contents that form part of the GST Common Portal.
Under this tab, a taxpayer can view all the services that are offered by the GST common portal. These services would help taxpayers in complying with the GST law. These services include registration, payments, user services and refunds.
Under registration, following are the sub-categories:
A taxpayer not registered under the GST regime can opt for this sub – category in order to make an application for GST registration.
As per the CGST act 2017, a supplier of goods having an aggregate annual turnover of Rs. 40 lakhs can register under GST. Likewise, the supplier of services having an aggregate annual turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs can make an application for GST registration.
As for the north eastern states, the threshold limit for GST registration is Rs. 20 lakhs. Check our complete guide on GST registration to know how to apply online.
Track Application Status
Every taxpayer applying for GST registration can track his GST registration status by choosing this option.
Since it takes time for the tax officer to verify the details and approve registration application, a taxpayer is given a unique Application Reference Number (ARN) with the help of which he can track the position of his GST registration application on the GST portal. This number is generated only when the taxpayer completes his GST registration application.
Application for Filing Clarifications
In case the tax officer is not satisfied with the information provided by the taxpayer while making GST registration application, he can seek clarifications from the taxpayer via notices.
In return, the taxpayer needs to provide those clarifications electronically on the GST portal by choosing this option. Once the taxpayer chooses this option, he needs to provide TRN and proceed with providing the requisite clarifications.
This option gets displayed once the taxpayer gets logged in to his account using username and password details.
These electronic ledgers reflect the amount of tax payable, cash available to pay off GST liability and ITC. Under this category, following are the options that get displayed:
Electronic Cash Ledger
The electronic cash ledger provides a summary of all the payments made by the taxpayer. It reflects the cash available to pay off the tax liability of the taxpayer. Thus, any deposit made by the taxpayer on the GST portal is credited to this ledger.
Electronic Liability Ledger
Electronic Credit Ledger
The electronic credit ledger reflects the amount of ITC available to the taxpayer. Thus, every claim of ITC of the taxpayer eligible for claiming such a credit is credited to this ledger. The amount available in this ledger is utilized in making payments towards output tax liability by the taxpayer.
Payment Towards Demand
The GST authorities will begin the demand and recovery provisions against the assessee in case the assessee makes less payment towards tax or utilizes ITC incorrectly.
This option gets active only when the taxpayer gets logged in to his account on the portal. This category helps the taxpayer to file his monthly/quarterly/annual returns. Following are the options that get displayed under this category:
Manage Return Profile (Trial)
This option helps you to change return frequency as monthly or quarterly. Based on the option chosen, you would be taken to the relevant questionnaire page that will help you to select appropriate return frequency and return type.
Track Return Status
This option displays the status of all the returns filed by the taxpayer in different tax periods. The taxpayers can use three options to know the status of the returns filed in a particular period. These options are:
- Return Filing Period
This option displays the various ITC forms like ITC – 01, ITC – 02, ITC – 03 and ITC – 04. Thus, the taxpayer can prepare these forms either online or offline except GST ITC – 02 as it can be prepared only online.
TDS and TCS Credit Received
All the taxpayers from whom tax has been collected or deducted at source by registered TDS deductors/TCS collectors can use this option. They can use it to accept or reject the TDS/TCS credit on the GST portal with the help of this tab.
New Return (Trial)
View E – Filed Returns
This category helps you to view the various returns filed in different tax periods. Thus, a taxpayer can view the returns with the help of various fields like financial year, return filing period, month and return type.
This page displays the various transition forms like TRAN 1, TRAN 2 and TRAN 3 for the taxpayer to settle tax and credit pending under the old regime so as to shift to the new GST regime.
Under this option, the taxpayer can file annual return in form GSTR 9 either online or offline. Furthermore, this category also displays form GSTR 9C for those who have an aggregate turnover of more than Rs. 2 crores during a financial year and who get their accounts audited by a CA.
Under this option, the taxpayer can create challan in order to make payment towards GST.
This option gives the status of challans generated by the taxpayer in various tax periods. In order to find a particular challan, the taxpayer can use ‘Search by CPIN’ and ‘Search by Date’ options.
This option displays any challans saved by the taxpayer while generating the same to make payment towards GST at a later time or date.
Application for Deferred Payment/Payment in Installments
In case a taxpayer cannot pay the entire GST tax amount in a lump sum within the prescribed due date, he can make an application to the commissioner to pay the same in instalments using this option.
Grievance Against Payment (GST PMT – 07)
This form can be used by a taxpayer to report discrepancy where amount has been debited from the account of the taxpayer but the same has not been updated in the electronic credit ledger.
Following are the other services that a taxpayer can use. These include:
- May saved applications (Opens After Logging In)
- View/download certificates (Opens After Logging In)
- View my submissions (Opens After Logging In)
- Feedback (Opens After Logging In)
- View my submitted LUTs (Opens After Logging In)
- Engage/disengage GST practitioner (GSTP) (Opens After Logging In)
- View additional notices/orders (Opens After Logging In)
- My applications (Opens After Logging In)
- View notices and orders (Opens After Logging In)
- Holiday list
- Furnish LUT (Opens After Logging In)
- Locate GST practitioner (GSTP)
- ITC02 – pending for action (Opens After Logging In)
- Cause list
Under this option, the taxpayer can create a refund application, track its status, view saved or filed applications and file an intimation for not receiving a refund.
Application for Refund (Opens After Logging In)
The taxpayer can use this option to claim a refund of GST. After choosing this option, he first needs to select the reason for claiming GST refund.
My Saved/ Filed Applications (Opens After Logging In)
This page shows any saved or filed refund applications of the registered taxpayer.
Track Status of Invoice Data to be Shared with ICEGATE (Opens After Logging In)
This option displays the export invoices found in table 6A of GSTR – 1 of the taxpayer. Furthermore, the taxpayer can also view the export ledger displaying the return types filed in different return periods along with the IGST amount and cess.
Refund Pre Application Form (Opens After Logging In)
In order to make tax refund quicker and easier, the GST portal has given refund pre-application form.
Track Application Status
Using this option, the taxpayer can track the status of his refund application. There are two options with the help of which he can track application status – ARN or filing year.
Intimation on Account of Refund not Received (Opens After Logging In)
A taxpayer can use this option to intimate the tax authorities regarding the tax refund not received by the taxpayer for a particular period.
This page displays the links to the websites of various states along with the link to the CBIC website. These links would help the taxpayer to access GTS acts, rules, amendments, notifications etc.
This section contains three categories:
- Offline Tools
- Accounting and Billing software
- Proposed Return Documents
- GST Statistics
In order to make the return filing easier for the taxpayers, the GST portal provides various offline tools apart from the online facility to file returns. In addition to this, the accounting and billing software sub-category displays a list of vendors selling accounting and billing software products along with their product details, features and system requirements.
Further, under the proposed return documents, the GST portal provides PDF guides on new GST returns including Sahaj, Sugam and normal return. Lastly, under the GST statistics tab, the GST portal gives state wise data on the active taxpayers at the close of the last month in different financial years. This data is divided into three parts:
- Tax paid on GST portal
- IGST paid on customs portal
- IGST settled to states/UTs
The GST portal has a Search Taxpayer facility for the users to undertake GST Number Search online. The very idea behind introducing the GST search tool was to check the authenticity of the GSTIN, to verify the identity of the GSTIN holder and to avoid GSTIN fraud and fake invoices issued by suppliers.
The search taxpayer tool on the GST portal allows a user to undertake GST Verification of a given taxpayer by using:
- GSTIN/UIN or PAN in case of a normal taxpayer and
- GSTIN/UIN or state in case of a composition dealer.
In order to help the taxpayer understand various aspects of GST, its rules, amendments and other changes pertaining to the GST law, the GST portal offers user manuals, videos and FAQs.
These manuals are a step by step guide to help a taxpayer undertake various GST functions like registration, return filing, ITC claim, refund etc. In addition to this, the help category also has grievance redressal portal option that enables the taxpayers to lodge complaints regarding issues faced by them while working on the GST portal.
This redressal portal is designed in a manner that the user can explain his issues and upload screenshots of pages where he faced challenges. Thus, it helps in quick redressal of grievances.
E-Way Bill System
This category helps taxpayers to generate e-way bills. Furthermore, it also contains user manuals as well as FAQs to help a taxpayer generate e-way bills. In case a taxpayer finds any challenge while generating e-way bill, he can contact the help desk.
New Return Trial
This category displays two options:
New Return Prototype
The new return prototype is a web based mockup of the offline tools of the new return to give stakeholders a feel of what tool will look like and to get their feedback on the same.
This is an interactive prototype that allows the users to navigate from page to page and use various functionalities. It’s only a screen layout of the offline tool for the taxpayers to view and familiarize themselves with the offline tool developed to prepare proposed returns.
Offline Tools for New Return (Trial)
Besides this online tool, thea GSTN has released trial version of the new returns offline tool of form GST ANX – 1, form GST ANX – 2 (with matching tool built in it) and a template for a purchase register. This template can be used to import data of purchase register for matching with ANX – 2.