The revenue department has extended by a month till April-end the enrolment of dealers with GSTN, the IT backbone for the new set-up, as so far only 60 per cent of the existing assessees are done with the switchover.
Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia reviewed the IT preparedness of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) last week and progress in registration of 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees with the portal.
"So far, 74 per cent of the VAT assessees have migrated to the GSTN portal, while only 28 per cent of the excise and service tax assesses have enrolled for the new regime. We are going to buck up now and I have asked the department to complete the enrolment process with a fortnight," Adhia told PTI.
Out of the 80 lakh assessees, some may not require registration under the GST as they are below the threshold of Rs 20 lakh for GST levy. At present, VAT and service tax assessees with turnover of Rs 10 lakh are required to get themselves registered with states and the Centre, respectively.
"So those assessees with turnover between Rs 10-20 lakh need not register and it is estimated that 54 lakh taxpayers out of the 80 lakh excise, service tax and VAT assessees have turnover below Rs 20 lakh," Adhia said.
However, if the dealers want to claim input tax credit, then they will have to get themselves registered with the GSTN.
Giving reasons for less number of excise and service taxpayers migrating to the GSTN compared to VAT assessees, Adhia said states had started the migration process for VAT dealers in November last year. For central excise taxpayers, the process started since January 20 and for service tax assessees, it started on February 9, 2017.
"I am monitoring the milestones that we have set. The combined average of excise, service tax and VAT assessees who have migrated to the GSTN stands at 60 per cent," Adhia said.
The Revenue Secretary said dealers with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh who do not register with the GSTN portal will not be able to do business once the new indirect tax regime kicks in from July 1.
The GST Council, headed by Union Finance Minister and comprising state representatives, had decided to keep traders with annual revenue of up to Rs 20 lakh out of GST. However, for north eastern and the hill states the limit will be Rs 10 lakh.
In early January, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had asked field officers to migrate all existing central excise and service tax assessees to the GST portal by January 31, 2017. In March, it had asked the officers to complete the enrolment process by March 31.
The CBEC has also asked its field offices to bring out advertisements in local newspapers, TV channels and FM radio channels in vernacular language to ensure greater reach.
The government plans to roll out GST from July 1 and in the run-up to the new indirect tax regime, it has started migrating excise, service tax and VAT assessees to the new tax payment portal. As many as 80 lakh such assessees are to be migrated to the GST portal.
The permanent account number is mandatory for migration to GST. If an existing excise or service tax assessee does not have a PAN, the same has to be obtained from the income tax department.
"The progress of migration to GST is being closely monitored at the highest level. I would urge you to bestow your personal attention and ensure speedy and smooth migration of the remaining excise and service tax assessees without further delay," the CBEC said.
The CBEC has also started 24X7 help desk to help the assessees migrate to the new portal.
Once the existing registered taxpayers log in to CBEC's portal www.Aces.Gov.In, a facility will be offered in a secure manner to access the provisional login ID and password as given by the GSTN. Using the same, they can log on to the GST portal to fill in the requisite fields and submit scanned documents.