GST moves a step closer to provide ‘suvidha’ to taxpayers

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Inching closer to provide ease to the Goods and Services taxpayers, GST Network (GSTN), the company entrusted to create the logistical and IT backbone for the new tax regime, has allowed taxpayers the option of third-party interfaces to guide them from registration to filing of returns.

The step, aimed at providing ease to the taxpayers towards payment of the new indirect tax, invites banks, IT companies and financial technology companies to become GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) to help the taxpayers from registration of entity to uploading of invoice details to filing of returns.

“Tax payers’ convenience will be a key factor in success of GST regime. The tax payer should have a choice to use third party applications which can provide varied interfaces on desktops, laptops and mobiles and can connect with GST System,” GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar said in a statement.

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The GST system is going to have a government-to-business portal for taxpayers to access it. However, this would not be the only way for interacting with the GST system as the taxpayer via his choice of third party applications, which will provide all user interfaces and convenience via desktop, mobile, other interfaces, will be able to interact with the GST system.

Thus there will be two sets of interactions, one between the app user and the GSP and the second between the GSP and the GST System. It is envisaged that app provider and GSP could be the same entity. Another version could where data in required format directly goes to GSP-GST Server.

The third party applications will connect with GST system via secure GST System application programming interface (APIs). All such applications are expected to be developed by third party service providers who have been given a generic name, GST Suvidha Provider or GSP.

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“The GSP developed apps will connect with the GST system via secure GST system APIs. Most of GST system functionalities related to taxpayers’ GST compliance requirements shall be available to the GSP through APIs. GSPs may use GST APIs and enrich and enhance the tax payers’ experience,” Kumar said.

Any prospective applicant will need to meet a pre-qualification criteria for GSPs like digital presence and will need to give a bank guarantee and sign a contract with GSTN to become an authorised GSP.

“On signing of the contract, GSPs will get a unique license key for accessing the GST system. GSPs will be authenticated using this license key provided by GSTN,” it said.

The government is targeting April 1, 2017 to bring in the GST regime.

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