With the looming July 1 deadline for new indirect tax regime, GST Network has asked the GST Suvidha Providers to get their systems audited as per ISO standards before they start feeding data into the network.
This assumes significance as the country is gearing up for an overhaul of its indirect tax regime and thousands of businesses will upload their purchase-sale invoices on the GST Network (GSTN) on a daily basis.
GST Network - the company building the IT backbone for the new tax structure - has also asked the 34 GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) to ensure the security of their systems.
The GSPs will assist taxpayers in interacting with GST systems, from registration of entity to uploading of invoice details to filing of returns under the new regime.
"GSPs were told that they must have their systems audited as per the prevailing ISO standard on security from one of the auditors on the panel of CERT-IN before they connect with and start pushing data into the GST System," a finance ministry statement said. At a meeting with GSPs, GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar assessed their preparedness. Besides, GSTN presented the timeliness of the release of updated specifications for the new GST Return forms.
"GSTN also published and explained the method and manner in which the GSPs would be able to integrate with the GST system to be able to submit all the return forms on behalf of their clients and taxpayers," the statement added. GSTN also advised all GSPs to continue to visit the GSP ecosystem web page on the GSTN website (www.gstn.org/ecosystem) for all information, updates and guidelines, which are regularly updated. For the convenience of taxpayers, GSTN has also come up with an offline tool where data on invoices (business to business), exports, supplies to consumers etc., which are required to create GSTR-1 can be entered in an excel sheet in offline mode.
The tool can be run to upload all such data on the portal. Only while uploading the data on GST portal, internet connectivity will be required.
The offline tool will be provided free of cost and taxpayers will be able to download it from the GST portal (www.gst.gov.in) from last week of June.
GSTN will also release the format of excel in which businesses will start maintaining the data from July 1 for using the offline tool for uploading the invoice data and other return data.
Taxpayers using offline tool will not require services of any GSPs. Similarly, those having small number of business-to- business invoices, like retailers and small traders, can do the data entry on the portal itself and they will also not require the services of GSPs, the statement said.