In its historic first year of implementation, the ambitious Goods & Services Tax (GST) witnessed a significant jump in its active taxpayer base, with the number of taxpayers registered with the GST system jumping to over 11.2 million from an initial 6.376 million.
The increase in active taxpayer base of GST indicates a move towards greater formalization of the economy with more businesses joining the formal sector.
At a special media briefing to mark one year of the historic indirect tax reform, Goods & Services Network expressed satisfaction over the performance of the IT infrastructure of the new tax regime and indicated that more steps are on the anvil to improve user experience and user interface.
"We are happy to state that the GST system is functioning well with around a million returns being filed seamlessly every month. GST has clocked an average revenue collection of approximately Rs 900 billion a month in the first year, with the same crossing Rs 1 trillion in April. As many as 120 million returns have been filed till date and 3.8 billion invoices processed.
A total of 1,12,15,693 taxpayers stand registered with the GST system today in which 63,76,967 are the ones who have migrated from previous tax regimes and 48,38,726 are the ones who have entered the new tax regime in the first year of GST indicating towards a significant increase in active taxpayer base," said Dr. A B Pandey, Chairman, GSTN.
With the GST system running efficiently, the GSTN is now turning its attention towards improving user interface, simplification of filing, improving of error messages and devising tools and methodologies to help tax authorities improve tax compliance.
"We have provided 30 odd MIS reports to Tax Officers and we are going to provide 20 more MIS reports to Tax Commissioners to help them to have more tax related data. All these mechanisms are intended at playing the dual role of making tax compliance easier while making tax evasion difficult," said Prakash Kumar, CEO GSTN.
GSTN is also working on preparing back office functionalities for tax officers of 27 States/ UTs to perform operations such as assessment and adjudication, appeal and audit, among others.
Apart from providing a common and shared IT infrastructure and services to the Central and State Governments, Tax Payers and other stakeholders, the GSTN has over the past year worked relentlessly to help all stakeholders get familiar with the new tax system.
The efforts includes helpdesks for taxpayers and tax officials to address their grievances, training more than 65,000 tax officials through various mediums such as classroom trainings, webinars, and computer based training etc. and a self-help portal to taxpayers for grievance redressal. In order to make filing returns for all types of taxpayers including those who may not have continuous access to Internet, GSTN also delivered offline tools filing of all returns and forms.