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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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Know in Detail about the Importance of GST Reconciliation

Know in Detail about the Importance of GST Reconciliation

What do you mean by GST Reconciliation?

The concept of GST reconciliation and matching is not new as far as the taxpayers are concerned. In fact, this process has been modeled upon the former VAT and excise laws. Previously, matching of data between tax returns and the books of accounts was quite easy for most of the enterprises. Suppose if the department that is responsible for processing the returns came across some discrepancies, the taxpayer would be sent the communications, following which further inspection and audits would be done.

In the GST system, this process has gained much importance, as the rationality of the Input Tax Credit used by the businesses is being regularly checked by the GST personnel. Further, under this regime, the taxpayers are required to reconcile their data each month along with the data declared by their vendors. The return filing and processing are automated semantically, and the GST returns are inter-connected.

Some of the Common Errors which Occur During GST Reconciliation

Below given are some of the mismatches which occur during the reconciliation process:

  • Variances between the amount of credit in GSTR 3B and GSTR 2A or/and
  • Alterations in the provisional credit claimed and the actual credit which is claimable. Normally, this situation happens during transition phases
  • Differences between GSTR 3B and GSTR 1

Scrutiny notices would be sent to the taxpayers if there are any variations observed between these returns.

Mismatches can occur due to several reasons. Some of the common reasons are:

  1. Though the vendor has not declared liability on the supplies which have been already done with, the businesses have already taken credit for such purchases in the GST returns. If the businesses did not carry out the necessary follow up with the vendor to make sure that the liability is declared, the risks pertaining to such credits getting rejected may increase
  2. The mistakes which occur in the already furnished details. Mismatches can occur in the fields like the date and number of the debit note/invoice, the GSTIN of the supplier/recipient, etc. Further, if amendments are made in the GST returns of the month succeeding the relevant month during which the mistakes happened, it may lead to mismatches as well
  3. Mismatches occur in the credit availed and the liability declared by the vendor. In fact, the reasons for these variations should be recognized and reconciled accordingly
  4. Though the liability has been declared by the vendor, the credit is not availed in the GST return. Such credits should be utilized at the earliest before the due date of September returns or annual returns.

How to Select a Software/Tool which Enables Quicker Reconciliation and Guarantees 100% Compliance?

A powerful technological solution can address all of the GST reconciliation challenges in an effective manner, which in turn helps to add value to the business concerned. Some of the features which are essential for the matching and reconciliation purposes include:

  • The GST reconciliation software should have the ability to deal with huge chunks of data
  • A business owner should be able to get the data into the reconciliation system quite easily from any type of source like Excel, ERP, bill books, etc.
  • It should make the entire process seamless and efficient during each month, that the business owner can stay relaxed
  • Proactive reminders and the availability of an automated system in order to minimize human interventions would also help in making the process of reconciliation more efficient
  • The software/tool must be exceptionally intelligent to tackle any missing/wrong information like wrong dates, invoice numbers, tax rates, sale value, missing items, etc. The GST reconciliation software should be capable of providing reconciliation efficiently in all these instances
  • It should be capable of providing in-depth reporting and insights which can help deal with the challenges successfully
  • Given the fact that the GST rules keep on changing from time to time, the tool/software should be able to evolve quickly and operate as per the changes in the rules.

Carrying Out GST Reconciliation in Five Easy Steps

The reconciliation process under the GST system is all about matching the data filed by the suppliers with that of the recipients and recording all the transactions that happened during that time. Further, this process guarantees that no transactions or procurements are excluded or wrongly stated in the GST returns.

The taxpayers are required to reconcile their data with that of the vendors regularly in order to claim the Input Tax Credit (ITC) for which they are eligible. Though reconciliation is simple, it may be time-consuming as the taxpayers need to watch out on a continuous basis for any discrepancies or mismatches that may have a serious impact on the ITC claim.

Below given are five steps to handle the reconciliation process easily:

1. Under the GST reconciliation process for the relevant financial year, it is mandatory that the taxpayers need to file the entire periodic GST return. Even if the due date of a certain GST return is overlooked, it needs to be filed along with the interest or the late fee, whichever is applicable. In fact, if the GST returns are not filed in time, it may affect the matching and reconciliation procedure. Further, the taxpayers are required to keep their books of accounts up-to-date and align the tax returns in accordance with the same. Moreover, unless the entire GST returns are filed, the taxpayers would not be able to claim the ITC

2. It is important for the books of accounts and the GST return to be in agreement with each other for the purpose of claiming ITC. In addition, the taxpayers need to keep a check on the taxes paid as per the reverse charge system while they claim ITC on purchases. However, a taxpayer can benefit from the credit of taxes paid according to the reverse charge system only if the goods and/or services are utilized or would be utilized for the sake of business

3. The taxpayers need to find out the mismatches and make corrections in the relevant entries in the books of accounts. Further, they also need to amend these details in the upcoming GST return filing period. Though the GST laws do not allow to revise tax returns filed during the previous periods, they permit to file the corrected entries through an amendment return in the subsequent periodic return. Further, these entries need to be filed in GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B as well.

Ensure that the purchase register is carefully matched with GSTR 3B (uploaded on a monthly basis) and GSTR 2A details (uploaded by the supplier). It is essential to streamline the GSTR 3B return, the books of accounts, and the GSTR 2A form to avail the ITC completely on the related purchases, or else, the taxpayer may lose the ITC claim, which ends up in paying extra taxes

4. The communication between the vendors and customers is important as it results in the relentless reporting of the details as far as the GST returns are concerned. Further, the chances of omission, mismatches, or incorrect entries are considerably minimized when both the suppliers and the recipients coordinate their details and then file the GST returns. It is also important to find out the non-compliant vendors, interact with them, and address their issues which will further help the recipients to maximize their ITC. Currently, there are many best GST reconciliation software available which could provide help in minimizing the communication gap between the recipients and the suppliers. This kind of software allows the users to send a reconciliation mismatch report to the suppliers or vendors to address any issue regarding the same

5. Finally, the taxpayers are required to report all the corrected sale or purchase transactions of the relevant financial year, for the September returns.

In short, GST reconciliation is an ongoing process that should be carried out periodically in order to claim maximum credit and also to evade mismatches to a greater extent.

GST collections remain subdued at Rs 95,380 crore in October

GST collections remain subdued at Rs 95,380 crore in October

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection in October declined to Rs 95,380 crore, as against Rs 1,00,710 crore in the same month a year ago, as per government data released on Friday.

This is the third consecutive month when GST mop-up remained below the Rs 1 lakh crore mark, despite October being a festive month.

The revenue collection in September stood at Rs 91,916 crore.

“The gross GST revenue collected in the month of October, 2019 is Rs 95,380 crore of which CGST is Rs 17,582 crore, SGST is Rs 23,674 crore, IGST is Rs 46,517 crore (including Rs 21,446 crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs 7,607 crore (including Rs 774 crore collected on imports),” the finance ministry said in a statement.

It further said the total number of GSTR 3B returns (summary of self-assessed return) filed for the month of September (up to October 30) was 73.83 lakh.

Source: Times-Of-India.

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No GST on Reimbursement of Expenses to Employee by Employer: AAR

No GST on Reimbursement of Expenses to Employee by Employer: AAR

The Authority of Advance Ruling ( AAR ) in Karnataka has ruled that, the amounts paid to the employees of the applicant company as reimbursement of expenses incurred by them in the course of employment of the applicant company are not liable to tax under the provisions of the Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 as the transaction of the services supplied by a supplier to the employee and paid by the employee is liable to tax after 30.09.2019.

The AAR also ruled that, the remuneration paid to the Director of the applicant company is liable to tax under reverse charge mechanism under sub-section (3) of section 9 in the hands of the applicant company as it is covered under entry no. 6 of Notification No. 13/2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017.

The applicant has been examined and its found that the applicant’s employees incur expenses on behalf of the company in the course of employment and the said amounts are reimbursed by the applicant on a periodical basis. These expenses are incurred by the applicant and are only paid by the employee and later on reimbursed to the employee by the applicant. The issue is whether the amount paid as reimbursement of the expenses paid by the employee amounts to supply liable to tax.

Services by an employee to the employer in the course of or in relation to his employment are covered under Clause 1 of the. Schedule III which relates to the activities or transactions which shall be treated neither as a Supply of Goods nor as a Supply of Services. Hence the services provided by the employees of the applicant to the applicant are not a supply. Further, the expenses incurred by the employees are expenses of the applicant and the consideration is payable by the applicant himself and later on reimbursed by the applicant.

The AAR observed that, “The amount paid by the employee to the supplier of service is covered under the term “consideration” as if it is paid by the applicant himself for the services received by them on behalf of the company. This amount reimbursed by the applicant to the employee later on would not amount to consideration for the supplies received as the services of the employee to his employer in the course of his employment is not a supply of goods or supply of services and hence the same is not liable to tax. However, if any tax is applicable, it is on the services received by the employee on behalf of the applicant in the course of his employment, irrespective of the fact that it is paid by the applicant or the employee and later reimbursed by the applicant”.

Regarding the remuneration to the Directors paid by the applicant, the services provided by the Directors to the Company are not covered under clause (1) of the Schedule III to the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 as the Director is not the employee of the Company. The consideration paid to the Director is in relation to the services provided by the Director to the Company and the recipient of such service is the Company as per clause (93) of section 2 of the CGST Act and the supplier of such service is the Director.

Source: TaxScan.

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18% GST applicable to Works Contract of Residential Quarters, rules AAR

18% GST applicable to Works Contract of Residential Quarters, rules AAR

The Authority of Advance Ruling ( AAR ) in Madhya Pradesh has ruled that, 18% Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) applicable to Works Contract of Residential Quarters.

The AAR has clarified the rate of GST on contract for Construction of building and structure for colony a village Siveria at 2 x 660 MW Shree Singaji Thermal Power Project Stage – II Khandwa.

The AAR observed that the issue before us is squarely covered under Section 97(2)(a) of the Act and therefore we admit the application for consideration.

The authority vide order dtd.18.10.2018 had ruled that “The works contract service of construction of 599 residential quarters allotted to the applicant (Shreeji Infrastructure P.Ltd.) by MPPGCL will merit classification under SAC 9954 and would attract GST @18% (9%CGST + 9%SGST)”.

Construction of residential quarters, though within the precincts of Power Plant’ cannot by any stretch of argument and imagination be termed as the work entrusted to the applicant.

The AAR also observed that, the GST will be applicable @18% under SAC 9954, in as much as it refers to the construction of residential quarters, which was awarded to M/s.Shreeji Infrastructure P.Ltd., as already ruled vide our order no.15/2018 dtd.18.10.2018.

Source: TaxScan.

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Gujarat HC serves notices on govt, GST council for breach of refund norms

Gujarat HC serves notices on govt, GST council for breach of refund norms

The Gujarat High Court has issued notices to the union government and the GST Council over the alleged breach of refund norms by field officers under the goods and services tax (GST) regime.

Under the Rule 92 of the Central GST (CGST) Act, the claim of the refund has to be made in the RFD 04 form. Thereafter, the officer concerned can accept or reject the claim after his investigations.

If the claim is accepted, he would issue refund in the form RFD 06. In case the refund is required to be adjusted, the officer would withhold it in the form RFD 07. If the refund is not admissible, partly or wholly, this would be communicated through the form RFD 08.

If the amount is rejected, it would be credited to the government account under the Rule 93 of the

Gujarat HC serves notices on govt, GST council for breach of refund norms CGST Act, but for that, due process of RFD forms has to be followed.
A petitioner moved the high court, saying the field officer concerned rejected his claim of refunds without resorting to RFD forms. He reversed it under the Rule 93, which, he argued, could not be done without following the due process.

Abhishek Rastogi, counselor of the petitioner and partner at Khaitan & Co, said many petitioners were keen to move the court over the lapses. “The law provides that the denial of the refund has to happen only after compliance with the procedure laid down. We have challenged the rejection order, which has not followed the due process of law,” he said.

Source: Business-Standard.

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Nirmala Sitharaman promises further GST simplification to help India improve business ranking

Nirmala Sitharaman promises further GST simplification to help India improve business ranking

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said efforts will be made to further simplify goods and services tax (GST), and expressed hope that it will help in further improving India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

India has jumped 14 places to rank 63rd out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business 2020 report on account of significant improvement in resolving insolvency and obtaining construction permits.

The other parameters where the country has done well include trading across borders, registering property, paying taxes, getting electricity connections and starting a business.

However, the improvement in the remaining three parameters — getting credit, protecting minority investors, enforcing contracts — are not impressive.

Sitharaman said that the effort will be now to achieve the target to reaching within top 50 rank.

She added that as there is just one rank improvement in the parameter of starting a business, enough effort will be made to improve on this scale, as it is a “very critical” in a cycle of an industry.

“In GST, it is an ongoing process to understand where the difficulties are…We are also looking at what were the glitches in using online filing of returns. So, GST is an ongoing process in improving. Even now for the next meeting, as and when it happens, we want to make sure that several steps are taken to simplify compliance,” she said.

On income tax front, she said: “At this stage, there may not be much to say.”

The minister also said from next year two more cities – Kolkata and Bengaluru – will be included in the preparation of the ranking index. Currently, the report covers Delhi and Mumbai.

“Till now two cities in India were covered all these years. For a large country and regional diversity being so distinct, we were impressing upon the World Bank that having just two cities may not be adequately representative. So, from the coming year Kolkata and Bengaluru will be added to the list of cities,” she told reporters here.

With this, the World Bank will take views of industry from these two cities while formulating the ranking index.

The minister said that there is a significant jump in the parameter of resolving insolvency, “but that does not make me complacent”.

“We have to go within top 50th. So, all efforts from now will be moving in that direction,” she said.

She added that on obtaining electricity connection parameter, work has to be done at state level.

“In trading across borders and registering property, improvement can be even much more,” the minister said.

Speaking on the parameter of getting credit, chief economic adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian said the current outreach programme being undertaken by the banks has helped in improving credit access.

“Close to Rs 80,000 crore credit has been given, of which 43 per cent is new term loans. One lakh MSMEs have been sanctioned loans close to Rs 8,500 crore, three lakh loans to agri, which is close to about Rs 4,600 crore,” Subramanian said.

India has continuously improved its ranking from 142 in 2014 to 63rd this year – out of 190 countries, which are ranked by the bank’s ‘Doing Business’ 2020 report.

Source: Times-Of-India.

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New GST return forms may force firms to change ERP systems

New GST return forms may force firms to change ERP systems

The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns from April 2020 that mandate providing more details may require companies to amend their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Tax experts and chartered accountants (CAs) said that the new return systems would require a lot of details such as purchases from unregistered dealers.

“Besides, bill of entry-wise import details and bill of entry-wise purchases from SEZs (special economic zones) would be required. As of now, there is one-way traffic. Presently, suppliers upload these data, but from April 2020, recipients will also have to upload all these data,” said Vivek Jalan, Partner, Tax Connect Advisory Services LLP.

Instead of the GST returns being the current supplier-driven traffic, starting April next year, it would become a workflow driven mechanism, he added.

Moreover, electronic or E-invoicing for business to business (B2B) transactions would also kick in from January 1, 2020. This would also require changes in the ERP systems to ensure thgat every invoice is tracked by the tax authorities. The move is aimed at curbing tax evasion.

In addition to the current invoices which are generated on the companies’ ERP, the new system would require automatic uploading of the data on government systems.

Amit Bhagat, Partner, Dhruva Advisors said that depending on the details required in the new return system, the ERP would need to be changed.

“It will not be something which will require complete overhaul of the system, but certainly some changes would be required after e-invoicing is implemented and more details in GST returns are required from early next year,” Bhagat said.

Source: Hindustan-Times.

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GST might have flaws but cannot damn it now: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

GST might have flaws but cannot damn it now: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Conceding that GST may have some flaws in its present form, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday asked tax professionals not to curse it and sought their help to make it better.

The minister was replying to the concerns raised by taxation industry professionals here, who said the industry was “cursing” the government over how the GST was implemented.

Billed as the biggest reform in indirect taxation, the goods & services tax, which does away with a host of levies from the federal to the local government levels, was implemented in July 2017.

On several stakeholders “cursing” GST, Sitharaman even objected to a person who raised the question, and asked him not to damn the law which was passed by Parliament and all the state assemblies.

“After a long time, many parties in Parliament and in state assemblies worked together and came up with the Act. I know you are saying this based on your experiences but suddenly we cannot call ‘what a goddamn structure it is’,” the minister said.

She interacted with people from industries, chartered accountants, company secretaries and many other stakeholders in the financial sector.

Stating that it has been only two years since GST was implemented, she said she would have wished the new structure was satisfactory from day one.

She also said she wants all stakeholders to give some solutions for better compliance. “We cannot damn it. It might have flaws, it might probably give you difficulties but I am sorry, it is the law of the land,” she added.

BM Sharma, a member of the Cost Accountants Association, later explained why he said what he said. “I said that the objective of GST was to ease of doing business, reduce tax complexities, rationalise 13 taxes, and reduce litigation and corruption. But the same is not being achieved due to several problems and industries and professionals are complaining now,” he said.

As Sharma suggested some solutions, the minister asked him to meet her in Delhi.

Earlier during a presser, when asked about the low GST collections, minister attributed it the difficulties due to weather-related disasters and also poor compliance.

“Yes, GST collection in some areas has not been strong enough. Various districts in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Himachal, and Uttarakhand were flooded and we had to postpone filing returns from these areas,” she said.

She also said the revenue secretary has already formed a committee to indentify where collection has not been adequate as per our expectation.

“We have some reports on how in some cases evasion has happened. The committee will look into how this can be plugged and if there has been any under-invoicing,” she said.

Source: Economic-Times

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