The government has closed the enrolment of tax assessees, for now, on the Goods and Services Technology Network (GSTN), the IT backbone of GST, for technical reasons, Central Board of Excise and Customs chairman Vanaja N Sarna said. Not specifying a new date for reopening of the enrolment, the CBEC chairman said the window will reopen soon for migration of tax assessees who haven’t enrolled on GSTN so far.
“The window for GST enrolment on GSTN portal has been closed for now due to beta testing being conducted by GSTN. However, for assessees who have not yet migrated, the window will open again soon,” the CBEC chairman wrote in her weekly newsletter dated May 6.
As on April 30, 87 per cent of central excise assessees and 84 per cent of service tax assessees have migrated to the new payment portal, Sarna’s letter noted. The enrolment figures include central excise and service tax assessees who have migrated through state VAT. The latest enrolment figure of service tax assessees shows a marked improvement from last week, when only 34 per cent of the existing service tax assessees had migrated on the new portal.
The CBEC has said that the enrolment window for GST will reopen at a later date for taxpayers who could not enrol themselves as well as for those who enrolled but did not sign the enrolment form. In her letter addressed to her colleagues, the CBEC chairman also appealed to officials to assist all such taxpayers who are yet to migrate to the new portal. She also emphasised that officers should conclude their refresher training for GST by middle of June.
The process of migration of more than 80 lakh VAT, excise and service tax assessees to the GST network started in November, with a phased enrolment plan for each state. More than 60 lakh taxpayers enrolled on the GST portal between November 8, 2016 and April 30 this year. The government had earlier set March 31 as the migration deadline, which was later extended to April 30.
After the GST rollout, all traders would require a 15-digit GST ID number based on their income tax permanent account number (PAN). The GSTN is coordinating with states to link information on traders and issue them tax identification numbers (TIN).
The government is aiming to roll out GST, touted as the biggest indirect tax reform since Independence, from July 1. Several industry groups, especially small and medium enterprises, have expressed concerns about the limited preparation time and have asked Centre to consider the compliance window beyond July 1. The GST Council has finalised four rate categories of 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent. Along with finalisation of pending set of rules, the fitment of various goods and services into the GST slabs will be discussed in the next meeting of the GST Council on May 18-19.