What role does a GSP (GST Suvidha Provider) play in the GST ecosystem?
With the need to ensure that the tax payer’s financial data is secure and that return filing processes are simple, GST Network has set up an ecosystem where only a select few organizations can access their networks.
The GSP is expected to-
- Ensure security of the return filing information meaning there is no leakage or threat of theft or hacking of data
- Help taxpayers stay up to date on any changes in the GST Network’s integration practices and hand hold them through integration and migration.
4 basic questions to ask yourself before selecting a GSP (GST Suvidha Provider)
Q1: How will the GSP make sure that your tax filing information remains safe?
The biggest concern with anything online is security. In a country, where people still think twice before making online payments for the simplest of things, a move where they need to upload their financial data in the form invoices online raises concerns for most. That is where GSP’s ability to ensure the security of data from hacks and other leaks becomes crucial.
While choosing GSP, make it a point to understand their approach to security; what is the process they have in place to check the security of their systems ensuring no data theft. Ask for their certifications that they may have obtained from recognised bodies- national and international. The GSTN has mandated that all GSPs need to be ISO 27001:2013 certified. Ensure that you check for this certification especially. Any other certification on top of this is a plus point.
Q2: How will the GSP help you file returns on time, every time?
The timelines are tight with the GST act, making tax return filing, a monthly activity instead of a yearly activity. There is little scope for delays in filing returns. Plus, there is the fact that at the same time there are going to be 80 lakh registered taxpayers filing returns.
When considering a GSP, analyse how their system is set up to manage the high traffic, how are they going to manage variable traffic on their network? What measures have they taken for it?
Q3: In case of some kind of a system failure, how can your GSP protect your tax data and simultaneously enable quick filing?
To expect that there will never be a system failure or any error is being too optimistic. That is why you need to know what your GSP has done to manage such a situation, if arisen.
If one of their connecting lines fails, have they set up a system to ensure that your data is not lost mid-transmission?
What have they enabled to ensure that the line is automatically patched through to another line? Have they set up any backup where just in case, everything fails, your data is secured and still ready for transmission when the system is up and functioning again?
Q4: How can your GSP help you manage updates in the GST Network without any interruptions in your return filing?
The GSTN is still evolving. As the year passes, they are likely to make some more updates to their system to improve security, accuracy and various other factors. While these updates are in progress, how can your GSP help you with ensuring that your return filing is not interrupted?
Once you have the answers to these questions, the decision making is informed and rational.
GST comes with a promise of a progressive environment for businesses. The ball is now in our court to ensure that we enable systems within our business to take advantage of the opportunity. Choosing the right GSP is the first and foremost of decisions. So, choose well.