With the enrollment for Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) scheduled to reopen on June 1, central excise and service taxpayers, who lagged behind in the first phase of enrollment, would need to expedite enrollment in the upcoming 15-day window. Amongst the three categories of indirect taxes — VAT, central excise and service tax — only 26 per cent or 14,486 taxpayers out of total 55,830 taxpayers with validated Permanent Account Number (PAN) have activated their user profiles as on April 30.
Service taxpayers are also lagging in their enrollment for GST, with enrollment data of GSTN showing that out of total 11.56 lakh service taxpayers with validated PAN, only 47.27 per cent or 5.46 lakh taxpayers have activated their user profiles as on April 30, when the enrollment window was closed after several extensions of deadlines.
In comparison, out of total 71.38 lakh state VAT taxpayers with validated PAN, 76.9 per cent or 54.89 lakh taxpayers have activated their user profiles under the GSTN, the IT backbone of GST. The overall enrollment ratio stood at 72.5 per cent, with around 60.5 lakh out of the total 84 lakh VAT, excise and service taxpayers having enrolled on the new GSTN system as on April 30.
Tax department and GSTN officials say that many taxpayers would be below GST’s exemption threshold of annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh, but they would be able to estimate the number of exempted taxpayers only after the 15-day enrollment window comes to a close.
“We had started enrolling the existing taxpayers in November 2016 and continued till April 30. We had thought that everybody will activate their account on our system but that did not happen. We thought maybe because the threshold has been raised. VAT threshold in many states was Rs 5 lakh (annual turnover), which has now become Rs 20 lakh (in GST). Many people will not be required to register. We did not know how many will fall in that bracket, there will also be some inactive taxpayers, but when we closed that (enrollment window), after that we have been receiving requests that some people were left out and they would like to enrol. We are reopening the window on June 1 and that will continue for 15 days,” GSTN Chairman Navin Kumar told The Indian Express. Kumar said now around 23 lakh taxpayers are remaining to activate their user profiles, so a 15-day window is enough.
He said that in the upcoming 15-day window, the remaining taxpayers of service tax and state VAT are expected to enrol on the GSTN system. “What I am anticipating is that service taxpayers have to come and 25 per cent of the states also have to come. That’s also a big number. For example, in West Bengal, around 76 per cent have registered, so 24 per cent remaining. In the bigger states such as Andhra Pradesh, around 12 per cent enrollment is remaining; for Bihar, about 40 per cent is remaining, while for Gujarat around 10 per cent enrollment is remaining,” Kumar said.
Out of the total VAT data for 34 states/Union territories, Karnataka has the highest enrollment ratio of 93.27 per cent. States such as Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh and Andhra Pradesh had enrollment ratio of over 80 per cent as on April 30. Jammu & Kashmir has the lowest enrollment ratio of 4.92 per cent or 2,866 activated user profiles out of total 58,208 VAT taxpayers.