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GST Network has 1.2 crore taxpayers registered: CEO

GST Network has 1.2 crore taxpayers registered: CEO

A total of 1.21 crore taxpayers have been registered by the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), its CEO Prakash Kumar said on Friday.

“We started with 60 lakh taxpayers. Today, we have 1.21 tax-payers registered and 57.12 crore e-way bills generated so far,” he said.

An e-way bill is an electronic permit that was made mandatory for inter-state transport of goods from June 1, 2018.

It is required to be generated for every inter-state movement of goods beyond 10 km and the threshold limit of Rs 50,000.

Kumar said nearly 500 crore invoices have been uploaded on GSTN portal so far. “A total of 25.21 crore tax returns have been processed till date. The maximum number of returns filed per day is 18 lakh,” he said.

The GST is billed as the biggest indirect tax reform which came into effect from July 1, 2017, and replaced multiple flowing taxes levied by the central and state governments.

The GSTN was set up primarily to provide IT infrastructure and services to the central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for the implementation of GST.

The portal is accessible to tax authorities for tracking down every transaction, while taxpayers have the ability to connect for their tax returns.

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Source: Business-Standard.
Power companies challenge GST on green certificates

Power companies challenge GST on green certificates

Are renewable energy certificates, bought by power companies, goods or services?

Neither. And so, must be out of the indirect tax ambit, according to power companies which have suffered higher costs because of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The power companies that buy these certificates to comply with the environmental norms challenged the levy through a write petition filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday.

Power companies buy these certificates from renewable energy exchanges to abide by government norms that mandate that a certain percentage of power generated should be through renewable sources.

The certificates are derivatives based on the power generated in green route. Most power generators buy renewable energy from their green peers, sometimes based abroad. These certificates also work as a source to buy the balance quantity of renewable energy that cannot be bought or generated directly by the power firms.

“The taxability of renewable energy certificates has been challenged as these are securities which are excluded from both goods and services. These scrips are traded every Wednesday on IEX (Indian Energy Exchange) and PXIL (Power Exchange India), the two exchanges for the trading purposes,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, partner, Khaitan and Co.

According to the power companies, a government circular that came out in June last year added to their woes. It talked about the applicability of GST on the renewable energy certificates at 12%. “It is hereby clarified that Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs) and other similar documents are classifiable under heading 4907 and attract 12% GST,” it read.

“Taxing renewable energy certificates will prove to be fatal for the power consumers by further increasing the cost of electricity. The regulatory obligations to consume renewable energy as a part of the climate change initiative to control global warming and the taxability can only be decided by the court,” said Harry Dhaul, director general of the Independent Power Producers Association of India (IPPAI).

“The circular provides for the taxability of renewable energy certificates and it will have to be determined in light of the statutory provisions,” said Rastogi.


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Source: Economic Times.
Apparel exports drop 3.46% on GST effect

Apparel exports drop 3.46% on GST effect

Shipments hit on 7% cut in incentives
Apparel exports dropped 3.46% in 2018-19 compared with the year-earlier period, mainly because exporting units took time to adjust to the new rates under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Apparel exports last financial year were worth $16.13 billion compared with $16.71 billion in the year-earlier period. However, in rupee terms, the exports grew by 4.66 %.

According to A. Sakthivel, vice-chairman, Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), under the GST, there was almost 7% reduction in the incentives that the exporters were receiving earlier and they also had to adjust to the new system.

Chandrima Chatterjee, an advisor to the council, said the global apparel market was also stagnant. Yet, leaders in the segment such as Bangladesh and Vietnam witnessed growth. “We need to strategize to position Indian products in the international market,” she said.

Export of overall cotton textiles, including cotton yarn, rose almost 10% last financial year compared with the year-earlier period. Apparel exports, too, surged 15% in March after the Centre announced reimbursement of embedded taxes. This should give a boost to exports this year, says Siddhartha Rajagopal, executive director, The Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council.


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Source: The Hindu
Need to make additional GST payment? Here’s how to go about it

Need to make additional GST payment? Here’s how to go about it

During the course of filing GST Return, a taxpayer may discover additional tax liabilities that he or she may need to pay. GST tax portal has a provision that allows you to do so.

“There is a section in the GST portal that talks about user services. There you need to choose DRC 03 and then opt for annual returns. You can use this to make any additional tax deposits, but need to ensure you have sufficient funds in your electronic cash ledger while using this form to make any additional tax payments,” says Deloitte India, Senior Director, Saloni Roy.

GSTR

GSTR

the shortfall can be on account of tax not being paid or short paid. It can also be on account of tax erroneously refunded or input tax credit wrongly availed or utilized. Payment using DRC 03 can either be voluntarily by the taxpayer when he or she discovers the shortfall, or it can be when the taxman issues a show cause notice (SCN).

In the case of an SCN, a taxpayer who has been issued a notice in form DRC-01 or DRC-02 can make payment and intimate it to the proper officer inform DRC-03 within 30 days from the date of issuance of such notice. However, in the case of voluntary payments, such time limits do not apply.

Is there any interest on these payments? “On any delayed payment, there is an interest liability. This interest can be deposited at the time of making the additional tax payment,” says Roy.

The following details are required in DRC 03:
GSTIN and name;
Cause of payment (Voluntary, SCN, etc.);
Section under which payment is made (73 or 74.Not applicable for voluntary payment);
Reference number, if SCN issued in DRC-01 or DRC-02;
Financial year, tax period and ACT; and
Payment details including interest, penalty, and others.

Where a person has made a voluntary payment of taxes, interest or other dues in form DRC03 before issuance of show cause notice and if tax officials are satisfied with the intimation of an acknowledgment in form DRC-04 will be made available to the taxpayer. In the case of payments against SCN, form DRC-05 specifying about the conclusion of proceedings in respect of the notice will be issued to a taxpayer.

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Source: Economic Times

Two years on, GST network continues to be vulnerable

Two years on, GST network continues to be vulnerable

Two years after its implementation, goods and services tax (GST) continues to be dogged by loopholes. The directorate general of GST Intelligence (DGSTI) has come across a case in which an assessee could secure ten times more input tax credit (ITC) than eligible by just adding one zero in the returns.
In the case which involves a city-based business, it was found that the company had shown ITC to the tune of Rs3.5 crore instead of Rs35 lakh actually available, by just adding one more zero to the figure.

The sleuths, on the basis of specific information that the assessee had not filed returns after December 2017, had launched a probe against the company. It was found during the investigation that an excess credit was also claimed by the company for the period in which returns were paid. It was a clerical error because the entry was reversed after six months.

The DGSTI has finally raised a liability of Rs5 crore and recovered over Rs4 crore from the company which deals in a whole gamut of commodities ranging from electronics to automobiles. However, that the excess ITC amount could be made available by just a manual entry has also exposed the vulnerability of goods and services tax network (GSTN).

ITC is the amount which can be adjusted against the final tax liability. It is available on the basis of tax paid on purchase of inputs and services for making the end-product. So, the ITC claimed cannot be more than the actual purchases which are mentioned in the GST 2A returns. The ITC to be claimed and final tax liability are mentioned in the GST3B returns.

Source say the case shows that the ITC amount can be easily manipulated by simple manual entry. If the online matching system as envisaged originally was put in place, an amount of ITC more than the tax paid on purchases as mentioned in GST2A returns would have been rejected by default in the system.

Even as in this case, a deliberate attempt has been ruled out. Sources say, there is likelihood of fraudulent entries also taking place. The DGSTI office in Nagpur has already got a list of 400 assesses where a similar mismatch has been seen. The amount claimed as ITC GSTR3B and the purchases and tax paid mentioned in GSTR2A are not the same.

There is a list of another 400 odd cases in which the GSTR1 which specifies the sales and GSRT3B in which the final liability is mentioned differ. Since there is no system of matching, an assessee can easily reduce the amount of tax payable even if higher sales are mentioned in GSTR1.

Sources said, at present, the data related to non-filers and mismatch returns is only available at the GST network level. There has been a demand to make it directly accessible at the field level offices under the directorate of investigation and other commissionerate. “Now, as the data comes down the line, there is a time gap,” said sources.

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Source: Times of India.
Businesses with turnover over Rs 2 cr can now start filing GST audit reports for FY18

Businesses with turnover over Rs 2 cr can now start filing GST audit reports for FY18

Businesses with an annual turnover of over Rs 2 crore can now start filing GST audit reports for fiscal 2017-18 as GST Network (GSTN) has made its format available on its portal.

The audit report for 2017-18, the first year of the goods and services tax (GST) implementation, is to be filed by June 30.

The ministry on December 31, 2018, notified the annual returns forms GSTR-9, GSTR-9A, and GSTR-9C. The GST Council in December extended the last date for filing these forms by three months to June 30.

GSTN has now made available offline utility of GSTR-9C which can be filled up by the taxpayer and uploaded on the portal.

GSTR-9 is the annual return form for all taxpayers registered under GST, GSTR-9A is for composition taxpayers.

GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement, duly verified and signed by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant, and required to be furnished along with the filing of annual return by the taxpayer whose turnover is above Rs 2 crore during a financial year.

EY Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said the industry was long awaiting the offline utility and the mechanics of filing the GSTR-9C online.

“Clarifications like digital signature of auditor being required, balance sheet and profit/loss account being attached, etc, should help businesses plan well for executing this compliance,” Jain said.

AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said timely availability of the utility for filing GST annual audit report is a great assistance to taxpayers, especially those having a multi-locational places of business.

“Taxpayers have more than 75 days to file GST annual audit reports and in case they start early then there would be no need for any extensions on the last day,” Mohan added.

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Source: Money Control.

Key aspects to keep in mind when filing your annual GST Return

Key aspects to keep in mind when filing your annual GST Return

The last date to file the first-ever GST Annual return is fast approaching and there are certain things that every taxpayer needs to keep in mind.

According to Saloni Roy, Senior Director, Deloitte India, the key is to ensure that the filings are correct and the data that you have relied upon have adequate backups and supported because it will be required for your GST Audit. “These documents will be the basis for the GST Audit to be filed. Documents are most crucial and ensuring that the data contained in your annual return is complete is very important,” says Roy.

The due date to file returns has been shifted twice, initially from December 2018 to March 2019 and then again to June 30, 2019. Roy says it is important to keep this additional timeline in mind since it is the first time everyone is filing returns and prepare accordingly so that we have everything in place.

“This annual return also allows you to make certain edits. In case your previous return did not have the complete data, you can now make certain edits. However, no additional tax credit can be claimed and whatever has been filed till GSTR3B will stay,” says Roy.

Lastly, there may be some additional work regarding your input tax credit, which would pertain to categorizing your credits according to different buckets – inputs, input services, and capital goods. The key, however, is to keep adequate time in preparing this.

GST Audit

GST Audit needs to be submitted simultaneously along with the Return. “Return, in this case, is the primary document, and the audit follows through from the return. The audit is essentially a reconciliation of the returns with a taxpayer’s financial detail. Like the return, the audit needs to be done for each GST registration. The return is a precursor to the audit, but sufficient time needs to be allotted since the date of filing for both documents is the same,” says Roy.

Any taxpayer with a turnover of Rs 2 crore in a financial year needs to file an Audit report. “Technically the turnover should have been from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but there is some confusion since GST kicked in during the month of July 2017, which means the period is a question is nine months. There is some ambiguity around it, but the law states Rs 2 crore in a financial year,” says Roy.

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Source: Economic Times.

GST Dept can’t detain Vehicle for Deficiency in Lorry Receipt: Gujarat HC grants Interim Relief

GST Dept can’t detain Vehicle for Deficiency in Lorry Receipt: Gujarat HC grants Interim Relief

A two-judge bench of the Gujarat High Court has granted interim relief to a dealer where the Goods and Services Tax (GST) department had detained the goods for deficiency in the Lorry Receipt.

The department had seized the vehicle on the ground that the lorry receipt issued by the transporter is photocopy without the computerized serial number and contact number details.

The counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Uchit Sheth, submitted before the Court that the order of detention has been made on the ground that the lorry receipt issued by the transporter is photocopy without the computerized serial number and contact number details.

Under section 68 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, the Government may require the person-in-charge of a conveyance carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding such amount as may be specified to carry with him such documents and such devices as may be prescribed.

As per Sub-rule (1) of Rule 138A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017, the person-in-charge of a conveyance is required to carry – (a) the invoice or bill of supply or delivery challan, as the case may be; and (b) a copy of the e-way bill in physical form or the e-way bill number in electronic form or mapped to a Radio Frequency Identification Device embedded on to the conveyance in such manner as may be notified by the Commissioner.

The petitioners, therefore, submitted that in case either of these documents is not carried by the person-in-charge of the conveyance, the respondents would be justified in resorting to action under section 129 of the CGST Act.

It was contended that since carrying the Lorry Receipt is not a requirement prescribed under rule 138A(1) of the rules and there is no statutory provision empowering the respondents to make an order of detention under section 129(1) of the CGST Act for any deficiency in the lorry receipt issued by the transporter, the impugned order of detention is without authority of law.

The two-judge bench comprising Justice Harsha Devani and Justice Bhargav D Karia held that “Prima facie, the contention raised by the learned advocate for the petitioner appears to be valid. Under the circumstances, a prima facie case has been made out for grant of interim relief as prayed for in the petition.”

“Stand over to 18th April 2019. By way of further interim relief, the respondents are directed to forthwith release the truck No.GJ-04-AW 1999 along with the goods contained therein,” the bench said.


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Source:Tax Scan
Vendors ask for allowing ITC under GST for supplies made to railways

Vendors ask for allowing ITC under GST for supplies made to railways

The companies engaged in manufacturing wagons and other equipment for railways are pressing for rationalisation of the GST regime by allowing input tax credit on supplies made to Indian Railways.

In a representation to the finance ministry, the equipment manufacturers have argued that in absence of input tax credit (ITC) both vendors and Railways are suffering from avoidable burden of taxes.

It was pointed out that exclusion of railways rolling stock manufacturers from the scope of refund was against the principle of the fiscal neutrality – one of the main objectives of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The industry has suggested that the IGST rate on locomotives and rolling stock be increased to 18 per cent, which is the pre-GST rate, so that the entire amount of ITC could be availed.

Alternatively, it suggested that the revenue department should remove restrictions on refund of accumulated unutilised ITC with respect to railway locomotives and rolling stock.

As per the industry, railways losing ₹400-500 crore per month and the railway vendors too are losing an equivalent amount on account of not passing the ITC benefits. Therefore, the total loss to the railway ecosystem is more than ₹1,000 crore per month.

Railways vendors also said that the discrimination and anomaly with respect to railways locomotives and rolling stock with respect to GST is contradictory to the policy of eliminating cascading tax effect and is also hurting ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government.


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Source: Live Mint.
Govt extends the last date for filing GSTR-1 for March till April 13

Govt extends the last date for filing GSTR-1 for March till April 13

The government Wednesday extended the last date for filing final sales return form GSTR-1 for March by two days till April 13.

Similarly, the due date for furnishing tax deducted at source (TDS) return GSTR-7 for March has also been extended till April 12.

The last date for filing GSTR-1 and GSTR-7 for the month was April 11 and April 10, respectively.

“The details of outward supply of goods or services or both in Form GSTR-1 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017, for the month of March 2019 shall be furnished electronically through the common portal, on or before April 13, 2019,” the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said in a notification.

The extension of due date for filing sales return came after businesses complained of some issues in the GSTR-1 form while filing the form.

AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said, “Even after 20 months of GST implementation, GSTN is suffering from technical glitches leading to inefficiencies in the overall compliance structure of tax filings. The GST Council also needs to have a ‘Plan-B’ for a swift and smooth GST compliance network”.

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Source: Business-Standard