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Maintaining GST Accounts Online – Is it Legal?


Maintaining GST Accounts Online – Is it Legal?

The implementation of GST by the Government of India (GoI) transformed maintaining the accounting framework. So far, businesses had to comply with service tax regulation, VAT regulation, central excise regulations and others, multi-fold increasing the complexity of maintaining compliance. The GST framework shall compress the taxation process and most businesses shall file only the GST and income tax returns. However, filing GST return could be cumbersome for businesses that do not register under the GST composition scheme, as nearly 3 returns would have to be filed every month. Hence, many businesses would have to adopt GST accounting software or online accounting software to ease their compliance filing work. In this article, let us find out whether businesses can maintain their GST accounts online.

Maintaining Necessary GST Accounts and Records Online

According to the GST Act, all businesses having GST registration should maintain the following documents at the principal place of business for a period of six years from filing GST annual return.

  • Production or manufacture of goods;
  • Inward and outward supply of goods or services or both;
  • Stock of goods;
  • Input tax credit availed;
  • Output tax payable and paid; and
  • Other particulars as prescribed by the GST Act.

In addition to the above records, the GST Accounts and Records Rules mentioned additional documents that must be maintained by all businesses.

Maintaining GST Accounts Online

Yes, all the taxpayer can maintain all the GST Accounts and Records online, subject to certain conditions. Hence, it is important for all persons using an online GST accounting software to ensure that their accounting software works with the following criteria’s set forth by the GST Act.

  • All GST taxable persons should maintain accounts for a period of 6 years from the date of filing of annual return.
  • As per GST rules, the concerned individual should maintain the electronic back-up of records and preserve it in such manner that, the taxpayer can restore the information within a reasonable period of time, in the event of destruction of such records due to accidents or natural causes.
  • The GST taxpayer maintaining electronic records should produce, on-demand, the relevant records or documents, duly authenticated by the concerned individual, in hard copy or in any electronically readable format.
  • The taxpayer shall store the data in India.
  • When the accounts and records are stored electronically by any GST registered taxpayer, they are required to provide the details of such files, passwords of such files where necessary for access and any other information which is required for such access along with sample copy in print form of the information stored in such files, when demanded by an authorised GST Officer or Authority.
  • The taxpayer should authenticate all the GST records with a digital signature for maintaining in electronic form.Maintaining GST Accounts - Books vs Server vs Cloud

Maintaining GST Accounts – Books vs Server vs Cloud

To know about LEDGERS (GST accounting software), click here.