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GST Council meet today: Inclusion of real estate, cut in tax rates may bring cheer before Budget

GST Council meet today: Inclusion of real estate, cut in tax rates may bring cheer before Budget

GST Council Meet

Just two weeks before the Budget, GST Council is expected to consider a reduction in tax rates for some items, about 80 going by some reports, and the inclusion of real estate in its 24th meeting today.

The meeting comes amid continuous dip in GST revenue collection in the last two months. The collection registered a sharp dip to Rs 80,808 crore in November, from Rs 94,063 crore in the launch month in July last year.

Change in tax rates 

As Budget can no more tinker with indirect taxes due to implementation of GST, the Council is expected to announce tax concessions and reduction of tax rates on common man items and services, including household goods, agriculture products, housing sector inputs such as cement and steel.

Also read: GST Council May revise rates of 70 to 80 Goods, Services, Streamline Returns Filing

Real estate in GST: 

The Council is likely to discuss inclusion of real estate under GST and announce the rollout date for the same. According to some reports, Council may set a 12 per cent rate for the real estate sector and may also decide to subsume stamp duty and registration charges in GST. The likely date for inclusion of real estate under GST could be the start of new financial year, April 1.

“Discussion of real estate inclusion in GST is the key agenda of the GST Council which is scheduled to meet on January 18th,” a senior government official told ANI.

Single GST return form 

It may also announce simplification of return filing process. The three return forms — GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 — may be clubbed into a single form for easier return filing.

This would drastically reduce the compliance burden on the tax payers as they will have to file 12 returns a year instead of 37 returns currently.

Since GST rollout in July, government has extended return filing dates many times.

Rollout of e-way bills 

At the last GST council meeting in December, roll out of e-way bill was decided for February 1. So the council may iron out issues in e-way bill mechanism for smooth implementation of e-way bills from next month.


GST Ready Invoicing Software – Generate GST Compliant Invoice

Source :  The Economic Times
GST Council May revise rates of 70 to 80 Goods, Services, Streamline Returns Filing

GST Council May revise rates of 70 to 80 Goods, Services, Streamline Returns Filing

The GST Council is expected to accept the suggestions to ease the compliance burden to ensure better collections under GST.

arun-jaitley-gst council

The GST Council is expected to revise rates of 70 to 80 items and services in a meeting scheduled for Thursday. The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and having state finance ministers as members, is also expected to simplify the process of registration, returns filing and claiming input tax credit (ITC) under the new indirect tax regime.

“In this meeting the Council is expected to revise rates of about 25 goods and another 45-55 services. Total 70-80 items’ rates could be revised downward,” an official, who is part of the rate fitment committee, told NDTV.

Rates of 5-6 irrigation equipment is likely to be lowered from 18 per cent to 12 per cent. Rates of bio-diesel and electric buses are likely to be slashed from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, official sources said.

On Easing of Compliance Burden

In a bid to make it easier to file returns under the new tax regime, the GST Council is also expected to discuss the recommendations of the Law Review Committee. “Several changes in the law have been suggested by the Law Review Committee. These changes would ensure easing the compliance burden of the taxpayers and in turn improve the collections under GST,” an official said.

Also read: Trial Launch Of GST E-Way Bill Scheduled In 🗓️ January 2018

The GST Council is expected to discuss the recommendations of the panel to allow single registration for large service providers who have a turnover of over Rs. 5 crore and are present in 10 states or more, like airlines and banks.

The Council is also expected to merge forms GSTR-1, GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 into a single form. Currently, traders have to file three returns very month. This is going to be reduced to a single filing every month.

“The simplification process might take about 6-8 months as changes will have to be done to the software. New format will have to be put in place so till that time extensions will be given for filings through GSTR-3B,” an official involved in the process said.

The Council is expected to accept the suggestions to ease the compliance burden to ensure better collections under GST.

Revenue collections under GST have declined by almost 14 per cent from Rs. 94,063 crore in July (GST was rolled out in July, 2017) to Rs. 80,808 crore in November.

Also read: GST overcomes initial hiccups to log 200 days, future in balance

Legislative changes are likely to be made to the procedure to claim input tax credit under GST.

“Traders, businesses have shared their pain points with us. We have reviewed these and we are now trying to remove most of these irritants. This meeting of the Council will try to address as many of these issues as is possible,” a third official source said, adding, “We will bring in a bill that will be introduced in the Budget Session of Parliament to make the amendments to the law. The states will also make the necessary changes to the state laws and get the approval of the state Assemblies.”

Changes in the law will also be made to increase the threshold limit for the composition scheme to Rs. 2 crore.

Currently, the composition scheme is available to traders with a turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore.

Bringing Sale Of Land, Natural Gas, Aviation Fuel Under GST

Proposals to bring natural gas, airline turbine fuel (ATF) and sale of land under GST will also be on the agenda. The GST Council meeting comes days ahead of the Union Budget scheduled to be presented on February 1.


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Source :  NDTV.com
GST overcomes initial hiccups to log 200 days, future in balance

GST overcomes initial hiccups to log 200 days, future in balance

GST overcomes initial hiccups to log 200 days, future in balance

The goods and services tax (GST) crosses a milestone on Tuesday when it clocks 200 days. But, as insiders and experts argue, the new tax regime is bracing for fresh disruptions as the next steps in the seminal reform are rolled out.

Especially since Indian industry—particularly small and medium enterprises—is still grappling with frequent changes in the tax and demanding compliance requirements. Presumably these challenges will dominate the deliberations of the GST Council, which will assemble in the capital on 18 January for its 25th meeting.

The challenges

A big concern has been the failure of companies to pass through the benefits of the reduction in tax rates to consumers. Although companies such as Apple Inc., Hindustan Unilever Ltd and Hero MotoCorp. Ltd reduced prices of some of their products, an across-the-board cut is yet to be seen.

On the other hand, lenient oversight in the first 200 days and deferment of key steps such as the e-way bill (which carry details of goods being transported) to check tax evasion have led to massive revenue leakages, in turn resulting in falling tax collections for the government. The fact that the government will get only 11 months of indirect tax revenue this fiscal adds to the concerns of the exchequer.

Political compulsions have forced the GST Council to undertake a reduction in tax rates, which also squeezes revenue receipts. Tax revenues fell sharply to Rs80,808 crore in December from Rs94,063 crore in August—the first month of tax collections. This has raised the risk of the Union government breaching its 3.2% of GDP fiscal deficit target this fiscal year.

Disruption alert

Massive changes are on the anvil to address tax evasion and to further simplify the tax code, especially classification of items.

The GST Council—the federal body comprising Union finance minister Arun Jaitley and state finance ministers—decided to move up the roll-out date of the e-way bill system by two months to 1 February after detecting instances of widespread tax evasion; this loss is estimated at around Rs30,000 crore.

An e-way bill will have to be generated for all movement of goods—within or outside a state—amounting to more than Rs50,000 by prior online registration of the consignment. The supplier and the transporter can upload the details about the shipment and get a unique e-way bill number.

As the implementation date nears, the industry is worried about harassment by tax officials and in effect a disruption to the free movement of goods within India.

With expectation of a further simplification in the returns process and a possibility of combining some of the return forms, industry is also bracing for another round of changes under the new indirect tax regime, which was implemented on 1 July.

The reverse charge mechanism, which requires big businesses to pay tax while making purchases from an unregistered dealer, and the process of invoice matching will also be implemented in the next few months.

Industry resents the hasty implementation of the tax without adequate time for the back-end GST network and hopes that the experience is not repeated in the implementation of the e-way bill.

“The experience so far has not been great. There have been changes every now and then. Further, experience of businesses with regards to compliance has not been good on the ground. Realistic reduction in prices has still not come in and may take some more time. We should be able to gauge the impact of GST by March or April,” said Suresh Nandlal Rohira, a partner at Grant Thornton India LLP.

“Going ahead, the service industry wants the match-and-mismatch concept under return filing to be done away with. Further, any challenges with respect to systems of e-way bill should be addressed to ensure there are no hiccups unlike the initial problems faced while filing tax returns. Octroi check posts are being done away with but they should not be replaced by mobile check posts,” he said.

Further rationalization of rates should also be looked into, he added.

With expectation of a further simplification in the returns process and a possibility of combining some of the return forms, industry is also bracing for another round of changes under the new indirect tax regime, which was implemented on 1 July.

“Industry has to prepare its systems for invoicing, filing tax returns and claiming input tax credit. E-way bill introduction will increase compliance requirements,” said Archit Gupta, chief executive officer of Cleartax.in, which has ventured into helping firms file their tax returns under GST.

Source :  Livemint
No extension of GSTR-1 filing date, says Government

No extension of GSTR-1 filing date, says Government

GSTR-1

The government on Wednesday clarified that there was no extension granted for filing outward sales return (GSTR-1) under the goods and services tax (GST) as the deadline ends at midnight on January 10. The clarification came in the wake of confusion created by a fake notification circulating on social media, which suggested the government had granted a five-day extension for filing returns.

“Taxpayers may note that there is a fake notification regarding extension of date being circulated on social media. No extension of the last date for filing of GSTR-1 has been given,” the government said in a statement.

Also read: Trial Launch Of GST E-Way Bill Scheduled In 🗓️ January 2018

At the time of going to press, the GST Network (GSTN) had not released any interim information on filing trends. GSTN is a non-government, private limited company that has built the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime.Taxpayers with turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore, which constitutes over 90% of the nearly 1 crore registered assessees, are required to file GSTR-1 for July-September period. The remaining assessees are mandated to file the same for July-November period.

The original schedule for filing GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 (purchase return) for July was in October but the GST Council has since granted multiple extensions owing to a vulnerable IT system and complaints from taxpayers regarding increased compliance burden. At the end of the original deadline, only about 47 lakh assessees had filed GSTR-1 and 12 lakh filed GSTR-2.


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Source :  Financial Express
CAIT demands extension of closing date for GST return

CAIT demands extension of closing date for GST return

The deadline for filing GSTR-1 for July-November, 2017, will end tomorrow. The Finance Ministry had last month extended the due date for filing GSTR-1 from December 31 to January 10.

CAIT demands extension of deadline for GST return

Traders body CAIT today demanded an extension of the deadline for filing final sales returns under the GST regime till month end citing glitches on the GSTN portal.

The deadline for filing GSTR-1 for July-November, 2017, will end tomorrow. The Finance Ministry had last month extended the due date for filing GSTR-1 from December 31 to January 10.

Also read: Trial Launch Of GST E-Way Bill Scheduled In 🗓️ January 2018

Sources in GSTN, however, refuted the charge that the GST portal was not working.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in a statement claimed that the “GST portal remain hanged most of the time” today which made the filing of return difficult for businesses.

“In view of the same, the CAIT has demanded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend the date of filing of returns to at least January 30 and in the meantime has also demanded a thorough technology audit of the portal and ensure its normal functioning,” it said.

Sources said the due date for filing GSTR-1 is unlikely to be extended beyond tomorrow.

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is providing the technology backbone for the implementation of the new indirect tax regime. GST, which subsumed over a dozen local taxes, and transformed India into a single market was rolled out from July 2017.

Businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore have to file GSTR-1 for July-September by tomorrow.

For those with a turnover of more than Rs 1.5 crore, GSTR-1 for the months of July till November has to be filed by January 10.

The GST Council had in November last year allowed businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore to file final returns GSTR-1 quarterly.

XaTTaX: Cloud and On-Premises Based GST Filing Software For India

Source :  Money Control
Direct tax collection rises 18.2% in April-December: Govt

Direct tax collection rises 18.2% in April-December: Govt

Direct tax collection- GST

The government on Tuesday said that the direct tax collections has jumped by 18.2 per cent during the first nine months of current fiscal at Rs 6.56 lakh crore. Direct taxes are made up of income tax paid by individuals, wealth tax and corporation tax paid by companies.

The Finance Ministry on Tuesday put out a statement saying: “The provisional figures of Direct Tax collections up to December, 2017 show that net collections are at Rs. 6.56 lakh crore which is 18.2 per cent higher than the net collections for the corresponding period of last year.” The net direct tax collections represent 67 per cent of the total budget estimates of direct taxes for FY2017-18 (Rs 9.8 lakh crore), the statement said.

The gross collections have increased by 12.6 per cent to Rs. 7.68 lakh crore during April to December, 2017. And in the same period, the government issued a refund of Rs 1.12 lakh crore. According to the Finance Ministry, the collection of advance tax has also gone up.

“An amount of Rs 3.18 lakh crore has been received as Advance Tax up to December 2017, reflecting a growth of 12.7 per cent over the Advance Tax payments of the corresponding period of last year,” the Ministry said.

While the country’s direct tax collection has seen rise, the indirect tax collection has been on decline for the last two months. Last year in December, the government released the indirect tax collection data for November.

In November, the GST revenue stood at Rs 80,808 crore, down from over Rs 83,000 crore in the previous month. Even in October, the tax collections were not in expected line. The GST for October had slipped by almost 10 per cent to Rs 83,346 crore as compared to Rs 92,150 crore in September.

Last year in July, India overhauled its taxation system by introducing GST for indirect tax collections. The first month revenue under GST was over Rs 95,000 crore, however, in August the figure came down to Rs 91,000 crore. Decline in GST collections could be attributed to multiple factors such as compliance and tax rate adjustments.

In November, the GST Council brought down the taxes on over 200 goods by 10 per cent. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the highest tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent. Reports suggest that the GST Council is expected to meet on January 11 to deliberate on latest downward trend in revenue collection.


XatTaX: India’s most trusted GST compliance software – 100% accurate GST filing

Source :  Business Today
Trial Launch Of GST E-Way Bill Scheduled In 🗓️ January 2018

Trial Launch Of GST E-Way Bill Scheduled In 🗓️ January 2018

Under the roll out of Goods and Services Taxes (GST) last year, transporters are required to carry an electronic waybill or e-way Bill when moving goods from one place to another. This provision was to be implemented from February 1 pending IT network readiness. The GST Council in its meeting on December 16 decided to implement the e-way bill mechanism throughout the country by June 1, 2018. The e-way bill for inter-state movements will be implemented from February 1 and for intra-state movement from June 1.

According to the latest tweet by Press Information Bureau (PIB) about the e-way bill, traders and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from 16 January, 2018.

PIB India

GST E-Way Bill

 


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Here are other details of the e-way bill:

1)       Once the e-way bill system is implemented, tax avoidance will become extremely difficult as the government will have details of all goods above the value of Rs. 50,000 moved and can spot the mismatch if either the supplier or the purchaser does not file tax returns, he said.

2)      States have been given the option of choosing when they want to implement the intra-state e-way bill between February 1 and June 1, 2018.

3)      Besides plugging tax evasion, the e-way bill will boost revenues by 15-20 per cent, according to Government estimates.

4)      The e-way bill can also be generated or cancelled through SMS. When an e-way bill is generated, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) is allocated and is available to the supplier, recipient, and the transporter.

5)      Implementation of e-way billing is aimed at bringing uniformity across the states for seamless inter-state movement of goods.

 


XaTTaX: Cloud and On-Premises Based GST Filing Software For India

Source :  NDTV
Govt confident of sizeable growth in spite of GST

Govt confident of sizeable growth in spite of GST

Government confident of sizeable growth in spite of GST

Apprehensions over the impact of the Goods and Services Tax regime on the State’s economy notwithstanding, the State government is confident that the economy is set to register sizeable growth by the end of the current financial year. The confidence stems from the fact that the revenue after the introduction of GST remained “more or less equal to the estimates”. “Growth rate could come down marginally, but growth is certain,” a senior Finance Department official said asserting that the department was “not too worried” about the issue.

According to officials, the total revenue through VAT till December 2016-17 was Rs24,977 crore before the introduction of the GST regime. Though the revenue on account of VAT dropped to Rs19,404 crore during the same period this financial year, the gap was more than made up by adjusted excise duty (Rs2,828.95 crore), SGST (Rs3,969.93 crore) and IGST (Rs3,438.88 crore) in addition to compensation of Rs169 crore. As a result, the total tax collection without excise till December was to the tune of Rs26,982.35 crore registering growth of 8%. . The cumulative growth before the onset of the goods & service tax regime was 21 % while it fell marginally to 18 % post GST. “Revenue remained around Rs3,000 cr. every month in line with the expectations,” the official said.

 


GST Ready Invoicing Software – Generate GST Compliant Invoice

Source :  The Hindu
GST Council set to ease refund procedures for exporters in Jan meet

GST Council set to ease refund procedures for exporters in Jan meet

gst council

While 2017 was a year of transition for businesses as India switched to a new indirect tax regime, 2018 may alleviate the struggles of exporters grappling with liquidity crunch, as the government plans ease the refund-claiming process.

In its next meeting, GST Council—the apex decision making body of the new indirect tax system—may relax rules to claim Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds from the Centre and states, a senior government official told Moneycontrol.

“Exporters are facing challenges claiming IGST (integrated GST) and input tax credit refunds, as the process is cumbersome. We are looking at easing these rules,” the official said.

The Council will meet on January 18 in New Delhi.

Exporters complain that procedural hurdles, coupled with new rules and regulations have made claiming export refunds difficult. The relaxation in norms should bring cheer for exporters who have been complaining about technical issues, locked up tax refunds affecting working capital availability and hurting operations.

The Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will also look at the provisions and specific rules pertaining to the e-wallet facility to facilitate speedy refund.

In October, the Council had approved a plan to operationalise up an e-wallet from April 1, 2018 that could be used by each exporter. A notional amount will be given as an advance amount in this wallet, which will enable GST credit against which the exporters’ refund will be offset.

Apart from easing rules related to refunds, the apex body is unlikely to continue with further rationalisation of GST rates.

“Considering the decline in monthly revenue collection from GST, there may not be further rate cuts announcements next month,” the official said.

Revenue collection from GST for the month of November slipped further to Rs 80,808 crore, lowest since the implementation of the indirect tax system from July 1.

Also read: GGovernment extends deadline for filing final GST returns till 10 January

The dip in revenue collection was mainly due to a decline in overall incidence of taxes on most commodities, especially after the apex decision making body of the new tax system–GST Council–cut rates of more than 200 items in its 23rd meeting in Guwahati. According to estimates, the government will face revenue loss of Rs 20,000 cr annually owing to the rate cut.

While only 50 items remain in the 28 percent tax slab, the industry, has been pushing for bringing down rates for some more items such as cement, paints, and white goods.

Sources said that rate cut at this juncture is unlikely as items such as cement constitute a major chunk of revenue.

According to experts, revenue may fall down further in the next two-three months as the government has to look at other aspects such as refund, and utilisation of credit.

The GST Council’s 25th meeting will be crucial as the government may propose significant changes in the laws and rules, to simplify procedures and ease rules for the business.

The changes may include simplifying the tax return filing process and the composition scheme, apart from the decision on whether to continue with reverse charge mechanism (RCM), tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collected at source (TCS).

The Council will deliberate on the recommendations of the law advisory group that will finalise its report on January 5. The committee will propose key recommendations pertaining to amendments in laws and rules to make the new tax system simple.


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Source :  Money Control
Government extends deadline for filing final GST returns till 10 January

Government extends deadline for filing final GST returns till 10 January

GST Return Filing

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has extended by 10 days the due date for filing sales returns for the July-September quarter for small businesses and monthly returns up to October by larger entities.

As per a notification issued by CBEC on Friday, based on a decision of the Council, small businesses with turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore, which were to file the first quarterly GST return relating to supplies in the GSTR-1 form by 31 December, can now file it by 10 January.

Also read: GST made 2017 most significant year for economy since Independence

Also, entities with turnover above Rs 1.5 crore, which were to file monthly returns on supplies for the July-October period by 31 December, can do so by 10 January. These businesses also have to file their returns for sales in the month of November by 10 January, the original deadline for the month, which remains unchanged. For subsequent months, the filing date will be the 10th of the succeeding month.

The extension is expected to enable more tax payers to comply with the statutory filing requirement. Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY, said the move will bring “quite a relief to businesses who have been struggling with system and data issues and file returns.”

Due to tax rate cuts and lenient implementation, GST revenue collection has declined in December to Rs 80,808 crore, a 14% drop from the collections in August, the first month of tax collection and return filing under the new indirect tax system that kicked in on 1 July.


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Source: Live Mint