The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has recently introduced some critical updates on the GST portal, i.e. gst.gov.in website. The GST portal has newly added features such as the PMT-09 filing facility for all taxpayers and the EVC option for companies and limited liability partnership (LLP) firms.
These features will ease the restrictions imposed on businesses. They provide relief to the small taxpayers, especially during the times of COVID-19 crisis when there is limited access to cash resources.
The PMT-09 filing facility allows a GST portal user to transfer the amount deposited under one head to another head in the electronic cash ledger. It helps with the intra-head or inter-head transfer of amount available in electronic cash ledger only. The major heads defined are CGST, SGST/UTGST, IGST and cess, whereas the minor heads defined in the law are tax, interest, late fee, penalty and others. So, a person can transfer from one major head to another major head keeping minor head the same. Alternatively, one can move the amount from one minor head to another minor head, keeping the major head unchanged.
GSTN has released specific FAQs on the facility. The facility is not available in the offline mode. So, the user can find this option under the ‘Electronic cash ledger’ tab when he navigates to ‘Services’ and then chooses ‘Ledgers’. On filing, the ledger is updated immediately, and the user is intimated via his registered email ID and mobile number.
Several tax experts and practitioners have noticed a flaw. The GST rules allow shifting of any amount of cash deposited into the electronic cash ledger of the minor heads such as the tax, interest, penalty, fee or others. The shifting can be done across the major heads such as integrated tax, central tax, state tax or Union Territory tax or cess.
This rule, although inserted in June 2019 had to be notified by CBIC to apply from a particular date. However, this has not taken place as yet. Meanwhile, the GSTN has opened up the facility for the taxpayers on the GST portal. Inconsistency between the law and the portal leads to confusion among the taxpayers about the legal validity until notified.
Nonetheless, the GSTN has definitely provided relief to several taxpayers who had earlier made incorrect deposits while paying GST. Henceforth, they do not have to follow the lengthy and time-consuming procedure for making any corrections.
In other words, they do not have to apply for a refund for tax wrongly deposited under a particular head and pay cash again. Instead, they can choose the PMT-09 option to shift the amount deposited erroneously under one head to another by an easy EVC/DSC verification. There does not appear to be any limitations in the number of times that one can use this facility.
Another major update that addresses the concerns of several companies and LLPs across the country is the availability of Electronic Verification Code (EVC) option while filing GSTR-3B. On choosing EVC option, the authorised signatory of the taxpayer receives a One-time Password (OTP) on the valid email address and mobile number registered for such GSTIN. After verifying the return using the OTP, the user can successfully file the GSTR-3B return.
Earlier, the companies and LLPs had to obtain Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) to verify and file their GSTR-3B online. The rest of the taxpayers could use either of the two options -DSC/EVC to complete their filings. But with the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 outbreak in India, registered businesses found it challenging to access the DSC USB token for compliance. Accordingly, the availability of EVC option ensures that companies and LLPs can conveniently file their returns without hassles.
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Annapoorna, popularly known as Anna, is an aspiring Chartered Accountant with a flair for GST. She spends most of her day Singing hymns to the tune of jee-es-tee! Well, not most of her day, just now and then.