The Goods and Service Tax Network (or GSTN) is a non-profit, non-government organization. It will manage the entire IT system of the GST portal, which is the mother database for everything GST. This portal will be used by the government to track every financial transaction, and will provide taxpayers with all services – from registration to filing taxes and maintaining all tax details.

The Government of India holds 24.5% equity in GSTN and all States of the Indian Union, including NCT of Delhi and Puducherry, and the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers (EC), together hold another 24.5%. Balance 51% equity is with non-Government financial institutions. 

Functions of GSTN

  • Facilitate registration
  • Computation of IGST and settlement
  • File tax returns and submit to central and state authorities
  • Integrate banking network with tax payment details
  • Analyse tax payer’s profile
  • Manage computation engine of input tax credit
  • Submit MIS reports to governments

The salient features are:

  • The GSTN server, with an open Application Program Interface (API), will provide convenience and an all user interface by connecting seamlessly with third party applications used by taxpayers through their mobiles, tablets and desktops.
  • Such a move will help taxpayers in automating invoice matching from their software itself without the need to log on to the portal, thereby ensuring simplicity of compliance and savings of time. Technology will also bring in efficiency in tax administration for returns filing, registration, data exchange and effectual auditing, monitoring, investigation and performance analysis with minimal or zero human intervention.
  • For businesses too, technology will be key to survive and thrive in the post-GST era. Given that invoice matching is a crucial component of GST and is linked to stringent timelines, it would need a solution that is both agile and accurate.
  • Companies would also have to deploy software that has the desired robustness to talk to the GSTN system, and also helps them in achieving reliable, accurate, and immediate compliance. Besides, they would have to move from manual to automated systems to ensure speedy and timely invoice matching. As a starting point, companies would have to understand the impact of GST and technology on their business. They would have to acknowledge the important of compliance and decide on the right software solution to adhering to the compliance requirements.