GST, one of the biggest tax reforms in the country, subsumed several taxes and levies such as central excise duty, services tax, additional customs duty, surcharges, state-level value-added tax and Octroi. On one side, much of the resources of the organization got freed up due to this aggregation, however, due to the state-wise compliance requirement, another herculean task of GST compliance mushroomed up.
G2B Portal for GST Compliance
The utmost priority of any government is the success of reform. There were more than 64 lakh taxpayers in the earlier indirect taxation era. Around 38 lakh new taxpayers have registered under GST regime and the total count has crossed one crore.
So, to manage the monthly filing of such a large taxpayer base, GSTN has provided a G2B (Government to Business) portal which assists taxpayers to file GST returns.
Although the portal helps to automate sending and receiving of data, the preparation of data in a portal specific format, periodic and tedious GST compliance tasks and involvement of sensitive data making security of data paramount, led to the evolution of an ecosystem of solution and technology providers. These solution providers help taxpayers meet the compliance obligation efficiently and look beyond mere compliance.
The Rise of GSPs, and ASPs
Introduction of GSPs
While the online G2B portal offers upload and download of filing data it restricts a single user access per GSTIN and allows uploading of invoices only in a specific data format. Also, viewing of uploaded data is enabled only if the number of invoices is fewer than 500.
With the number of purchase and supply invoices mounting up in lacs, it becomes quite cumbersome for mid and large-sized organizations to do the entire work manually. So, direct access to the GST systems through APIs was also provided.
However, from security and controls perspective, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) built an ecosystem of third-party service providers-GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) who have secure access to GSTN via GST system APIs. The GSPs were introduced as the connecting link between the taxpayers and the GSTN to manage the GST compliance in an effective manner.
Introduction of ASPs
The GST system came with a sea of change in the returns preparation and filing process. The enterprises, large and small, had to make the difficult shift to a two-way monthly reporting cycle characterized by high volume, granular invoice-led information and compressed timelines.
On top of upload and download, the complexity seeps in with multiple GSTINs spread across single or multiple PAN that require bulk download/upload facility.
And since the introduction, GST system is still evolving. Multiple forms have changed, new forms have been introduced, GST Rules amended and parallel systems like EWay bill, E-invoicing etc. have been introduced.
Further, within the organisations, multiple systems are running parallel to meet specific requirements such as billing of reverse charge transactions, tracking of ITC claimed, monthly reconciliation, vendor communication for mismatched invoices etc.
This ever-changing GST arena requires the CFO office to be uptight for every new change which can be quite demanding.
This led to the emergence of another class of service providers- Application Service Providers (ASPs) that manage all GST compliance and related needs. ASPs are envisaged to provide innovative and convenient methods for taxpayers. ASPs connect to the internal systems of taxpayers, assist in compiling and preparation of GST returns and upload the same via a GSP.
Entities selected as GSPs by Government, can also provide ASP solution and give a seamless and integrated experience to the taxpayers.
Role of GSPs and ASPs
Why opt for ASP+GSP Offering instead of managing GST Compliance manually
Considering the challenges, partnering with an ASP-GSP can help you pass on the entire compliance burden and continue with your usual business process. To start with, a GSP is a bridge between your data and GSTN expectation. It provides a simplified platform that connects the taxpayer with the GSTN and NIC systems. It
- helps in maintenance and management of taxpayer’s E-ledgers through the platform;
- ensures timely and accurate GST compliances
- assists in time-efficient and precise Reconciliation processing;
- supports automated computation and filling of the taxpayer’s returns;
- gives convenient and on-the-go connections with the GST systems;
- ensures seamless integration with third-party applications like taxpayer’s ERP software;
The combination of ASP+GSP is a powerful one and proves to be highly beneficial for the taxpayers. The filing process becomes smooth, cost-effective and time-saving.
How an ASP+GSP Offering scores better than an ASP Offering
As a part of the GSTN mandatory statutory requirement, a GSP application and the associated infrastructure that directly integrates with the GST system has to be certified under ISO 27001:2013 security standards by an audit organization empanelled with CERT-IN of India. GSPs do not store the transactional data filed in the returns and is just a pass-through or a connection between your internal system or an ASP and the GSTN network. ASP solution may, however, store data for providing value-added features like MIS reports, dashboards etc. Data handling and security policies hence is a critical aspect to be evaluated while selecting a solution for GST compliance
Also, another benefit is that if there is any change in the GST Network, it immediately gets communicated to the user because an authorised GSP+ASP is amongst the first ones to know the details of the change. The GSPs exist so as to help ASPs connect with the GSTN Network.
And finally, in case of ASP+GSP offering, the user needs to deal with only one entity and all the work is properly streamlined without the hassles of having to connect with multiple people.
IRIS GST as Your Trusted GSP
IRIS Business Services Limited is a well-established and global provider of critical compliance solutions. IRIS has a host of marquee clients, both regulators and enterprises, which use its reporting solutions to submit and receive complex regulatory information. IRIS has been selected as a GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) ‒ one among a select few ‒ by the GSTN to provide an automated solution for GST filings through an API based process.
IRIS Sapphire, our GST software, a highly available and secure solution, takes care of the GST filing process downstream of the enterprise accounting system. It provides you with the seamless filing of all your GSTR, Smart and Advanced Reconciliation, Vendor Communication, along with quick overview, summary and insights on the go.
IRIS Topaz – Our E-way Bill solution is an end-to-end solution for your entire E-way Bill operations. With features like EWB generation, EWB Cycle Management, Distance Calculation, EWB Consolidation, etc., IRIS Topaz is your one-stop solution for all your EWB hassles. IRIS Topaz can be accessed through the web, desktop utility, and APIs.
IRIS Onyx – An Automated, Integrated and Seamless e-Invoicing Solution. It is a one-stop e-invoicing solution that can integrate with your billing systems seamlessly in multiple ways and generate IRN with zero disruption to your business.
Contact us today to schedule a demo or for any other queries, feel free to connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.