GSTN Allows Tax Officers To Access Their Office Network Remotely
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Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is a non-governmental, private limited company, Section 8 (under the New Companies Act, not for profit companies which are governed under Section 8). The Company was set up in March 2013 primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders to enforce the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has mentioned that, during the lockdown period, tax officers from various states and Union Territories (UTs) will be able to access their offices. On request, GSTN is providing safe access to the office network. It has allowed 1748 tax officers from 18 states/UTs to access their office network securely via the Virtual Private Network (VPN) till 31 March. This is in addition to the three hill states that already use VPN to connect to the GST network.

In addition to 1.23 crore taxpayers, GSTN has also provided IT services for GST implementation to 29 states/UTs. For such states and UTs, GSTN offers back-office application software such as registration application processing, refund application processing, assessment, appeal, audit, etc. for all of the tax officers. Shortly after the announcement of the lockdown, GSTN provided secured access to all of these states to make sure their officers can work remotely.

Also Read: GSTN released an advisory on opting in Composition Scheme for FY 2020-21

Following the request from these States/UTs, the designated officers were provided with the VPN for accessing the back office so that they can perform their job remotely without any trouble. This helps officers escape the backlog that would have happened if the cases had not been handled during the lockdown. With the option of auto-approval of applications, if an application is not processed on a timely basis by a tax officer, the officers intend to get it done manually so that there are no complications in the future.

According to the data provided by GSTN, within the first 10 days of the lockout, i.e. from 25 March to 3 April 2020, a total number of 20,273 registration-related cases were handled. This includes 10,077 new registration cases, 3377 core modification cases, 3784 cancellation cases by demand, 1966 cancellation cases by suo moto and 1069 revocation cases. Similarly, during the time 7876 refund cases were also handled.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at bhavana.pn@cleartax.in

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