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No GST on CXO salaries: Government set to clarify

No GST on CXO salaries: Government set to clarify

The government is looking to clarify that goods and services tax (GST) should not be applicable on salaries of chief executives sitting in head offices, two people in the know said.

This comes after the tax department started raising queries on how companies have dealt with this issue. ET had first written on November 14 that some of the top companies headquartered in Pune, Mumbai and New Delhi have started receiving queries from the tax department on cross-charging of CEO and CFO salaries.

According to a person close to the development the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), is set to clarify that common function like Human Resources should be out of the GST gamut.

“The intention of the GST law was never to tax salary and any other interpretation should be avoided as this would lead to prolonged litigation. Salary cannot be under the GST net and there is an urgent need for a clarification around this,” said Rohit Jain, partner, ELP, a law firm.

The tax department has started questioning top companies and banks if they were passing on some of the common costs like salaries of chief executives to their branch offices.

The department wants companies to proportionately distribute common costs from head office to branch offices and treat this as a supply. Once this is treated as a supply, 10% of it has to be added to the cost and 18% GST could be levied on the total amount.

Industry trackers say that ideally this would be a revenue neutral transaction but still impact the cash flows of the company.

Source: Economic-Times

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Source: Business-Standard.
Non-filers of GST returns may face cancellation of registration

Non-filers of GST returns may face cancellation of registration

The Goods & Services Tax (GST) Administration plans to act tough with non-filers of returns and cancel their registration. It has also decided to update the progress made in this regard on a daily basis.

Filing of returns helps tax authorities to estimate the tax liability and find out how much tax has been paid. The problem here is that nearly 20 per cent of assessees do not file their returns, which affects GST collections.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs (CBIC) held a meeting with the Principal Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of GST & Customs on November 13. According to sources, PK Dash, Chairman, CBIC, expressed his displeasure in the progress of cancellation of registration of non-filers who have not filed GSTR 3B (showing tax payments) returns for six or more than six return periods and are liable to action under GST law.

“…the task of cancellation of registration of such non-filers of GST returns should be taken on priority basis and should be furnished by November 25, ” a communication sent from the office of the Principal Chief Commissioner of GST & Central Excise, Mumbai to Principal Commissioner/Commissioner posted in its jurisdiction. It has also asked for reports to be sent on a daily basis.

Conditions for cancellation
Section 29 of the Central Goods & Services Tax (CGST) Act prescribes conditions for cancellation of registration and fulfilment of any of these will invite action. These include contravention of the provisions of the Act, a composition scheme assessee not filing returns for three consecutive tax periods, any non-composition assessee not furnished returns for a continuous period of six months, not commencing business within six month from the voluntary registration, and registration obtained by means of fraud, wilful misstatement or suppression of facts. The Act clearly provides that registration will not be cancelled without giving the person an opportunity of being heard.

According to GST Law, a registered person will have to file returns either monthly (normal supplier) or on a quarterly basis (supplier opting for composition scheme). An ISD (Input Service Distributor) will have to file monthly returns showing details of credit distributed during the particular month. A person required to deduct tax (TDS or Tax Deducted at Source) and persons required to collect tax (TCS or Tax Collected at Source) will also have to file monthly returns showing the amount deducted/collected and other specified details. A non-resident taxable person will also have to file returns for the period of activity undertaken.

The law is very clear here that the cancellation of registration will not affect the liability of the person to pay the tax and other dues. Every registered person whose registration is cancelled will pay an amount, by way of debit in the electronic credit ledger or electronic cash ledger, equivalent to the credit of input tax in respect of inputs held in stock and inputs contained in semi-finished or finished goods held in stock or capital goods or plant and machinery on the day immediately preceding the date of such cancellation or the output tax payable on such goods, whichever is higher.

Source: The-Hindu-Business-Line

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Nirmala Sitharaman holds meeting on GST simplification

Nirmala Sitharaman holds meeting on GST simplification

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday held meeting with chartered accountants, traders and other stakeholders as part of efforts to further simplify Goods and Services Tax (GST) forms and make the filling process more user-friendly.

To highlight the problems faced by GST filers, the stakeholders attempted to file specific returns on a real-time basis in the meeting and tried to show where they are facing difficulties.

The finance minister assured the stakeholders that their suggestions on simplification of GST filing will be implemented soon, Revenue Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said after the meeting here.

The minister also suggested to hold similar exercises in the entire country next month to understand the issues and concerns of GST filers, the secretary further said.

“Commissioner of a circle will call in some of assesses who will file in return and give suggestions. It was also decided that the GSTN and CBIC will interact regularly after December 7 as this is an evolving system and this kind of interaction are required for further improvement of the system,” he said.

New GST return is available on the portal for trial and consultations will be held all across the country on December 7 to get feedback on the new system, he said, adding about 85,000 returns on a voluntary basis have been filed so far although the new form becomes mandatory from April 1, 2020.

As a part of the ongoing efforts to address a concern raised on the process of filling GST forms, the finance minister invited Rajasthan Tax Consultants’ Association, ICAI, CAIT and Laghu Udyog Bharti and they attempted to file specific returns on a realtime basis and tried to present where they are having difficulties.

Some of the suggestions were with regard to change or amendment to entries in the filing, credit and debit note, he said.

“This meeting was fruitful. In some cases they were not aware of the existing instructions, in some cases they pointed out to confusion and some suggestion with regard to further easing were made,” he said, adding that some clarificatory circular would be issued wherever required and other suggestions would be implemented.

No major issues were found in the basic filing of return, he said.

CBIC Chairman, GSTN CEO, Member (Tax Policy), CBIC, AS (Revenue), Joint Secretary (Revenue), JS (TRU-1) and EVP- GSTN were also present in the meeting.

Source: India-Today

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Delhi HC directs GST Department to Open Online Portal to file the Form TRAN-1 electronically, or to Accept Manually

Delhi HC directs GST Department to Open Online Portal to file the Form TRAN-1 electronically, or to Accept Manually

The Delhi High Court has directed Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) department to either open the online portal so as to enable the petitioner to file the Form TRAN-1 electronically or to accept the same manually on or before 20.11.2019.

The petitioner contended that, it is engaged in the business of trading of steel pipes and is registered under the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017. Before the introduction of the GST Act, as on 30.06.2017, the petitioner had a closing stock of pipes purchased from M/s Avon Steel Industries Private Limited of Rs. 71,35,431/- inclusive of excise duty of Rs.7,92,826/-. Petitioner was entitled to the transition of credit of the amount of Excise duty in terms of Section 140 (iii) of the GST Act. In order to avail transition of credit, petitioner was required to submit a declaration in Form TRAN-1 on the GST Portal within the stipulated period of 90 days. Since a large number of taxpayers could not complete the process within the aforesaid period on account of technical glitches and difficulties faced by them, the government extended the time period for filing TRAN-1 several times and lastly on the recommendation of GST Council, it was extended up to 27.12. 2017.

The Petitioner also submitted that, Pursuant to the aforesaid extension, the petitioner filed Form TRAN-1 on the common portal before the deadline. However, it was unable to log in to the common portal between 24.12.2017 to 27.12.2017 and avail transition of credit, presumably because of low bandwidth, given the fact that a large number of assessees all over India were trying to submit the declaration in Form TRAN-1 before the last date i.e. on 27.12.2017. Petitioner has annexed the screenshot of the Form TRAN-1, available on the common portal along with the petition.

The division bench comprising of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sanjeev Narula has said that, “the factual position in the present case is not any different and thus, we allow the present petition and direct the respondents to either open the online portal so as to enable the petitioner to file the Form TRAN-1 electronically or to accept the same manually on or before 20.11.2019”.

The Court also directed to process the petitioner’s claim in accordance with law once the GST Form TRAN–1 is filed.

Source: TaxScan.

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No GST Registration Needed for Co-Owner in AoP until the Turnover Reached the Threshold Limit: AAR

No GST Registration Needed for Co-Owner in AoP until the Turnover Reached the Threshold Limit: AAR

The Authority of Advance Ruling in West Bengal has ruled that, GST Registration is not needed for Co-Owner in Association of Persons ( AoP ) until the turnover reached the Threshold limit under the GST Act, 2017.

The Applicant is one of the co-owners of immovable property, jointly owned by three individuals. All three co-owners, including the Applicant, hold an equal share in the property. The property is let out to CGST & CX, Chandannagar Division. Total rental received exceeds the threshold provided under section 22(1) of the GST Act, but the share of each of the three co-owners does not cross the said threshold.

The Applicant seeks a ruling on whether he and the other two co-owners are to be treated as an association of persons or a body of individuals and, therefore, a person as defined under section 2(84)(f) of the GST Act, who is required to be registered under section 22(1) of the Act.

The AAR observed that, “the Applicant and the other two co-owners cannot be treated as an association of persons and, therefore, as a person defined under section 2(84X0 of the GST Act, where their income from renting is separately ascertainable and assessed for income tax individually at the hand of each co-owner. Whether the Applicant is required to be registered under section 22(1) of the GST Act will, therefore, depend on his gross turnover, ascertained separately from the other co-owners, exceeding the threshold as provided under the Act”.

Source: TaxScan.

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No GST returns, no E-way bills! Centre to crack down on non-filers

No GST returns, no E-way bills! Centre to crack down on non-filers

Concerned with the dipping monthly collections of Goods and Services Tax (GST), the government and indirect tax department are now planning stricter measures against non-compliant taxpayers.

According to sources, the tax department is now planning to block the facility to generate e-way bill for taxpayers who do not file two consecutive GSTR-3B returns with effect from 17 November 2019. Once the taxpayer has filed one of the pending returns, the facility to generate e-way bill will be automatically restored.

GSTR-3B is monthly return that every registered GST payer has to file. It contains details of sales and purchases made by a business.

Sources told Business Today that the required connectivity between GST Network (GSTN) and the e-way bill system and development of an application to block and unblock facility has been developed and tested between two systems.

While a decision to this effect was taken by the GST Council in April, the reason for the ‘extreme’ step could be to check leakages of taxes. Non-filing of returns is still high and the tax department thinks this is a major cause for falling GST collections.

“With a continuous dip in revenue for the last few months, this is a step towards curtailment of tax leakage. Businesses need to ensure disciplined filing of GSTR-3B to avoid business disruption,” says Anita Rastogi, partner, indirect taxes, PwC.

According to the indirect tax department, as of 8 November 2019, 21.99 lakh taxpayers have been found to have not filed GSTR-3B returns of August and September 2019.

These defaulters now face possible blocking of the facility to generate e-way bill from 17 November. The department, however, is planning to send alert messages to such taxpayers if they come to e-way bill website, and ask them to file their returns by the 17 November.

The problem though is that integration testing of backend applications of few states with GST System is not yet completed. Unless the facility to unblock the e-way generation facility is developed, the department cannot go ahead with blocking the facility.

Rajat Mohan, a partner in chartered accountancy firm AMRG & Associates, said that deferment of implementation of tax provisions on the premise that technology is not ready indicates that the tax authorities are still not ready to identify and capture the culprits (evading tax) on a real-time basis.

In September 2019, the GST collection fell by 5.3% to Rs 95,450 crore as compared to a year-ago period. In August, the GST collections fell to Rs 92,000 crore, which was lower than the previous year collection by over 4%. With the average monthly collections so far this year at around Rs 98,000 crore, way below the required Rs 1.20 lakh crore, the government is looking at a large shortfall in GST collection.

With five more months to go in this financial year, the latest move is probably a last-ditch attempt by the government to revive GST collections.

Source: Business-Today.

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Latest GST circular puts an end to confusion over new input tax credit rules

Latest GST circular puts an end to confusion over new input tax credit rules

In a big relief for GST taxpayers, the Union government on Monday clarified the new rules related to availing input tax credit under the GST. It said that a certain category of Input Tax Credit claims such as ITC in respect of the IGST paid on imports and GST paid under the reverse charge mechanism have been kept out of the scope of the new rules introduced last month. The new rules implemented by the CBIC limited input tax credit claims to 20% of the eligible amount where invoice matching has been done. However, the notification issued by the CBIC on October 9 caused a lot of confusion over the method of calculating this 20% amount, the cut-off date and also whether it was to be calculated supplier-wise or on a consolidated basis. These concerns prompted the CBIC’s GST policy wing to issue a new circular today clarifying all these aspects.

“This circular clarifies a few points and will be of help to GST payers,” said Pritam Mahure, a Pune based chartered accountant.

The circular issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) also clarified that this 20% cap on the eligible Input Tax Credit will not be calculated supplier-wise and GST payers can avail the input tax credit on a consolidated basis.

The Modi government had received complaints that some businesses were availing input tax credit by using fake GST invoices. In order to check the problem of misuse of input tax credit system, the CBEC, the nodal body to implement indirect taxes in the country, had last month made it compulsory to match the invoices uploaded by the suppliers in their GSTR1 forms before buyers can avail Input Tax Credit in their GSTR-3 returns. However, it also allowed the buyers to claim 20% more input tax credit over and above the eligible amount where invoice matching was done but the lack of clarity over the method of calculation created confusion among GST payers.

The CBIC’s latest circular is intended at clarifying all these aspects. For example, if a buyer is entitled to avail input tax credit of Rs 10 lakh on inward supplies (purchases) in a month but if his suppliers have only uploaded the correct invoices in respect of supplies of Rs 6 lakh only in the GSTR1 forms uploaded by them, then the buyer can avail ITC of Rs 6 lakh plus 20% of the eligible amount that is Rs 1.2 lakh. Therefore the buyer could claim a total ITC of Rs 7.2 lakh in the month.

It also clarified that the total amount of ITC, even after the addition of 20% input tax credit over and above the eligible amount where invoice matching has been done, cannot exceed the total amount of input tax credit that can be claimed.

For example, if a buyer is entitled to ITC of Rs 10 lakh on inward supplies and invoice matching is done in case of Rs 9 lakh then as per the 20% cap rule, he is also entitled to avail 20% over and above the eligible amount of Rs 9 lakh, which is 1.8 lakh in this case. However, this can take the total amount of ITC to be availed by him in the month to Rs 10.8 lakh, Rs 80,000 more than the total ITC amount that can be claimed. The new circular has clarified that in any case ITC claims will be restricted to the total amount due.

For example, if a buyer is entitled to ITC of Rs 10 lakh on inward supplies and invoice matching is done in case of Rs 9 lakh then as per the 20% cap rule, he is also entitled to avail 20% over and above the eligible amount of Rs 9 lakh, which is 1.8 lakh in this case. However, this can take the total amount of ITC to be availed by him in the month to Rs 10.8 lakh, Rs 80,000 more than the total ITC amount that can be claimed. The new circular has clarified that in any case ITC claims will be restricted to the total amount due.

The latest GST circular also clarified three distinct cases where the newly introduced rule to cap ITC to 20% over and above the eligible amount will not be applicable.

Where new GST Input Tax Credit rule will not be applicable
The cap of 20% on availing input tax credit under the GST rule 36, sub-rule (4) introduced on October 9 will not be applicable on three cases:

1. ITC in respect of the IGST paid on imports and these importers can directly avail the input tax credit;

2. The cap of 20% will also not apply to those cases where GST has been paid under the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) and;

3. The ceiling of 20% on availing ITC will also not apply on Input Service Distributors (ISD), these are those businesses that receive invoices on behalf of the services used by their branches and subordinate offices.

Source: Financial-Express.

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GST taxpayers alert! CBIC is going to use this unique number from Friday, here’s how it will benefit you

GST taxpayers alert! CBIC is going to use this unique number from Friday, here’s how it will benefit you

In order to protect GST taxpayers from any harassment at the hands of errant tax officials, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), is going to use a unique number in every communication with taxpayers from Friday. Initially, the department will use this unique document identification number (DIN) mostly for investigation related communications such as arrest warrants and search authorizations and it will be later expanded to cover all the communication issued by the officers of the board. All the communication issued on or after November 8 without a computer-generated document identification number will be invalid and deemed to have never been issued, said the CBIC in a letter issued to all the top officers on Tuesday.

The new document identification number to be used by the CBIC is similar to the one used by the CBDT since October 1 this year. GST taxpayers and recipients of summons, search warrants will be able to verify the genuineness of the document by visiting the CBIC’s website.

“The board in exercise of its powers under section 168(1) of the CGST Act, 2017 and Section 37B of the Central Excise Act, 1944 directs that no search authorization, summons, arrest memo, inspection notices and letters issued in the course of any inquiry shall be issued by any officer under the Board to a taxpayer or any other person, on or after the 8th day of November, 2019 without a computer generated Document Identification Number (DIN) being duly quoted prominently in the body of such communication,” said the CBIC in a letter issued on November 5, which was reviewed by the Financial Express Online.

The letter which was issued by the GST Investigation wing under the department of revenue, ministry of finance also made it clear that no communication issued on or after November 8 will be valid without a system-generated DIN number.

“The board also directs that any specified communication which does not bear the electronically generated DIN and is not covered by the exceptions mentioned in para 3 shall be treated as invalid and shall be deemed to have never been issued,” said the CBIC.

What is Document Identification Number (CBIC-DIN) in GST
1. In order to prevent the harassment of genuine taxpayers at the hands of tax officials, the government has decided to create a proper audit trail of all the communications issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.

2. The 20 digit unique Document Identification Number (DIN or CBIC-DIN) will be computer generated and it will be prominently displayed in the body of the document issued by the officers under the board.

3. Only authorised officers will be entitled to generate CBIC-DIN from the utility developed by the Directorate of Data Management (DDM) hosted on the online portal of the CBIC.

4. Use of CBIC-DIN will be compulsory from November 8, 2019 and no communication without it will be valid.

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Source: Financial Express.
Commerce Ministry raises issue of notices to exporters for GST ‘violation’

Commerce Ministry raises issue of notices to exporters for GST ‘violation’

The commerce ministry has taken up the issue of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) notices being sent to 1,000 exporters for alleged violation of Goods and Services Tax with its finance counterpart, an official said.

The commerce ministry has stated that the “overzealous revenue collection” move by DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) was against exporters.

The ministry has demanded integrated goods and services tax (IGST) exemption for inputs used in exports between October 2017 and January 2019, the official said.

In a letter to the Department of Revenue, the commerce ministry said that the demand of giving retrospective IGST exemption to exporters could be taken up by the GST Council, chaired by the finance minister and comprising state ministers.

“This department is of the view that enthusiasm of exporters should not be killed by overzealous revenue collection based on technicalities where revenue does not accrue in principle. You may consider placing these concerns before the GST Council for early resolution,” the ministry has said.

It has also stated that as on date, imports made under the advance authorisation scheme on both pre and post export basis are exempted from payment of IGST.

Exporters have raised concerns regarding litigation and penal action by DRI with regard to pre-import condition under the scheme.

DRI had sent notices to exporters for claiming post import IGST exemption between October 2017 and January 2019. During the period, this exemption was allowed only for pre-import of inputs.

But the exemption was allowed both for pre and post import from January 15 this year. The commerce ministry is seeking implementation of this notification from October 2017 itself.

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Source: Business-Standard.
GST: Evasion, returns and revenue boosting measures to feature at officers’ meet Monday

GST: Evasion, returns and revenue boosting measures to feature at officers’ meet Monday

Tax officers from the states and the Centre will get together for a day-long meeting on Monday to discuss administrative, legal, revenue and implementation-related issues under the indirect tax regime.

This will mark a first of its kind interaction between central and state tax officers, delinked from the agenda of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting. Usually, officer-level meetings have always taken place a day before the GST Council meetings, mainly to discuss measures outlined in the Council’s meeting agenda.

As slowing revenues under the GST have become a concern, officials from the states and the Centre will discuss measures for anti-evasion, revenue augmentation, compliance, returns filing and online system, officials said. The rates of goods and services will, however, not be discussed since those pertain to the GST Council, they said.

Officials said this meeting would be more broad-based, wherein states and the Centre would have a common platform to discuss measures to streamline and regularise many pending issues under the GST. The tax officials are expected to take up issues related to e-way bills, delay in filing returns, IT matters, pending legislative changes, and methods to ensure greater coordination between states and Centre under GST, they said.

“This method to have a common platform for discussion between states and Centre is being tried for the first time. The idea was not to club it with a GST Council meeting and have an open agenda meeting. This was felt necessary so as to develop a mechanism for similar discussions going ahead. The officer-level meetings before Council meetings, otherwise, have too many agenda items and not everything gets discussed in detail,” one of the officials said.

Apart from the administrative- and implementation-related issues, pending legal changes would also be discussed. Another official said many states have not followed up on the amendments in the Central GST (CGST) Act with changes in their respective State GST (SGST) Acts, so much so that in some places there is a time lag of six months. “Such issues need to be prioritised since they are creating a hurdle in proper implementation of GST and would be raised in the meeting,” the official said.

The plan to hold this meeting comes even though the Council last month constituted a committee of officials from states and the Centre for revenue augmentation and looking into wider range of reforms such as systemic changes in the GST, including checks and balances to prevent misuse, measures to improve voluntary compliance, improved compliance monitoring and anti-evasion measures. The committee, which was earlier supposed to submit its report within 15 days, has so far met only once and is now likely to be given an extension of 1-2 months, officials said.”The committee has a wide range of topics in its terms of reference, so it would take time,” an official said.

GST collections in October contracted by 5.29 per cent to Rs 95,380 crore from Rs 1,00,710 crore in the year-ago month, marking the third instance of a contraction since the July 2017 roll-out of the indirect tax regime.

Source: indian-Express

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