E-way bill to be integrated with FASTag to track GST evasion from April

Source: Business Standard, Jan 15, 2019

New Delhi: The GST e-way bill system is likely to be integrated with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism from April to help track movement of goods and check GST evasion.

The revenue department has set up an officers committee to integrate e-way bill, FASTag and DMIC’s Logistics Data Bank (LDB) services, after consultation with transporters.

“It has come to our notice that some transporters are doing multiple trips by generating a single e-way bill. Integration of e-way bill with FASTag would help find the location of the vehicle and when and how many times it has crossed NHAI’s toll plazas,” the official said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Big relief for small businesses under GST

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 10, 2019

Small businesses can breathe easy now as the Goods and Services Tax Council has decided to double the basic threshold limit for goods suppliers.

However, the Council, which took a slew of decisions on Thursday, could not arrive at a consensus on lowering the levy on under-construction flats.

The 32 meeting of the Council chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley decided to raise the basic threshold limit for suppliers of goods (for mandatory GST registration) to ₹40 lakh from the current ₹20 lakh. Also, some of the north-eastern and hilly states will have a new limit of ₹20 lakh from ₹10 lakh earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

Gem, jewellery exporters exempted from 3% IGST

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 02, 2019

In a major relief to the sector, the Union government has accepted the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC’s) demand to grant IGST-related exemption on the supply of gold by nominated agencies to exporters of articles of gold.

The GST Council recently announced that gem and jewellery exporters will no longer have to pay the 3 per cent Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) to nominated agencies (banks) from January 1, 2019, said Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC, on Wednesday.

He said the GST Council found it necessary to exempt the intra-State supply of gold as per the First Schedule to the Customs Tariff Act, 1975 (51 of 1975), when supplied by the nominated agency under the scheme for “Export Against Supply by Nominated Agency”. Read the rest of this entry »

GST collections drop to Rs 94,726 cr in December, lowest in three months

Source: Business Standard, Jan 02, 2019

New Delhi: The government collected Rs 94,726 crore as goods and services tax (GST) in December, lower than the collection in the previous two months.

With a shortfall in seven of the nine months so far in 2018-19, GST collection in January, February and March has to be on average Rs 1.23 trillion to meet the budgeted target, according to calculations by Business Standard. While states are relatively safe due to compensation, the Centre’s fiscal position is in peril.

Against expectations of Rs 6.04 trillion from the Central GST (CGST) in 2018-19, CGST revenue stands at Rs 3.41 trillion in nine months (April-December), 56 per cent of the annual target.

The Centre needs Rs 87,000 crore in January, February and March at least to recoup this shortfall. In comparison, the highest inflow as CGST was recorded in July 2018 stood at Rs 58,796 crore. Read the rest of this entry »

GST rates of over 370 items reviewed in last 18 months

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 30, 2018

Eighteen months after the rollout of the goods and services tax, the government had to revise rates and exempt or issue clarifications on close to 400 of the 1,216 items under the new indirect tax levy. The reduction in rates of 23 items by the GST Council in its meeting on December 22 has been preceded by at least four rounds of rate reviews on July 21 and January 18 this year, and November 10 and October 6 last year.

An analysis by BusinessLine showed that the GST rates on over 370 goods and services have been reviewed over the last 18 months, and at least 50 clarifications have been issued by government authorities on the rates of various products.

“While there has been an extensive movement of products across rate slabs after the introduction of the GST, these movements have helped businesses in having very reasonable rates for many products compared to the pre-GST situation. Since the intention is to eventually converge the 12 per cent and 18 per cent slabs into one rate, these movements serve as steps in that direction, ” said MS Mani, Partner, Deloitte India. Read the rest of this entry »

Playing safe, govt may defer rollout of new GST returns system

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Dec 02, 2018

Mumbai: In what could well turn into a pre-poll relief for traders and businesses, the Centre may opt to delay the rollout of the new format of simplified monthly returns for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“This will have to be a decision by the GST Council. But given that businesses have struggled significantly with GST returns in the past, it may not be right to upset them, with State elections and more importantly, general elections just around the corner,” said two persons familiar with the development.

Current system to continue

This could potentially mean that taxpayers under GST are likely to be allowed to continue with the current system of filing GSTR-3B returns until May or June next year. A final decision on the issue will be taken by the GST Council. Read the rest of this entry »

Back offices face 18% GST for services to MNCs

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 18, 2018

MUMBAI: Are India-based back offices of multinationals merely brokers? And, are Indian companies providing services to foreign firms just commission agents? Going by the tax department’s definition, it appears that they are so — and not exporters.

Several back offices at multinationals now face 18% Goods and Services Tax (GST) liabilities after a tax body said they are merely intermediaries. Even Indian companies providing offshore support services to multinationals are liable to pay the 18% GST levy on their revenues. Read the rest of this entry »