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 »

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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 »

GST collection crosses Rs 1 lakh crore for second time since launch

Source: Financial Express, Nov 02, 2018

Monthly goods and services tax (GST) collections breached the Rs 1-lakh-crore mark for the second time since its launch in July last year for September (collected in October), giving the Centre some hope that the wide revenue gap against its budget target could be narrowed in the second half of the fiscal. While the latest figure is about 4% higher than the average of the first seven months of the fiscal and analysts said it may have reflected the tax’s stabilisation and increased compliance due to anti-evasion steps like e-way bill, the fact that September was the deadline for final settlement of last year’s tax liabilities might have also boosted collections. It remains to be seen if the latest spurt heralded a sustainable trend.

GST revenue had last crossed the Rs 1-lakh-crore threshold for March 2018 (collected in April), again a settlement month. Read the rest of this entry »

GST anti profiteering clause puts FMCG firms in a fix

Source: LiveMint.com, Oct 25, 2018

New Delhi: With input costs remaining high, manufacturers of consumer packaged goods have had little choice so far but to increase prices and protect their margins. But with anti-profiteering provisions of the goods and services tax (GST) now in place, increasing prices has become tricky.

This clause requires companies to pass on the benefit of reduced tax rates by slashing their prices, bringing an element of ambiguity.

As Anita Rastogi, indirect tax partner at PwC India pointed out, the statutory provisions of anti-profiteering require “commensurate” benefit to be passed on, and not “equivalent” benefit of the change in tax rate.

The word “commensurate” as used under the GST law intends to take overall facts and circumstances into its consideration for passing on the benefit, which has not been considered while passing various orders passed by the authority, she said. Read the rest of this entry »

Centre, states apportion Rs 29,000 cr IGST in September

Source: The Economic Times, Sept. 30, 2018

As much as Rs 29,000 crore lying in the Integrated GST or IGST pool has been apportioned between the Centre and states in the month of September.

The central government will get about Rs 14,500 crore and the remaining would be distributed among the states in proportion to the revenue collection in September, an official told PTI.

The apportionment would help improve indirect tax position of both the Centre and states.

This is the fourth time that IGST funds have been dividend between the Centre and states.

As much as Rs 12,000 crore was settled between them in August, Rs 50,000 crore in June and Rs 35,000 crore in February this year.

A policy decision has been taken that when some substantial amount accrues to IGST pool it should be apportioned so that funds do not lie idle with the Centre, the official said, adding Rs 29,000 crore has been apportioned this month.

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No GST refunds for foreigners as of now as there is no provision: FinMin

Source: Business Standard, Aug 06, 2018

New Delhi: Foreigners coming to India may not get GST refunds on goods purchased and carried back by them as the government has not invoked relevant provisions of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act yet, the Finance Ministry has said in reply to an RTI query.

It was asked to provide details on procedures for foreigners to get GST refunds on goods purchased by them in India.Some western nations provide refunds of certain taxes on goods purchased by foreigners there.

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Proposed returns process to simplify GST regime, bring relief to taxpayers

Source: Business Standard, Jul 31, 2018

New Delhi: Life will be a bit easier for businesses and professionals under the goods and services tax (GST) regime if the proposed simplified returns are put in place six months down the line.The number of returns to be filed will be much reduced compared to that in the existing scheme.

However, assessees will have to continuously upload invoices and keep track of matching purchase receipts with those of sales to claim input tax credit. This, many say, will be burdensome for taxpayers because currently they self-certify the credit claims.

Read the rest of this entry »