The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) will have its own system in place for taxpayers to file their returns. In addition, it has also allowed third-party service providers to connect with the GSTN system for providing innovative and convenient methods to taxpayers and other stakeholders seeking to interact with the system. These third-party application providers are called GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs).
The GSTN has selected 34 GSPs to provide an additional channel for filing returns and other compliances relating to GST. The GSTN portal will be able to handle the load of smaller taxpayers who will enter up to 100-200 invoices, it is estimated, but for those whose invoices run into thousands, GSPs are the recommended route since the GSTN portal can cater only to around 80 lakh taxpayers.
GSPs are expected to help large businesses with complex internal processes in complying with the GST regime, which becomes effective from July 1.
Apart from the 34 selected GSPs, 160 more firms including a number of start-ups and smaller companies have shown an interest in offering these services to taxpayers. Currently, around 450 accounting software companies operate in India facilitating tax solutions for traders, both small and large. Some of the entities that have applied to be GSPs are already operating as application service providers, which offer their own services — as of now not linked to the GSTN — for uploading tax-related information.
Further, while the GSTN has laid down broad guidelines for GSPs to adhere to, it has left the pricing for the market to decide. Some companies that have been selected to be GSPs have said that the pricing will be decided depending on the requirements of the taxpayer.