The government has finally addressed an absurdity that many companies, especially small and mid-level, were facing with filing of returns and payment of taxes.
There were cases where employees authorised by companies to apply for registration on their behalf had used their own email and mobile number during the process. But after these employees moved on, they were not sharing these details due to which these companies were not able to either file returns or pay taxes.
The government has now addressed the issue by adding a functionality to update email and mobile number of the authorised signatory in the GST System. The email and mobile number can be updated by the concerned jurisdictional tax authority of the taxpayer.
The taxpayer is required to approach the concerned Tax Officer to get the password for the GST Identification Number allotted to the business. The tax officer, after necessary validation, can update the new email id and mobile numbers and reset the password and user id of the GST Identification Number.
This is a big relief for many companies who were unable to complete their GST compliances due to an errant ex-employee.
Saloni Roy, Senior Director, Deloitte India, says, she had a client which has not been able to file return or pay taxes because the employee, who was authorised to do the work on its behalf, left the company without sharing the user ID and passwords.
"This company has collected GST but has not been able to file returns since July. You go to local authorities and they would express their inability to help. And if you knock the GSTN door, where the only mode of communication is through mails, they would ask you to apply for new registration," says Saloni.
But given that a taxpayer had already raised invoices and collected tax with one registration, applying for new registration would mean that all the earlier compliances have to be redone.
GST experts says there were over 500 such cases where companies were facing similar problems.
Anita Rastogi, Partner, Indirect Taxes, PwC, says, "To avoid situations like this we have advised our clients that a generic email id which can be accessed by more than one employee should be used for the purpose of registration."