Businesses in a tizzy over tech glitches in filing GST returns

Businesses across the country are keeping their fingers crossed about filing the full returns for Goods and Services Tax (GST) for July after many of them faced technical snags while filing GSTR Form-3B on Saturday.

“The system is working perfectly fine, except for a minor glitch on August 19. We request taxpayers to upload invoices regularly and not wait for the last day for filing returns or uploading invoices,” said a senior GSTN official.

At present, about 20 lakh businesses are estimated to have filed GSTR-3B. In contrast, almost all registered businesses, which total over 80 lakh, will log on to the GST portal to file the full returns or GSTR-1 by September 5.

Businesses are worried that it could be a time taking process, with the portal facing difficulties like that of income tax filing.

“The GST portal has to support about three billion invoices per month and the return filing for 65-70 lakh taxpayers. The summary returns will put to test the system for the large number of return filing due to take place in September, which involve a minimum seven returns per GSTIN,” said Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, ClearTax, adding that this will require the system to be strong and dependable.

“The GST Web site was inaccessible for almost the whole day on Saturday. We finally managed to log on late in the evening,” said a business owner.

The GST Implementation Committee has extended the deadline for filing GSTR 3B by five days from the original deadline of August 20. On Saturday, the Website of had a ticker: “We are experiencing slowness and are working to improve the response. Please bear with us.”

“In September, over three billion vouchers will be uploaded. This is a gigantic task since each traders has to upload invoice wise details, based on which the portal will prepare purchase statement of each entity. If the system does not respond as happened last week, the entire GST eco system will come to a halt,” warned the CAIT on Monday, while calling for a technology audit of the GSTN.

Uploading faciliy
The GSTN has, however, pointed out that while the invoice uploading facility was started on July 25, most people are yet to begin using it.

“When we ask, companies say that they have been busy filing income tax returns or Form-3B. No system is designed to take all the traffic on only the last day,” said a government official.