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GST Network to release new version of return filing interface on 22 October

GST Network to release new version of return filing interface on 22 October

GST Network (GSTN) will release improved version of GST return filing interface on 22 October with an aim to further simplify the process.

“Many of the suggestions were incorporated in version 2 which is in place right now. Version 3 is going to come on October 22 of this month,” GST Network CEO Prakash Kumar said at a seminar organised by IIT Delhi Alumni Association here.

GST Network provides IT infrastructure and services to central and state governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for implementation of the GST.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) has reduced complexity in indirect taxation as its implementation has lowered the number of forms to be filed by businesses to just 12, from 495 under as many as 17 central and state laws in the pre-GST era, Kumar said. The indirect tax administration now shares data with the income tax department, a move that has helped in unearthing instances of tax evasion, he added.

Kumar said that income tax department confirms the range of turnover, not the exact data of tax payer, which has helped in detecting mismatches. At present, there are 12.3 million registered GST tax payers.

Speaking at the occasion, GST Council Special Secretary Rajeev Ranjan said that GST has also aided in cutting the logistics cost for businesses, while successive rounds of rate cuts in the new tax indirect tax regime reduced prices and helped keeping inflation under check.

GST has reduced the average tax incidence as well as prices, and was an important determinant in ensuring that inflation remained under control, he said.

“Prior to GST, about 14% of the total cost of goods accounted for logistics (in India), a large cost and friction in doing business, while it was 10-11% for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS nations) and 9-10% for developed countries,” Ranjan said quoting a 2014 study.

Now, logistics cost in India is about 10-12% of the value of goods, Ranjan said in his presentation.

“In pre-GST era, trucks used to cover about 225 kilometers a day and now it is 300-325 kilometers,” said Ranjan, adding that GST has ensured that there is no need to have a fragmented market.

Source: Live-Mint

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23% GST payers can file returns via SMS from April

23% GST payers can file returns via SMS from April

One in five GST payer will get away without having to file monthly or quarterly returns from April. Instead of filling up the form online, all that those with ‘Nil’ returns will have to do is to send an SMS to a specified number and confirm it using a one-time password.

The move is part of the overall exercise to simplify compliance as many of the ‘Nil’ return filers, who account for almost 23% of the 1.2 crore GST base, had registered to be eligible for contracts from government and other agencies but do not undertake any business.

Once the new returns kick in from April, over 70% of those registered for GST can make do with quarterly filing of returns as their turnover is less than the specified level of Rs 5 crore. “Only 7% of the taxpayers with annual turnover of over Rs 5 crore will have to file monthly returns,” said Prakash Kumar, chief executive of GST Network that provides the IT backbone for the indirect tax regime and has developed the new forms.

More than 51% of the taxpayers can use the SMS-based compliance tool or opt for Sahaj, the form meant for those entities with B2C transactions and have an annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore.

GST, which was launched over two years ago, had faced severe criticism as businesses, especially the smaller ones, complained of stiff compliance burden that required three-stage filing. Through the new forms, the government has sought to reduce the compliance burden with smaller businesses required to file quarterly returns, although taxes will have to be paid on a monthly basis.

Source: Times-of-India

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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
Firms may get to raise prices after transferring GST cuts

Firms may get to raise prices after transferring GST cuts

Companies are free to raise prices of products and services as per their business cycle without fear of getting caught in the anti-profiteering provision in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) law once they have passed on the benefit of tax rate cuts to consumers, said a government official.

The clarification from the official, who has knowledge of how the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) and its investigative arm work, comes at a time when ambiguity in the law and the recent extension of the profiteering watchdog’s tenure as well as an increase in penalty for violation have led to concerns that the pricing liberty of businesses stands curtailed.

Analysts said that due to lack of guidelines on how to implement anti-profiteering provisions in the Central GST Act, companies are not sure how long they are expected to maintain a price after they reduce price to pass on the benefit of a tax cut to consumers. This is also worrisome for companies that have faced charges of profiteering for specific periods in the past. The law is silent on how long companies have to maintain the reduced price after a tax rate cut. This open ended provision, in effect, results in price administration, they said. Under GST law, not passing on the benefits of tax rate reduction or availability of input tax credits to consumers by businesses and merchants amounts to profiteering.

The liberty to increase price as per the business cycle will come as a relief to companies, especially large fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) manufacturers that have faced ‘profiteering’ charges under GST law.

“Whenever there is a reduction in GST rate, businesses have to pass on the benefit to consumers immediately. Thereafter, companies are free to follow their cycle of price adjustments as they deem fit in line with market forces. There is no lock-in period for maintaining reduced prices,” said the first official cited above, who spoke on condition of anonymity. If a company has increased prices of products in a particular month in the past, that is a valid explanation for a price increase subsequent to reducing prices in line with a tax rate cut. Businesses, however, should be in a position to defend themselves in case of a complaint, said the person.

Experts said it may not be a very easy task for businesses to defend price increases considering the complexities in the overall business environment and pricing. They said past price trends may show movement both ways and may not be sufficient to justify a price increase in case of a profiteering investigation.

“Businesses may at times want to increase margins on a better selling product to offset losses in other products. There is still an ambiguity on whether that increase in margin for some products would be acceptable by the authorities as a justification for a price increase. Separately, industry has also been looking forward to detailed guidelines on calculating the amount of benefit to be passed on and in specific, the duration for which the reduced price is to be continued,” said EY tax partner Abhishek Jain.

The other factor that has got businesses worried is the perpetual nature of the anti-profiteering provision in the CGST Act although the tenure of the NAA is defined. The provision which mandates immediate price reduction of goods and services commensurate with the tax cut, does not specify a sunset clause. A second government official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the anti-profiteering provision may be administered by any designated government official or agency in a less elaborate way after NAA’s term ends as the tax system would have stabilised by then. The GST Council extended the term of NAA by two years in June, which enables it to continue to work till end of 2021. The Council had also in June decided to let NAA impose a penalty equivalent to 10% of the profiteered amount on those who pocket the tax benefit meant for consumers.

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Source: LiveMint
GSTN releases offline tool of new GST return for trial run

GSTN releases offline tool of new GST return for trial run

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) on July 30 released trial version of offline tools of GST forms related to supply of goods and services. The offline tools have been released for Annexure of supplies (GST ANX-1) and Annexure of Inward Supplies (GST ANX-2), GSTN, which is the IT backbone of the indirect tax regime, said in a statement.

These two forms would be part of the proposed GST Return filing system under which a taxpayer would have to file FORM GST RET-1 (Normal) or FORM GST RET-2 (Sahaj) or FORM GST RET-3 (Sugam) on either monthly or quarterly basis.

GSTN provides offline tools that can be downloaded for filing GST returns.

All the outward supplies will be detailed in GST ANX-1 while GST ANX-2 will contain details of inward supplies auto-populated mainly from the suppliers’ GST ANX-1.

It will also contain details auto-populated from Form GSTR-5 and Form GSTR-6.

“The taxpayer will be required to take action on details of inward supplies contained in Form GST ANX-2 by accepting or rejecting the entries. The taxpayer can also keep the invoice pending by marking the entry accordingly,” the release said.


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Source: Money-Control
GST: Steady decline in number of return filers in last four months

GST: Steady decline in number of return filers in last four months

Total number of entities filing GST returns has seen steady declined in the last four months for which data is available. Between February and May this year, the number of entities filing GST return has declined by almost 8 lakh, which is nearly 10% of the total GST return filed in the country. According to latest official information, the number of entities that are required to file GSTR-3B form is around 1.03 crore while the number of entities that have filed return in May this year is little over 75 lakh. It means nearly one fourth of the businesses that are required to file return under the GST law have not done that.

The government admitted in the Rajya Sabha all the taxpayers admitted under GST were filing returns.

“The government is considering to put in place an extensive plan to hunt for these missing GST payers,” Anurag Thakur, minister of state for finance told the Rajya Sabha in response to a question adding that the measures will include tax officers visiting the concerned premises.

It’s bit ironical that during the same period the total number of businesses registered under the GST has gone up by 23 lakhs to 1.03 crore while the number of GST return filers (GSTR-3B) declined by over 10%.

While in February this year, almost 84 lakh of the total over 1 crore businesses registered under the GST had filed their returns, the number of filers declined to 82.5 lakh in March.

The same trend of decline in the number of GST filers further declined to 79 lakh business in April this year while in April it further declined to little over 75 lakh.

In February this year, the government’s gross GST collection was Rs 97,247 lakh crore, then it went up to Rs 1,06,577 crore in March and it an all-time high of Rs 1,13,865 crore in April this year before again declining to Rs 1,00,289 crore in May this year.

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Source: Financial Express
Important dates to remember for GST return filings

Important dates to remember for GST return filings

Filing of returns with the Government within stipulated dates is important for a taxpayer in order to avoid incurring any Interest and Penalty.

Forms GSTR-1 AND 3B are to be filled by a person registered under GST for each month other than the people who are registered under the composition scheme.

The important dates that should be remembered for filing GST returns are:

GSTR-3B is to be filed by all taxpayers and the last -date to file is 20th July 2019.

GSTR-1 is to be paid by taxpayers whose turnover is below Rs. 1.5 Crore and also not opted for Monthly Return. The last date to file is 31st July 2019.

GSTR-1 is to be paid by taxpayer s with turnover above Rs. 1.5 Crore or opted for Monthly returns. The last date to file is 11th July 2019.

GSTR-9 is an annual return and the last date to file is 31st August 2019.

For GSTR-9A, the annual return is to be filled by Composition Dealers and the last date of filing is 31st August.

GSTR-9C is a reconciliation statement to be filled by taxpayers with aggregate turnover exceeding Rs. 2 crore from July 2017 to March 2018. The last date to file it is 31st August 2019.

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Source: KNN-India
Nirmala Sitharaman Explains How GST Filing Will Be Simplified

Nirmala Sitharaman Explains How GST Filing Will Be Simplified

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) processes were being further simplified while adding that businesses with less than Rs. 5 crore annual turnover will need to file quarterly GST return.
She also announced to increase special additional excise duty and road and infrastructure cess on petrol and diesel by one rupee each, hike in customs duty on gold and precious metals to 12.5 per cent and imposing nominal basic excise duty on tobacco products and crude.

The Union Budget 2019-20 also provides for exempting import of certain defence equipment from basic customs duty, reducing customs duty on certain raw materials and capital goods, and rationalisation of export duty on raw and semi-finished leather.

“The threshold exemption limit for a supplier of goods is proposed to be enhanced from Rs. 20 lakh to an amount exceeding Rs. 40 lakh. Taxpayers having an annual turnover of less than Rs. 5 crore shall file the quarterly return,” she said.

She said that a fully automated GST refund module shall be implemented. “Multiple tax ledgers for a taxpayer shall be replaced by one,” she said. The Budget proposes to move to an electronic invoice system wherein invoice details will be captured in a central system at the time of issuance.

“This will eventually be used to prefill the taxpayers’ returns. There will be no need for a separate e-way bill. To be rolled out from January 2020, the electronic invoice system will significantly reduce the compliance burden,” said Ms Sitharaman.

The Finance Minister said that the landscape of indirect tax has changed significantly with the implementation of GST.

Terming it as a “monumental reform”, Ms Sitharaman said the GST regime has brought together the centre and the states with the result 17 taxes and 13 cesses became one and a multitude of rates instantly became four.

“Almost all commodities saw rate reduction. Tens of returns were replaced by one. Taxpayers’ interface with tax departments got reduced. Border checks got eliminated. Goods started moving freely across states, which saved time and energy. The dream of ‘One Nation, One Tax, One Market’ was realised,” she said.

The Finance Minister said that GST rates have been reduced significantly where relief of about Rs. 92,000 crore per year has been given. “There is a need to unload the baggage and allow the business to move on, as more than Rs. 3.75 lakh crore is blocked in litigations in service tax and excise,” she said.

The budget proposes a dispute resolution-cum-amnesty scheme — Sabka Vishwas Legacy Dispute Resolution Scheme, 2019 — will allow quick closure of these litigations. The relief under the scheme varies from 40 per cent to 70 per cent of the tax dues for cases other than voluntary disclosure cases, depending on the amount of tax dues involved.

Describing ‘Make in India’ as a cherished goal, the Finance Minister proposed an increase in basic customs duty on certain items so as to provide domestic industry a level playing field. These items include PVC, cashew kernels, vinyl flooring, tiles, metal fittings, mountings for furniture, auto parts, certain kinds of synthetic rubbers, marble slabs, optical fibre cable, CCTV camera, IP camera, digital and network video recorders.

She also proposed to withdraw exemption from customs duty on certain electronic items which are now being manufactured in India.

To encourage domestic publishing and printing industry, 5 per cent customs duty will be imposed on imported books. To further promote domestic manufacturing, the budget proposes customs duty reductions on certain raw materials and capital goods.

These include certain inputs of CRGO sheets, amorphous alloy ribbon, ethylene dichloride, propylene oxide, cobalt matte, and naphtha, wool fibres, and input for manufacture of artificial kidney and disposable sterilised dialyzer, and fuels for nuclear power plants.

The Union Budget proposes to increase special additional excise duty and road and Infrastructure cess each by one rupee a litre on petrol and diesel.

“Crude prices have softened from their highs. This gives me a room to review excise duty and cess on petrol,” she said.

Nirmala Sitharaman also announced an increase in customs duty on gold and other precious metals from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent. The Budget also proposes rationalisation of export duty on raw and semi-finished leather to provide relief to the sector.

Ms Sitharaman said that tobacco products and crude attract National Calamity and Contingent duty which in certain cases is being contested on the ground that there is no basic excise duty on these items. To address this issue, the Budget proposes to impose a nominal basic excise duty on tobacco products and crude.

The Finance Minister proposed a few amendments to the >Customs Act. She said: “Recent trends reveal that certain bogus entities are resorting to unfair practices to avail undue concessions and export incentives.”

She announced that misuse of duty-free scrip and drawback facility involving more than Rs. 50 lakh rupees will be a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

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Source: NDTV.
GST proved to be consumer, assessee friendly’, writes Arun Jaitley on two years of rollout

GST proved to be consumer, assessee friendly’, writes Arun Jaitley on two years of rollout

Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who introduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1 in 2017, on Monday stated that the new tax regime “proved to be both consumer and assessee friendly.”

Jaitley, in a blog, wrote: “After two years, one can confidently argue, without fear of contradiction that GST proved to be both consumer and assessee friendly. The high taxation of pre-GST era pinched the consumers’ pocket and acted as a disincentive against tax compliance. The last two years have seen each of the meetings of the GST Council reducing the tax burden on consumers as the tax collections improved.”

jaitley

He mentioned that “the assessee base in the last two years has increased by 84%.”

Giving “response to certain misconceived ideas,” Jaitley said: “Many warned us that it may not be politically safe to introduce the GST. In several countries, governments lost elections because of the GST. India had one of the smoothest transformations. Within the first few weeks of the implementation, the new system settled down.”

On GST’s simplification and compliance, he said: “There is now a single registration system which works online and the procedures for the trade and business are reviewed and simplified regularly.”

Commenting on the pre-GST era, he stated that, “GST merged seventeen different laws and created one single taxation. The pre-GST rate of taxation as a standard rate for VAT was 14.5%, excise at 12.5% and added with the CST and the cascading effect of tax on tax, the tax payable by the consumer was 31%. The GST changed this scenario completely. Today, there is only one tax, online returns, no entry tax, no truck queues, and no inter-state barriers.”

He highlighted that the GST Council “worked on the principle of consensus” which “added to the credibility of the decision-making process.”

The former finance minister further stated that GST could become a “two-tier tax” process.

“Except on luxury and sin goods, the 28 percent slab has almost been phased out. Zero and 5 percent slabs will always remain. As revenue increases further, it will give an opportunity to policymakers to possibly merge the 12 percent and 18 or cent slab into one rate, thus, effectively making the GST a two-rate tax,” he said.

Source:Times-of-India.

XaTTaX is Best GST Software, Simplify your Financial matters with GST eFiling Software for Return Filing & GST Billing Software in India.

  • Automate Invoicing and get Paid Faster
  • Integration with all popular accounting software
  • Manage your GST and E-WayBill Software anytime anywhere using multiple devices

Get Our GST Software DEMO and E-WAY BILL DEMO for FREE

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