Govt moots common accounting software for small traders

Around 92% (approximately 1.04 crore) of the registered 1.14 crore taxpayers of the GST fall under the category of small and medium businesses.
Highlights: 
The government is in the process of providing a common accounting software to the small and medium traders
The government intends to distribute the software free of cost to all the traders, a top GSTN official said.

The government is in the process of providing a common accounting software to the small and medium traders in order to simplify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) filing.

The software would be developed and supplied to SMEs in order to maintain uniformity in the returns filed by the traders, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman of the Group of Ministers (GoM) addressing GSTN issues said.

"It is exclusively for the small and the medium scale traders. The large businesses don't need it," Modi told DH here on Saturday. Modi was in Bengaluru to attend the meeting of the empowered group of ministers to address GSTN issues.

Around 92% (approximately 1.04 crore) of the registered 1.14 crore taxpayers of the GST fall under the category of small and medium businesses.

The government intends to distribute the software free of cost to all the traders, a top GSTN official said.

"We have selected 18 companies for this purpose and asked them to check the software at their end," the official said.

However, according to the experts, application of new software is not expected to provide much help to traders, as they have have been using Tally software to file GST returns. 

"The government wants to capture the details of the transactions. This is one more mechanism to bring traders into the tax net. So the compliance is expected to increase. But with regards to helping traders, I doubt its usefulness," Bengaluru-based tax expert Mohan Lavi said.

In an additional technological upgrade, Bengaluru-based IT major, Infosys has developed a mobile app for the GST officials, in order to file the reports in real time from the field visits. According to Modi, the app would be rolled out in next 15 to 20 days.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, in a bid to address the issue of shortfall in the GST revenues, has directed the Director General of Audit to check whether the compliance of "place of supply" rules are adhered in the software.

"There is no evasion. But in the softwares of services sector there is a problem -- especially railways, banking, airlines and telecom sector. So the revenues are not getting reflected," Modi said.

The shortfall in the GST revenues is currently pegged at 13%, according to the government and is expected to increase in the coming days.

The government is also expecting the TCS and TDS, which will be rolled out on October 1, to help increase the GST revenues, thereby addressing the issue of shortfall, officials added.

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Govt moots common accounting software for small traders

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