The third National GST Conference was held on Friday, 6th March 2020 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi. It is organised regularly for the assembly of the Commissioners of State Tax and Zonal Chief Commissioners of Central Tax across India.
The Conference was chaired by the Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Union Finance Secretary. This time, Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman also attended the meet to be apprised about developments made on resolving taxpayers’ difficulties on the GST portal.
Critical discussions happened about streamlining the GST return filing process, revenue-enhancing measures at hand, and goal-oriented compliance management. Proposals have been passed to define and issue the standard operating procedures for blocking of input tax credits, and physical spot verification of the suspected taxpayers.
Additionally, more measures are passed to monitor export valuation, one of which is fixing of an upper cap while valuing the export benefits or incentives. Also, immediate steps are to be taken to keep a check on the passing of the input tax credit by new taxpayers.
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On a detailed note, the Principal Director General of the GST Intelligence wing made a presentation on tax evasion and measures to enforce the law backed by case studies. Certain states also presented their GST implementation strategies by sharing some best practices followed for effective compliance. The states include Odisha, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and West Bengal.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), as well as the GST policy wing, proposed a customer incentivisation scheme. It will inculcate habit among the consumers to seek tax invoices on the purchases made. Also, different measures are in the making for improving compliance and augmenting revenue collections.
Prakash Kumar, CEO of GSTN, shared a note about the system issues and their plan of actions to streamline the GST systems. Infosys, the technology service provider for GSTN, also demonstrated various technical aspects and updates in the current and upcoming return systems.
These include the business statistics, the return filing trends, and the system preparedness. Further, it covered the facilities lined up for a launch, the measures taken to address the GST portal’s capacity and the resolutions for taxpayers’ difficulties. At the conference, it was iterated that Infosys is answerable for effective performance and high uptime availability of the GST portal.
The conference is organised by the GST Council Secretariat (GSTC) and its team. Previously, the 1st and the 2nd National GST Conferences were held in November 2019 and February 2020 respectively. The GST Council is supposed to meet on the coming Saturday, 14th March 2020. The pressing issues to be on focus include two of them. These are clarifications on the changes made in computing the interest on delayed GST payments, and the announcement of a simple GST rate restructure to address the tax issues, among other things.
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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.