Technology system that will facilitate GST is getting ready for the biggest tax reform

Once the legislation is passed and amendments are made to make way for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, the information technology infrastructure will also get ready by April 1, 2017.

As soon as GST becomes a law, testing of the software will likely start from October as a beta launch of the GST portal is planned for February.
Prakash Kumar, CEO of Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), a not-for-profit entity owned by the Centre, states and non-government financial institutions, told ET, “It will be tested by a chosen group of tax professionals, officers and businesses.”

The constitutional amendment Bill to dissolve all indirect taxes is listed for consideration in the Rajya Sabha.

Infosys has been tasked with developing and running GSTN in a project worth Rs 1,380 crore.

The portal itself will be a one stop for filing and processing of all taxes for almost 65 to 70 lakh tax-payers in the country.

"The idea is to make the portal very intuitive and user-friendly. Our aim is to make the entire process completely paperless and we are devising multiple ways to ensure that even the smallest of retailers can file their taxes online," Kumar told ET.

Also, GSTN is in talks with SAP, Tally Solutions and ClearTax, etc to help businesses in filing taxes through their own systems without having to log into the portal.

"Today, one can file their income-tax returns through private tax portals without going to the department's website, we are aiming for a similar system," said Kumar.

The portal, which is expected to be ready in month, will allow new businesses to register using their PAN and mobile number or Aadhaar number. All businesses will be given a GST identification number, which will be a 15-digit code, consisting of their state code and ten digit PAN. GSTN has already validated the PAN of 58 lakh businesses from the tax department.

“The GST portal will be a front for the taxpayer where registration, return and payments will be filed. It will also provide helpdesk support. The technology at the backend will have the power to analyse data for trends on sales, tax filings etc. This will provide a lot of visibility into the trade happening in the country and help in policymaking," said Kumar.

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