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Traders demand govt to fix E-way bill threshold to Rs 1L

Traders demand govt to fix E-way bill threshold to Rs 1L

In a shocker for businessmen, the Punjab government’s amendment to double the E-way bill exemption limit from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 for inter-state transactions expired on September 13.

This amendment was valid for one year which was issued last year on September 13 after a lot of hue and cry was raised by the businessmen who claimed that the exemption limit of Rs 50,000 was not sufficient.

Meanwhile, ever since the expiry of the amendment limit, businessmen are up in arms against the government as they are of the view that the limit of Rs 1, 00, 000 should be made permanent as reversing the limit back to Rs 50,000 is not viable for them.

Sunil Mehra, state general secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal (PPBM), said: “The notification doubling the exemption limit under the E-way bill for within the state transactions from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 has expired on September 13. This notification was done last year after intervention of the chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, when the PPBM apprised him of difficulties being faced by the business community of Punjab due to low exemption limit of Rs 50,000 under the e-way bill system. But unfortunately, no one paid attention to the fact that the notification was valid only till September 13. This is nothing less than a setback for us as we have been maintaining our accounting records as per the new notification only. Not only we will have to go back to the old system, but this will also put an additional burden on us as even a normal transaction these days is for Rs 50,000 and above. Therefore, we request the state government to do something immediately. Rather than extending the notification, the government should make it permanent for within the state transactions.”

Speaking to TOI Rajkumar Singla, president of the Fastener Supplier Association, Ludhiana, said: “If the exemption limit of Rs 1,00,000 from the E-way bill is halved, it will again lead to harassment of businessmen. The state government has failed to fulfil its promises to the business community of Punjab. We are contemplating to campaign and stand up for our rights. Regardless of our repeated representations to the government, no concrete solution has been taken so far, be it costly power, rising cost of the raw material and labour etc. State finance minister Manpreet Badal has been making false promises that limit is being revised again to Rs 1,00,000, but nothing has been done by the government even after four days.”

Kulpreet Malhotra, a senior member of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said: “It is unfortunate that on one hand the industry is undergoing recession and on the other, the exemption limit for interstate E-way bill has been again revised to Rs 50,000. We had to fight a big battle with the state government last year as well. We are now geared up to do anything to get the exemption limit for the E-way bill to Rs 1,00,000 again.”

Notably, the amendment to double the exemption limit for the inter-state (within Punjab) E-way bill was done on September 13, 2018, by the Punjab government.
At that time, a lot of drama was witnessed as the Central GST department (CGST) had opposed the decision of the state government for the amendment and later 11 items were kept in negative list by the state government on which amendment did not apply.

Source: Times-Of-India.

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GST collections drop to six-month low of ₹98,202 crore in August

GST collections drop to six-month low of ₹98,202 crore in August

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) revenues slid to a six-month low of ₹98,202 crore in August 2019. Average collections this financial year are still above ₹1.02 lakh crore, however.

“The total gross GST revenue collected in August, 2019 is ₹98,202 crore of which CGST is ₹17,733crore, SGST is ₹24,239crore, IGST is ₹48,958 crore and cess is ₹7,273 crore,” the government said in a release. “The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for July up to August 31, 2019 is 75.80 lakh.”

The revenue collected in August 2019 was 4.51% higher than what was collected in the same month of the previous year.

“During April-August 2019 vis-à-vis 2018, the domestic component has grown by 9.11% while the GST on imports has come down by 1.43% and the total collection has grown by 6.38%.”

“Slowdown in GST collections perhaps reflects the economic realities on the ground,” Pratik Jain, Partner & Leader, Indirect Tax, PwC India said. “While it’s 4.5% higher than the corresponding period of last year, it’s much below the target, despite the reduction in the estimates in the Union Budget.

“During April-August 2019 vis-à-vis 2018, the domestic component has grown by 9.11% while the GST on imports has come down by 1.43% and the total collection has grown by 6.38%,” the government release said.

“With virtually no room for rate increases, the government would hope that efforts to plug tax leakages would yield results soon,” Mr. Jain said. “Given the slowdown in collections, it would be interesting to see if the GST Council would consider rate cuts in its meeting, later this month, for the automobile sector as the industry has been pushing for.”

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Source: The-Hindu.
No GST on everyday items like milk and meat

No GST on everyday items like milk and meat

Bollywood actor Rahul Bose tweeted how a Chandigarh-based five-star hotel billed him a staggering ₹442, including GST (goods and services tax), for just two bananas. The GST amount was ₹67.50—a 9% central GST of ₹33.75 and a 9% Union Territory GST of ₹33.75. The news seem to have fizzled out, but as a consumer, it’s important to know what’s the right GST amount you need to pay, and which items are exempt from GST altogether. Here are a few everyday items, across three categories, on which you don’t need to pay GST.

Food items: There is no GST on fresh or pasteurized milk, butter milk, curd, chena or paneer, and non-vegetarian items like eggs, chicken, fresh meat, and fresh or chilled fish. Fruits, vegetables, as well as unit container-packed frozen branded vegetables (uncooked or steamed) are also exempt.

Other items on this list include natural honey, hulled cereal grains like barley, wheat, oat and so on. Palmyra jaggery, all types of salt, flours like gram or pea flour, coconut, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled, all kinds of whole spices like seeds of anise, fennel, coriander, cumin or caraway, are exempt. Even items like papad, except when served for consumption, bread (branded or otherwise), and pizza bread are exempt. Water (other than aerated, mineral, purified, distilled, medicinal, ionic, battery, de-mineralized and water sold in sealed containers) have no GST.

Personal items: Several personal items too feature on the zero GST list. For instance, sanitary pads, kajal (other than kajal pencil sticks), glass and plastic bangles, hearing aids, slates, pencils, chalk sticks, passenger bags, bindi, and all types of contraceptives, including condoms.

Miscellaneous items: These mostly include stationery items and items bought from the government. For instance, picture, colouring and drawing books for children, music books, manuscripts, postal items like envelope and post cards sold by the government, newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether illustrated or containing advertising material. Maps and hydro graphic or similar charts of all kinds, including atlases, wall maps, topographical plans and globes, that are printed are also included. Cheques, loose or in a book form, printed books, including Braille books, judicial and non-judicial stamp papers, court fee stamps when sold by government treasuries or vendors authorized by the government, and rupee notes when sold to the Reserve Bank of India are part of the list.

Religious routine ritual items like rudraksha attract no GST. Even items like earthen pots, clay lamps are not in the GST list. Medical items like blood from blood banks attract no GST either.

Remember that some items may attract zero GST only if they are not packaged.

Source: LiveMint
Written By: Bindisha Sarang

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GST department yet to implement high court’s order on ITC 

GST department yet to implement high court’s order on ITC 

High court’s order that input tax credit (ITC) accumulated up to July 31, 2018 will not lapse had provided relief to powerloom weavers in Surat, but delay in its implementation by central government and GST department is troubling them.

At present, the man-made fabric (MMF) sector comes under inverted duty structure where duty on raw material or input as well as duty on finished products is higher. For example, man-made fabric manufactured by powerloom weavers attracts Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 5% and that input material, including yarn, attracts duty of 12%. The difference of 7% is to be refunded as input tax credit (ITC).

Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) had issued a notification saying refund of ITC will be possible from August 2018 and that accumulated ITC from the date of GST notification till July 2018 will lapse. This particular circular was challenged by powerloom weavers, including Federation of Gujarat Weavers’ Association (FOGWA) in the high court.

In the first week of August, the high court quashed the CBIC circular declaring it ultra vires and beyond the scope of section 54(3)(ii) of the CGST Act.

FOGWA president Ashok Jirawala said, “Even after the high court’s order, the GST department is yet to work out distribution of the lapsed ITC credit to powerloom weavers. The release of ITC will pump in fresh investment in the sector.”

Pandesara Weavers’ Association president Ashish Gujarati said, “We are going to meet GST commissioner in a day or two to appeal him to issue trade notice with regards to the high court order.”

Source: Times of India
Will request FM for extension in due date for filing income tax, GST returns

Will request FM for extension in due date for filing income tax, GST returns

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday requested Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for extension in due date for filing income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns.

“I will request Nirmala Sitharman ji for extension in due date for filing income tax and GST returns,” the Chief Minister said during a press conference.

In a big relief to those affected by the deluge in the state, the Chief Minister announced, “Loans on flood-affected crops, up to 1 hectare will be waived or will be paid by the state government. Those who had not taken any loan will be compensated with triple the amount of normal compensation for the crops.”

He also promised that the houses damaged due to the floods in the state will be rebuilt under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojna.

“Houses damaged due to flood will be re-built under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojna. We will provide financial help of Rs 24000 for rented accommodation in rural areas and Rs 36000 in urban areas,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Fadnavis took to Twitter to thank Reliance Industries Limited and Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan for their generous contributions to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for rehabilitation work in the flood-ravaged western Maharashtraregion.

Large parts of the state have been reeling under the floods.
The death toll due to the floods and heavy rainfall in Pune division reached 54, an official statement said on August 16.

As per the statement from the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Pune, at least 4,74,226 people have been rescued from 584 villages and evacuated to 596 temporary shelters in Pune, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara and Solapur districts. (ANI)

Source: ANI

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Stern action if GST returns are not filed, warns Chief Commissioner

Stern action if GST returns are not filed, warns Chief Commissioner

Taxpayers should file their GST returns for 2017-18 by August 31 and failure to do so will attract very severe consequences, including hefty penalty, Chief Commissioner of Customs and CGST Visakhapatnam Zone, Naresh Penumaka, has said.

Though only 15 days of time was left, 80% of traders have not filed it so far. It involved a consolidated filing of the monthly returns filed by them and the date had been extended several times and would not be extended further, he said at a press conference here. They should approach the nearest Central Excise officials for hand-holding and filing the returns, he suggested.

Besides, not passing on the benefit of GST to customers or indulging in any fraud in input tax credit or any attempt to use it as working capital or not remitting GST collected from consumers might lead to imprisonment, he warned traders. Traders should also issue a bill collecting GST as per the reduction effected by the GST Council from time to time, he said. The Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management was analysing bulk data to check GST fraud. The National Anti-Profiteering Authority would also investigate it.

He denied that cumbersome process was the reason for the delay in filing returns citing 90 % compliance at the national-level and some States reporting as high as 70%. “Some are deliberately delaying payment,” he said.

Also the Central Excise and Service Tax dues pending for the past two years also should be paid in two weeks, Mr. Naresh said warning of imprisonment of it was not complied with.

With the modifications in GST returns from October and January 2020 new returns should be filed and GSTR 3B would be done away with, Nr. Naresh revealed.

Target
The current year’s target for Andhra Pradesh was ₹58,222 crore against which so far only ₹16,037 crore was collected, Mr. Naresh said adding the previous year’s collection was ₹50,000 crore. Traders should file returns and pay the tax to improve collection, he said.

Mr. Naresh also urged importers and exporters to make use of the trade facilitation measures in Customs as only 51% of importers were using the Direct Port Entry and 6 % of the exporters Direct Port Entry schemes.

Principal Commissioner, Customs, Visakhapatnam Zone, D.K. Srinivas, said there was an exponential growth and for the first time the zone crossed ₹10,000 crore mark in customs duty collection in the previous year. It kept pace with the 20% increase in the target during the current year with ₹4,700 crore collected in the first four months. Besides IGST returns and ‘drawbacks’ of ₹400 crore was paid.

Principal Commissioner, GST of Visakhapatnam Zone, Faheem Ahmed, announced the schedule for awareness programmes in the city and divisions.

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Source: The-Hindu
80% Visakhapatnam traders yet to file GST returns 

80% Visakhapatnam traders yet to file GST returns 

With the August 31 deadline for filing central goods and service tax (CGST) returns only a fortnight away, CGST officials are in a fix as 80 per cent of traders in the city have not yet filed their returns.

“All taxpayers should file their GST returns for 2017-18 by August 31, else they would face severe consequences, including a hefty penalty,” said chief commissioner of Customs and CGST, Visakhapatnam Zone, Naresh Penumaka.

The chief commissioner denied that the cumbersome process is the reason for delay in filing returns and cited a 90 per cent compliance rate at the national-level, with compliance in some states as high as 70 per cent. “Some deliberately delay payment,” he said.

The process involves a consolidated filing of monthly returns filed by traders. The date had been extended several times in past and CGST officials said the deadline will not be extended further. “So the traders who are yet file the returns should approach the nearest central excise official for filing returns,” suggested Penumaka.

The chief commissioner warned that any fraud in input tax credit, attempts to use it as working capital or not remitting GST collected from consumers might lead to imprisonment. “Traders should also issue a bill collecting GST as per the reduction effected by the GST council from time to time,” he added. The target for 2018-19 in Andhra Pradesh has been set at Rs 58,222 crore, but till July 2019 only Rs 16,037 crore has been collected.

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Source: Times-of-India
Poorer states leave industrialised peers behind in GST collection rates: Report

Poorer states leave industrialised peers behind in GST collection rates: Report

Heartland states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha showed improved performance in goods and services tax (GST) collection for 2019, as compared to the previous year, reports the Times of India.

Their performance stood out against that of industrialised states, with only West Bengal bucking the trend, the report said.

Delhi, with a 2 per cent drop, reported the worst collection of Rs 12,700 crore for April-July 2019, compared to Rs 13,000 crore a year back, it said, adding that the overall GST collection for the period rose by 9 per cent to Rs 3.56 lakh crore.

The top performers in terms of collection rates were Nagaland (39 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (35 per cent) and Sikkim (32 per cent). Their GST collection volumes, along with Meghalaya, were between Rs 370 crore and Rs 680 crore, the report said.

Odisha saw collection rate spike by 20 per cent to Rs 9,264 crore for April-July 2019 from Rs 7,666 in April-July 2018, Uttarakhand by 19.9 per cent (Rs 3,676 from Rs 3,067); Bihar by 17.8 per cent (Rs 11,625 – Rs 9,869) and Madhya Pradesh by 14.6 per cent from Rs 14,024 to Rs 12,240.

Assam recorded a 14.1 per cent rise (Rs 6,197 – Rs 5,433), Uttar Pradesh (12 per cent from Rs 34,783 to Rs 31,056), Karnataka 10.7 per cent (Rs 29,789 – Rs 26,908), Tamil Nadu – 10 per cent (Rs 27,959 – Rs 25,425), Andhra Pradesh – 9.1 per cent (Rs 14,482 – Rs 13,271), and Telangana – 8.7 per cent (Rs 16,121 – Rs 14,832).

Maharashtra rose by 7.2 per cent (Rs 54,208 – Rs 50,557), West Bengal 6.4 per cent (Rs 19,014 – Rs 17,862), Gujarat 6.2 per cent (Rs 24,663 – Rs 23,221) and Kerala 4.7 per cent (Rs 14,542 – Rs 13,888).

MS Mani, a partner at consulting firm Deloitte, told the paper that the above-average collections in consuming states were “expected even prior to GST launch as it is structured as a destination-based consumption tax”.

“However, originating states, where the collection growth has been slower, would need to consider the fact that the compensation mechanism comes to an end in 2022, unless extended,” he said.

Anticipating this development, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu had demanded that the Modi-led government begin negotiations for implementing GST – demands that the BJP-rules states later dropped.

As per stipulations, states with less than 14 per cent annual growth would be compensated by the Centre for five years. However, some of these states – going by the GST numbers – would not require the support, the paper pointed out. The compensation is paid out of cess imposed on soft drinks, tobacco and automobiles among others.

Experts told that paper that the development has been good for poorer states and would augur well for states with high production and consumption base as well, such as Maharashtra.

However, states with lower populations such as Haryana and Punjab could be adversely affected as the various taxes subsumed into GST would affect their monies.

Source: Money-Control.

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Source: Live-Mint

Central GST: Fake invoices racket busted

Central GST: Fake invoices racket busted

Central GST Delhi North Commissionerate has busted a racket of issuance of fake invoices without actual supply of goods and services.

Two individuals – Asrar Akhtar and Vikas Singh —have been arrested in this matter and remanded to judicial custody for 14 days by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), New Delhi at Patiala House Courts, an official release said.

The accused and their associates were found to be operating 19 fake firms created to facilitate fraudulent Input Tax Credit (ITC), thus defrauding the Exchequer.

Prima facie fraudulent ITC of about ₹25 crore has been detected to have been passed on using invoices involving an amount of ₹137 crore.

The modus operandi of these individuals and their associates Sabban Ahmed and Arif, inter alia, involved issuance of fake invoices of firms registered across Delhi NCR from a premise in Azadpur, Delhi.

Voluminous incriminating documents such as fake invoices, diaries, letter-heads, rubber stamps of fake firms, cheque books, transporter’s consignment notes and electronic devices have been recovered. Investigations are underway to identify other individuals and firms involved in this racket, the release added.

Asrar Akhtar and Vikas Singh were arrested on August 1 and have been remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.


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Source: The-Hindu-Business-Line
GST collection grows 5.8% in July to ₹1.02 trillion

GST collection grows 5.8% in July to ₹1.02 trillion

Central and state governments have collected Rs. 1,02,083 crore from Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July, 5.8% more than what they mopped up in the same month a year ago, an official statement said here.

This is the third time the combined central and state GST receipts crosses ₹1 trillion mark so far this fiscal. The union government is bound to compensate states for any shortfall in their revenue collection below an agreed 14% annual growth every year in the first five years of GST regime. Tax collected in July pertain to the transactions in June. After showing a 10% annual growth in April GST receipts, collections remained rangebound between 6.6 and 5.8% in subsequent months.

The statement said the union government collected ₹17,912 crore, while states collected ₹25,008 crore. Receipts from integrated GST (IGST) on inter-state sales stood at ₹50,612 crore and from GST cess at ₹8,551 crore. On account of the revenue shortfall in FY19 and the growth rate remaining below 14% so far in FY20, the central government’s requirement to compensate states continues and raises questions about states revenue position after the first five years of GST if the current trend continues. Central and states collected and average RS 93,114 crore a month last fiscal against a ₹1 trillion combined monthly target.

The GST shortfall could make the union government more dependent on cesses and surcharges on various taxes to find resources for compensating states for their revenue shortfall.

The Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the government’s internal auditor, said on Wednesday the central government’s gross tax revenue in the June quarter grew at a slow pace of 2.7% to ₹1.86 trillion from the year ago period. (ends)

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Source: Live-Mint.