Primary and preferred mode of GST Payment

With the spread of the online internet and electronic communication, payment of Goods and Service Tax (GST) by using internet banking, credit and debit cards has emerged as the primary and preferred method of payment in the recommendations of the Joint Committee. The Committee had finalized the report on payment process under GST in the middle of this year. The primary method proposed in the report makes use of the electronic network starting from the challan generation to the final reconciliation of data by the accounting authorities.

The stakeholders like GSTN, RBI, tax authorities of centre and states etc. play an important role in the tax payment process under GST. They are responsible for the successful completion of the three payment processes under the GST regime. Let us take a look at the process involved in the e-payment of GST, which is the primary option.

The tax payer has to register himself on the GSTN portal and obtain the login ID and password. He will be able to create a draft challan by logging on to the GSTN portal. This challan will be auto populated with his details as per the registration. The tax payer has to fill in the details of the taxes like CGST, IGST etc. that he intends to pay online. He has the option of saving the challan and editing it later. After finalization he will be able to generate the challan along with the CPIN (Common Portal Identification Number). The validity of the challan would be seven days.

For making the tax payment the tax payer has to select the e-payment mode against his generated challan. The choice of making payment by internet banking or through credit/debit cards props up. Most of the people who use the net for shopping and payment of utility bills are aware of these options and conversant with their use. GSTN will obtain the gateway services from the authorized banks in order to provide the primary mode of payment. The gateway service would be chargeable and would be in addition to the tax payment amount. The credit card would have to be registered with the GST network and would be verified by the credit card service provider in case the tax payer intends to use it for tax payment.

There is a concern on the timing gap of the debit and credit. While the tax payer’s account gets debited immediately, the credit to the government’s account with the authorized bank takes place on the third day. Deliberations were held and work will be carried out in reducing this time period to one day.

After the successful e-transaction at each stage, that will involve the generation of CIN, Branch Reference Number (BRN) etc. there will be a flow of information in the form of an electronic data string from the collecting bank to the GST Network. Thereafter the tax paid challan (CIN) will be credited to the tax ledger account of the tax payer.

This is the simplest of all the three payment methods and very convenient for the tax payer, who can carry out the transactions with ease by sitting on his electronic device like a PC, laptop or even a mobile device which is internet enabled.

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