Practitioners of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from across the country have formed a Joint Action Committee (JAC) to suggest simplification in compliance and filing of returns as well as to ensure that money (of businessmen) is not blocked in the form of refunds due to them. The JAC was announced on Sunday, when the two-day national conclave of tax practitioners concluded in Ahmedabad.
The committee was formed to fill the gap of a nation-wide body to represent to the authorities the issues faced by businessmen and tax practitioners at the grass-root level. “GST is a national Act, which subsumes most of the Acts governing states and central taxes. There is no way local tax practitioners can represent their cases to GST Council. Such a national body is the need of the hour,” said Amit Dave, a tax practitioner from Indore.
Close to 200 delegates from 29 states and Union Territories participated in the conclave. Representatives from each state will be a part of the JAC. A core body within JAC will also be formed to coordinate the activities of JAC.
The conclave witnessed deliberations on a host of issues, and suggestions to simplify the system will be submitted to the GST Council. “The upcoming meeting of GST Council has suggested 46 amendments, the conclave deliberated on a wider range of issues. We were surprised with the kind of issues faced under GST in different parts of the country,” said Axat Vyas, one of the key organisers of the conclave.
Some of the major suggestions include single one-click monthly return, allowing rectification in returns and creation of an activity log for traders to trace their actions, among a host of others. The Conclave also deliberated on short comings of the Act.
Participants complained that the GST portal is not uniform across states and while it is functional in some states, it’s dysfunctional in neighbouring states. Deepak Bapat, a tax practitioner from Maharashtra, said that the IT system is not robust enough and the Act is in place. “All commissioners are given an authority to extend the deadline to file taxes by three months, but they have never used this discretion,” said Bapat. Sreedhara Parthsarthy, a tax practitioner from Ballari, in Karnataka, advocated that traditional tax practitioners should also be allowed to audit GST returns. Under the GST regime, only Chartered Accountants and Cost Accountants are allowed to conduct audit reports.