The Goods and Service Tax Network (or GSTN) is a non-profit, non-government organization. It will manage the entire IT system of the GST portal, which is the mother database for everything GST. This portal will be used by the government to track every financial transaction, and will provide taxpayers with all services – from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.
Structure of GSTN
Private players own 51% share in the GSTN, and the rest is owned by the government. The authorized capital of the GSTN is ₹10 crore (US$1.6 million), of which 49% of the shares are divided equally between the Central and State governments, and the remaining is with private banks.
The GSTN has also been approved for a non-recurring grant of Rs. 315 crores. The contract for developing this vast technological backend was awarded to Infosys in September 2015.
The GSTN is chaired by Mr. Navin Kumar, an Indian Administrative Service servant (1975 batch), who has served in many senior positions with the Govt. of Bihar, and the Central Govt.
|State Governments & EC||24.5%|
|NSE Strategic Investment Co||10%|
|LIC Housing Finance Ltd||11%|
Salient Features of the GSTN
The GSTN is a complex IT initiative. It will establish a uniform interface for the taxpayer and also create a common and shared IT infrastructure between the Centre and States.
- Trusted National Information Utility
The GSTN is a trusted National Information Utility (NIU) providing reliable, efficient and robust IT backbone for the smooth functioning of GST in India.
- Handles Complex Transactions
GST is a destination based tax. The adjustment of IGST (for inter-state trade) at the government level (Centre & various states) will be extremely complex, considering the sheer volume of transactions all over India. A rapid settlement mechanism amongst the States and the Centre will be possible only when there is a strong IT infrastructure and service backbone which captures, processes and exchanges information.
Please read our article to know more about how the Centre and the States will settle IGST.
- All Information Will Be Secure
The government will have strategic control over the GSTN, as it is necessary to keep the information of all taxpayers confidential and secure. The Central Government will have control over the composition of the Board, mechanisms of Special Resolution and Shareholders Agreement, and agreements between the GSTN and other state governments. Also, the shareholding pattern is such that the Government shareholding at 49% is far more than that of any single private institution.
- Expenses Will Be Shared
The user charges will be paid entirely by the Central Government and the State Governments in equal proportion (i.e. 50:50) on behalf of all users. The state share will be then apportioned to individual states, in proportion to the number of taxpayers in the state.
|Volume of expenses||Type of expenses|
|Maximum expenses||IT system designed by Infosys|
|2nd part||Fraud Analytics Tools, security audit and other security functions(will be outsourced based on tender)|
|3rd part||Operating expenses such as salary, rent, office expenses, internal IT facilities|
Functions of GSTN
GSTN is the backbone of the Common Portal which is the interface between the taxpayers and the government. The entire process of GST is online starting from registration to the filing of returns.
It has to support about 3 billion invoices per month and the subsequent return filing for 65 to 70 lakh taxpayers.
The GSTN will handle:
- Various returns
- Payments & Refunds
What is the GSTIN?
The Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) is the unique number each taxpayer will receive once they have registered on the common portal. It is based on a taxpayer’s PAN. For more details, please read our article on GSTIN.
How Can ClearTax Help You?
ClearTax GST is a user-friendly, easy-to-use software. It is a cloud-based software (which eliminates the need to download) which can easily be integrated with all existing accounting software. All you need to do is upload or manually enter your invoices. The software will automatically generate your GST returns and point out any errors in your invoices. It will also auto-reconcile your returns with those of your buyers and sellers and highlight any discrepancies. Once you have verified your returns, simply click on submit and your return will be filed on the Common Portal through one of our 5 GSPs.
If you are worried about issuing GST-compliant invoices, please use the ClearTax Bill Book which is completely free and will help you to generate GST-compliant invoices in no time.