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GST Bill Rollout: 60k Officers To Be Trained; IT Infra To Be Ready By March
GST Bill Rollout: 60k Officers To Be Trained; IT Infra To Be Ready By March

As many as 60,000 revenue officials of central and state governments will be trained on GST laws and IT infrastructure framework to prepare them for rollout of the new indirect tax regime by April 2017.

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As per the detailed Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout road map prepared by Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, the IT infrastructure framework will be ready by March 2017 and a massive outreach and industry sensitisation programme will also be carried out. After the training on GST laws gets complete by December 2016, GSTN will train them on the related IT infrastructure by March 2017.

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Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is a non-government company set up by the Centre and states to provide shared IT framework and services to central and state governments, tax payers and other stakeholders. The revenue department has already started stakeholder consultation with the industry in Hyderabad and Jaipur.

The IT network of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), banks, RBI, state accounting authorities and states will be ready by December-end 2016, according to the road map and the testing and integration of the IT backbone of all stakeholders is slated for January–March 2017.

To make life easier in the new regime, the Revenue Department has said no fresh registration will be needed for the existing dealers. Existing VAT/service tax/central excise dealer data are to migrate to the GST architecture. As for new dealers, a single application will be filed online and registration will be granted within three days.

On GST returns, only one filing will be required for both the Centre and state governments. Average tax payers will be using only four forms for filing returns — supplies, return for purchases, monthly and annual returns.

While supplies return will be filed on the 10th of every month incorporating the list of suppliers, the same data will be incorporated in the purchase return which will have to be filed on 15th of every month.

These data will be then get populated in the monthly and annual returns and the assessee will just have to sign and send it to the tax department, Adhia said. Small taxpayers who have opted for a composition scheme will have to file return on a quarterly basis.

Besides preparing the IT infrastructure, training tax officials and conducting the outreach programme, both the Centre and states will have to establish a legal framework.

The long-pending GST Constitution Amendment Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha last night. The Bill will be sent back to the Lok Sabha for approval. Once the Bill is approved by Parliament and 50 per cent of state legislatures, the GST Council would have to work out the model GST Bills which will provide operational details of the new tax regime.

Adhia said that after the GST Constitution Amendment Bill gets presidential assent, the Cabinet would approve creation of the GST Council. The Council would then finalise the model GST law. The Union Cabinet would clear the Central GST and Integrated GST Bills and the respective states would clear the State GST Bills.

After this, Parliament would approve the CGST and IGST laws while the SGST law would be cleared in state assemblies. This would pave the way for notification of the GST rules. GST, which is expected to be implemented from April 1, 2017, will subsume excise, service tax and other local levies including VAT, octroi.