GST network fails to accept ‘change’

Nagpur: Even with five more days in hand to file GST returns, businessmen continue to complain about difficulties in adjusting to the new system. Under GST, returns have to be filed on monthly basis.
Tax professionals say errors in filling up details in the returns cannot be rectified immediately. So, if a businessman reported sales of 100 items in the month, instead of 150, the mistake cannot be corrected right away. The changes can be made only when the returns for subsequent month are made.
Even though the tax can be paid later, it delays the input credit for the firm. If sales are under-reported, then traders buying the goods cannot get input credit for the tax paid on the purchases. The credit can only become available when the seller has recorded the transaction in his returns, explained a source dealing with returns.
At present, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) also does not have the option of making changes in a firm’s details once the registration is done. So, if a firm changes its phone number or even the email, the change cannot be registered.Amendments in data submitted at the time of registration can be made in the format given in REG 14 of the GST manual. However, the REG 14 portal itself has not been opened yet due to which no changes can be made at all. There are several complaints by businesses of not being able to change their phone number too, say sources.
There are a number of cases in which details like phone number or email were filled up by the chartered accountant at the time of registration. In some cases, the professionals have given their own numbers, to which the password for logging in to the system was sent. Now, some accounting professionals are not sharing the passwords with their clients if they have stopped taking their services. Sources in erstwhile central excise department said the help desk has received quite a few complaints along these lines.
For any change in major details like company’s name, PAN, or change in directors, the physical documents also have to be submitted. But minor details like change in phone number, addition in area of business, or goods traded can be made online. However, the portal for that is yet to be opened. Professionals says the portal for REG 14 form was expected to be opened by now. The delay is hampering smooth compliance of the law.
Ashok Chandak, former president of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said slowing down of the online system is a major hassle faced by professionals. The system often shows errors, due to which the data cannot be filled in, added BC Bhartia, also a chartered accountant.