Over the last six months, there have been several new updates on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) portal. These new updates are rolled out to make it smooth and effective for taxpayers to file their returns. To avoid missing out on essential compliances, taxpayers need to stay updated and prevent being issued notices to them. Some of the significant new features and updates are listed below that you need to be aware of.
Feature#1: Comparison of Declared Liability and Claimed ITC
New functionality on the GST portal allows taxpayers to compare their GSTR-3B tax liabilities with filed GSTR-1s. Similarly, users can also make a comparison between input tax credit (ITC) claimed in the GSTR-3B and credit available in GSTR-2A. Furthermore, there are 4 additional tabs under which the data validation and comparison can be done – liability other than export/reverse charge, liability due to export and SEZ supplies, liability due to reverse charge, and ITC claimed and due. Overall, this feature can help to reconcile the filed GST returns and prepare the annual return.
Feature#2: GSTR-9 and GSTR-9A Enabled to File Annual Returns
GSTR-9, the annual return form for normal taxpayers, and GSTR-9A, the annual return form for taxpayers under composition scheme have been enabled recently on the portal. Although the due date for filing GSTR-9 has been extended to November 30, 2019, taxpayers are encouraged to file their returns early and not wait till the last moment. In the case of any doubt, users can also refer to available guides to file these returns.
Feature#3: File Appeals Online
Now, a taxpayer can file an appeal online in the case of an advanced ruling by an appellate authority, an order passed by an appellate authority or rectification of a mistake in an application to the appellate authority. A system-generated acknowledgment bearing the remark “subject to validation of certified copies” will be issued if the appellate authority fails to issue a final acknowledgment within the stipulated timeline.
Feature#4: GSTIN can be Entered While Filing a Refund Application
Due to the inverted tax structure under GST, a registered taxpayer can file a refund application to claim the accumulated input tax credit (ITC). Now, a taxpayer can enter their own GSTIN while furnishing the inward supply details on the GST portal. Prior to the introduction of this feature, this option was not available.
Feature#5: Quarterly-Filers can File Their Refund Applications Monthly
Taxpayers who file their returns quarterly no longer need to wait for quarterly filing of refund applications. The portal has now enabled the monthly filing option. However, before filing the refund application, a user has to ensure the filing of GSTR-1 for the quarter. This feature can enable businesses, especially SMEs, to mobilize their cash flows as they don’t need to wait till the end of the quarter to apply for a refund.
Feature#6: New Window to Claim TDS/TCS Credits
The GST portal has enabled a new window for claiming TDS/TCS credits which can be utilized while filing GST returns. A taxpayer can either accept or reject these credits, after which they are moved to the cash ledger. These credits can then be used to make GST payments. Furthermore, this function helps the taxpayers to determine the available credits, and take necessary action.
Feature#7: Responding to Show-Cause Notices
For composition taxpayers, there is an easy way to reply to show-cause notices which have been issued for compulsory withdrawal from the composition scheme. If a show-cause notice has been issued and the proceedings have been initiated, you can now reply to the same using a new option on the portal. This could save time significantly and also simplified the overall process for composition taxpayers.
Feature#8: Bank Account Details can be Updated any Time after Registration
For normal, OIDAR, and non-resident taxable person, it is now optional to declare bank account details at the time of registration, and the same can be furnished later. Before it was mandatory to submit these details during registration, however, now it can be provided when logging in for the first time. For new businesses, this can be particularly useful as a GST registration number can be obtained without the need to open a bank account first.
Feature#9: 6 Banks are Available to Make GST Payments
While making GST payments, six preferred banks will now be available for taxpayers to choose from. Additionally, a user no longer needs to enter his/her bank details every time and can simply select the same from a drop-down menu. If the payment is made through a seventh bank account, that new bank account gets added while removing the least used account.
Feature#10: Import E-way Bill Data to File GSTR-1
The GST portal has been integrated with the E-way bill (EWB) portal which allows taxpayers to seamlessly import their data. The users can automatically import the B2B and B2C invoices sections and HSN-wise-summary of outward supplies section. They can also verify the data and then proceed further which saves time and prevents unnecessary data-entry.
Feature#11: Option to File of GST CMP-08 Available to Composition Taxpayer
Now composition dealer can file CMP-08 which comprise details of self-assessed liability and payment thereof. A new scheme of return filing procedure was laid down for the composition taxpayer form April 1, 2019. Where filing requirement of GSTR-4 in the new format has been done annually and payment of tax through CMP-08 shall be on a quarterly basis.
Feature#12: New Return Filing Procedure (Trail)
In its 31st meeting, the GST council has decided to introduce a new GST return system to facilitate taxpayers. In May 2019, a prototype of the offline tool has been shared on the GST portal on a trial basis to familiarize the users with the look and feel of the tool. It was also noted that the look and feel of the offline tool would be similar to that of the online portal. This move towards new return system might increase the ease of doing business for all taxpayers.
Feature#13: Free Accounting and Billing Software for Small Taxpayers
After the recommendation of GST Council, GSTN has partnered with some billing and accounting software vendors for providing free software to the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, with annual turnover under INR 1.5 Cr, in a financial year. The software will help taxpayers to utilize billing and accounting features, while also being able to file returns for their GST-related compliances. Some of its features include managing inventory, create bills and invoices, create account statements, balance sheet, and file GST returns.
These new features and updates on GST portal should help taxpayers to file their GST returns smoothly and without any hassle. While there are still new features being rolled out, taxpayers are hoping to see a system which is completely online and faultless.