With three weeks left for the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), its IT backbone, GST Network (GSTN), held a meeting with 34 GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs), wherein it was agreed to release the Application Programme Interface (API) in a staggered manner. Also, security aspects of GSPs were discussed and they were told to get 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.
The requirement of GSPs being secure and, in turn, ensuring security of the GST system was also highlighted and emphasised, a finance ministry statement said.
In the meeting chaired by GSTN chairman Navin Kumar, the GSTN presented the timelines of the release of updated specifications of APIs for the new GSTR forms that will come into effect from July 1. “The API specifications will be released in staggered manner for all the GSPs and their partner ASPs so that they can study and analyse the same for making changes in their software developed on old design of returns,” the statement said.
The dates for the release of the specifications and the Live APIs for various returns for testing/integration were communicated to all the GSPs, it added. The specifications of GST return-1 (for uploading the supply data) was released on Friday and the live API will be made available on June 29. The dates of release of specification and live APIs for the remaining GST return forms were also discussed and communicated in the meeting.
There are 34 GSPs that have been selected by GSTN to provide additional channel of filing returns and other compliances related to GST. 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.
In the meeting, the 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. GSTN also advised all GSPs to continue to visit the GSP ecosystem webpage on the GSTN website (www.gstn.org/ecosystem) for all information, updates and guidelines, which are
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 portal itself and they will also not require the services of GSPs, the statement said.