goods and services network

GSTN Portal – Goods and Services Tax Network

Last Update Date : April 27, 2019
Estimated Read Time: 5 min

goods and services network

Goods and Service Tax gained much prominence amongst businesses from 1st July 2017. The idea of One Nation, One Tax was implemented. GST filing is done online and this is a major move towards digitalization in India. A structured network is formed to make the filing process smooth. This guide will help you understand the complete structure of GST Network in India

What is GSTN?

Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) is headed by its chairman Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey with Shri. Prakash Kumar as the CEO. The GSTN as the word suggests is the link between the taxpayer and the government. It is a platform or a portal which is a Private Limited Company and a non-profit and non-governmental organization. The Government of India holds 24.5% while the States in the Indian Union holds 24.5% share in GSTN which turns out the total governmental holdings to be 49% and 51% is owned by private players. GSTN was formed with the purpose of bridging the communications gap between the central & state governments and the taxpayers. It serves as a backbone to the IT structure.  It is also the first common platform for all taxpayers with a shared IT infrastructure between the Central and State government. To pay taxes through GSTN, one should register himself on the Goods and Service Tax portal and get a GSTIN.

Features of Goods and Services Tax Network

  1. Strong IT infrastructure- GSTN is a platform for taxpayers to register themselves, file their returns, make tax payments and generate business analytics. However, the statutory functions like approving registrations, assessment, scrutiny, audit, etc will continue to remain under the control of the tax officials.
  2. Processing registration applications-The registration of taxpayers will be done on the GST portal. The GST portal is then responsible   for scrutiny and validation of the taxpayers. Once the validation is done, the registration application is put forward to the respective Central and State tax authorities. In case of any discrepancies coming up, they will be communicated to the taxpayers through the portal itself.
  3. Payment of GST by taxpayers- Taxpayers can make GST payments online through the portal. This makes the process more reliable and accurate due to less human intervention. However, making the payment online is not mandatory for taxpayers. There are two options available for every taxpayer:
    1. Online- RBI has allotted certain banks (also termed as agency banks) with the authority to collect GST. The taxpayer can select a bank out of the list of agency banks. The taxpayer has to login to his bank and make the necessary payment. Once the payment is made successfully, he/she  has to download the challan generated. This is the acknowledgment of the payment made for his reference.
    2. Offline (Over the Counter Payment)- Making the payment offline is also an option available to the taxpayer. He/she can take a printout of the challan and present it to his/her bank for payment. Once the payment is successful, the bank will send the confirmation to RBI and GST Portal for accounting. This payment will also reflect on the GST portal for reconciliation purposes.
      Note: GSTN does not receive any of the tax money and only receives the confirmation from the respective banks when payment is made
  4. Filing of Returns- Under GST, there will be common return for CGST, SGST and IGST. One of the basics of GST is the system of Input Tax Credit (ITC), which needs to be checked before the claims made by B2Bs are approved.  Based on the invoices data supplied by all the taxpayers, the GST portal will match the invoices.  A similar exercise will be done for inter-state supplies.
  5. Ownership- Central government owns 24.5% whereas, all the other States of the Indian Union along with Delhi and Pondicherry Assembly Governments hold 24.5% combined share while private players like banks and financial institutions own a 51% share. Since, the central government share is much greater than individual private players, data confidentiality is completely taken care of. The risk of taxpayer’s data getting misused is very little.
  6. Technology Partner- The technology partner for the GSTN is Infosys, which continuously working on providing a robust system.

Main Functions of GSTN

The GSTN portal is basically a window for the taxpayers and the government to interact. It is the front-end of the GST IT eco-system.
The entire process of GST filing is online.  Hence, GSTN supports about 2+ billion invoices per month and also the returns preparation for 65+ Lakh taxpayers.
GSTN considers:

  1. Invoices- Sale and purchase invoices are matched for Input Tax Credit benefits.
  2. Return filing- GSTN assists filing and the forwarding of the returns to both Central & State tax   authorities. Under GSTN, there is common return filing for CGST, SGST and IGST, thereby eliminating the need to file multiple return like before.
  3. Facilitating Registrations- GST registration of all taxpayers are under the common GST portal,  hence all the filing will take place on the portal. After the registrations are verified, they will be shared with the respective tax authorities.
  4. Analysis of taxpayer’s profile-The profiles created on the GST portal are verified and then put forth to the respective Central or State tax  authorities.

Full form of GSTIN and It’s Meaning

Sample GSTIN

GSTIN i.e. Goods and Service Tax Identification Number is a unique identification given to all taxpayers post registration on the GST portal. It is a 15-digit alpha numeric ID based on a taxpayers Permanent Account Number. It also denotes the code of the state it is registered in, entity number in that particular state, alphabet ‘Z’ and a check code of a single number.

[ Read: Everything about GSTIN ]

Focus on your business, not GST. Leave that to H&R Block experts.

GST network in India is a boost to go paperless. Hence, GST Registration online is made easy with the strong features and functions to provide a unique platform for all the taxpayers and the tax authorities. By enlisting the aid of the experts at earlyGST by H&R Block, we ensure your returns are prepared accurately with similar ease and within the due dates.

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CA Chetan Shinde
CA Chetan Shinde
Chetan is the Lead Tax Advisor at H&R Block (India) with an experience of almost half a decade in audit and taxation. His professional areas of interest are GST advisory and statutory audit. Apart from taxation, he is passionate about social causes and works extensively towards rural school development and literacy.