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GST: E-Way Bill generation facility to be blocked for Taxpayers who failed to file GSTR-3B for 2 or more Tax period from Oct 15

GST: E-Way Bill generation facility to be blocked for Taxpayers who failed to file GSTR-3B for 2 or more Tax period from Oct 15

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs ( CBIC ) has clarified that, E-Way Bill generation facility to be blocked for Taxpayers who failed to file GSTR-3B for 2 or more Tax period from Oct 15, 2020.

In terms of Rule 138 E (b) of the CGST Rules, 2017, the E Way Bill generation facility of a person is liable to be restricted, in case the person fails to file their GSTR-3B returns, for a consecutive period of two months or more.

The GST Council in its last meeting has decided that this provision will be made applicable for the taxpayers whose Aggregate Annual Turn Over (AATO, PAN based) is more than Rs 5 Crores.

Thus, if the GSTIN associated with the respective PAN (with AATO over Rs 5 Cr.) has failed to file their GSTR-3B Return for 02 or more tax periods, up to the month of tax period of August, 2020, their EWB generation facility will be blocked on the EWB Portal. Please note that the EWB generation facility for such GSTINs (whether as consignor or consignee or by transporter) will be blocked on EWB Portal after 15th October, 2020.

The CBIC also said that, To avail continuous EWB generation facility on EWB Portal, you are therefore advised to file your pending GSTR 3B returns immediately.

Source: TaxScan.

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CBIC extends due date of GST compliance of E-Way Bill in respect of goods sent/taken on approval for Sale/Return are removed before the Supply takes place

CBIC extends due date of GST compliance of E-Way Bill in respect of goods sent/taken on approval for Sale/Return are removed before the Supply takes place

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) extended the due date of GST compliance and validity of the e-way bill till October 31, 2020 in respect of goods sent/taken on approval for sale/return are removed before the supply takes place.

The Board seeks to amend notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 35/2020-Central Tax, dated the 3rd April, 2020.

The board seeks to amend clause (i) of the said notification to extend the due date of compliance which falls during the period from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 29th day of June, to 30th day of June, 2020.

In the said notification, in the first paragraph, in clause (i), after the first proviso, “provided further that where, any time limit for completion or compliance of any action, by any person, has been specified in, or prescribed or notified under sub-section (7) of section 31 of the said Act in respect of goods being sent or taken out of India on approval for sale or return, which falls during the period from the 20th day of March, 2020 to the 30th day of October, 2020, and where completion or compliance of such action has not been made within such time, then, the time limit for completion or compliance of such action, shall stand extended up to the 31st day of October, 2020,” shall be inserted.

The Section 31(7) of the Union Territory Goods and Service Tax Act says, “where the goods being sent or taken on approval for sale or return are removed before the supply takes place, the invoice shall be issued before or at the time of supply or six months from the date of removal, whichever is earlier.”

Source: TaxScan.

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GST Council To Explore Making E-Way Bills Must For Moving Gold Within States

GST Council To Explore Making E-Way Bills Must For Moving Gold Within States

A Group of Ministers has agreed that states can individually decide to make e-way bills mandatory for the movement of gold within their territory to check tax evasion.

The panel decided that if states want to implement the e-way bill mechanism for gold and precious stones, they can do so for intra-state movement of the commodity, Thomas Isaac, Kerala finance minister and head of the panel; and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, a member of group, told BloombergQuint.

Currently, inter-state movement of goods over Rs 50,000 requires an e-way bill but gold is exempt. Given tax evasion and smuggling of gold, the GST Council created a group of ministers to examine if implementing the e-way bill mechanism for gold and precious stones is feasible. GST on gold is levied at 3% while precious stones and diamonds are taxed at 0.25%-3% .

The legal changes required to make e-way bill generation compulsory for intra-state movement of gold, and a monetary threshold for gold will be worked out by the officials of Department of Revenue, Modi said. The proposal will then be taken to the GST Council for its final approval.

Isaac told BloombergQuint that a proper tax administration is needed for gold. States like Gujarat, known for gold and diamond industry, had reservations about data of transportation of gold and diamonds being revealed if e-way bill system is implemented as it tracks the transport of goods, he said.

The panel agreed to implement the system within a state and secrecy of movement of goods will be maintained, with only commissioner-level officials dealing with the information, Isaac said.

The panel was not in favour of making e-way bills mandatory for inter-state movement of gold as it’s “not feasible” and will complicate the system, Modi said.
E-way bill generation for inter-state movement of gold and precious stones may lead to security concerns as such consignments would be tracked, according to a government official.

Tax evasion in gold is rampant, and the government needs to come up with some framework to control it, Rajat Mohan, a partner at AMRG & Associates, told BloombergQuint. “Implementation of e-way bill system for intra-state movement of gold will help in restricting tax evasion as trade in the commodity mostly happens within a state.”

Besides, Isaac and Modi, the panel includes Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel; Karnataka Home Minister Basvaraj Bommai; and Manpreet Singh Badal and Amit Mitra, finance ministers of Punjab and West Bengal.

The ministers have yet to submit their final recommendations to the GST Council, and will also explore if e-invoicing system—that’ll be implemented from Oct. 1—can be extended for gold, Modi said.

There’s a proposal to make e-invoicing and e-billing mandatory for jewellery shops, Isaac said. To check smuggling of gold, a reverse tax will be proposed on sale of the old yellow metal, he said. Currently, smuggled gold is sold as old gold, and a tax under the reverse-charge mechanism tax would mean the buyer will have to pay tax, for which he can claim credit, Isaac said. “This will help in keeping a check on smuggled gold that has doubled to about 2,000 kg in 2019-20.”

Source: Bloomberg-Quint

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From 5.72 crore in Feb, e-way bills issued falls to 86 lakh in April

From 5.72 crore in Feb, e-way bills issued falls to 86 lakh in April

Even after the government repeated multiple times that all goods trucks are exempt from movement restrictions, their movement in April fell drastically to 15 per cent of what it was in February. The number in March fell by nearly 30 per cent compared to that in February.

Data of e-way bills issued — which is mandatory for transporting goods worth over Rs 50,000 — shows that even after the Centre allowed movement of all trucks and goods carriers on March 29, goods movement on the road has barely been able to bounce back since the nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25.

GST Network data shows that against 5.72 crore e-way bills issued in February, only 86.09 lakh such bills were issued in April. These numbers include both inter as well as intra-state e-way bills. In March, when truck movement had nearly come to a halt, the total e-way bills issued were nearly 4.07 crore. In the first five days of May, 10.46 lakh bills have been issued. This means that from an average of 19.7 lakh e-way bills issued daily in February, the number slipped to 13.1 lakh daily e-way bills in March, then drastically to 2.87 lakh in April and 2.09 lakh for May so far.

However, it is important to note that the Centre had, in March, extended the validity of all e-way bills issued before March 24, due to the disruption caused by the lockdown. Usually, each e-way bill is valid for a day for a 100-km stretch of the truck’s journey.

The government, in a notification issued on May 5, extended all the e-way bills issued before March 24 till May 31. It had also extended the deadline to file Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns for entities with turnover of over Rs 5 crore by 15 days from the due date without payment of any late fee, interest and penalty. GST returns for transactions in March were to be filed by April 20, which was extended till May 5.

Even as almost all goods movement froze after the lockdown was announced, the government first clarified that movement of essential goods is allowed. Through another order on March 29, it allowed movement of all essential as well as non-essential goods.

In a letter to the chief secretaries of states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla clarified that “transportation of all goods, without distinction of essential and non-essential, have been allowed”, giving permission for trucks and goods carrier to move within the states and across states as well.

However, the GST Network data shows that not only has intra-state movement of trucks and goods carriers been severely hit, their movement between states has been affected even more.

While the inter-state e-way bills issued for February and March were about 40 per cent of the total e-way bills for these months, in April, the share of inter-state e-way bills in the total was just 28.3 per cent. Of the 86.09 lakh bills, inter-state e-way bills in April were only 24.43 lakh. For the first six days of May, inter-state e-way bills account for only 30.8 per cent of the total e-way bills.

Interestingly, the Centre is yet to disclose the GST collection figures for April. GST numbers for each month are usually released on the first day of the next month, but the government has deferred the release of the April GST figures. GST mop-up in March 2020 had slid below Rs 1 lakh crore to Rs 97,597 crore, an 8 per cent fall from the March 2019 collection of Rs 1.06 lakh crore.

Source: Indian-Express

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Covid-19: Govt extends e-way bill validity, defers restricted ITC under GST

Covid-19: Govt extends e-way bill validity, defers restricted ITC under GST

The government on Friday extended the validity of e-way bills and deferred the application of restricted 10 per cent input tax credit under goods and services tax (GST) giving relief to the industry dealing with supply and cash flow issues amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) induced lockdown.

The validity of e-way bills that were set to expire between March 20 and April 15, has been extended till April 30 to help companies facing supply-related issues with orders stuck in transit in most cases.

“Where an e-way bill has been generated and its period of validity expires during the period 20th day of March, 2020 to 15th day of April, 2020, the validity period of such e-way bill shall be deemed to have been extended till the 30th day of April, 2020,” the finance ministry said in a notification issued late evening on Friday.

Under the GST regime, e-way bill has to be generated if goods worth over Rs 50,000 are transported. An e-way bill is valid for up to 24 hours for a distance of 100 km, depending on the size of the vehicle. However, if the vehicle does not cover 100 km within 24 hours, another bill has to be generated. For every 100 km travelled, the bill is valid for one additional day.

The central board of indirect taxes and customs (CBIC) also deferred the application of 10 per cent restriction for availing input tax credit for February, to August, and rolling over the cumulative applicability to the month of September this year. The seven-month window will ease industry’s working capital and cash flow.

In order to plug evasion, the GST Council in had in December restricted input tax credit to 10 per cent of the eligible amount for an entity if its supplier has not uploaded relevant invoices detailing the payments made. It was tightened from 20 per cent introduced in October.

The GST collections fell below the Rs 1-trillion mark in March after a gap of four months, although disruption caused due to coronavirus-induced lockdown will only get captured in the subsequent months.

Source: Business-Standard

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Courier companies seek relief on GST E-way bill rule

Courier companies seek relief on GST E-way bill rule

Courier companies such as FedEx, DHL and UPS are in a bind over delivering imported goods to customers because of a goods and services tax rule that bars defaulters from issuing e-waybills. The document is mandatory for transport of goods worth over Rs 50,000.

On the other hand, the customs department won’t hold such goods in its storage once they’re cleared. The companies, including local ones such as DTDC, Safe Express, Gati and Delhivery, have petitioned the government to seek a way out of the dilemma. The government said it’s examining the issue.

GST Rule 138E, which took effect in November, doesn’t allow an entity that hasn’t filed returns for two straight months to generate an e-waybill.

While the rule won’t impact direct deliveries to ecommerce customers, business-to-business (B2B) orders from overseas will likely get hit.

Import consignments of companies, which may have missed filing returns and are unable to generate an e-waybill, cannot be delivered. But the goods cannot be kept inside the customs premises once cleared.

“As per customs regulations, goods may not be retained in the customs premises post clearance,” Vijay Kumar, chief executive officer of the Express Industry Council of India lobby group. “But moving the goods outside the customs premises without e-waybill would result in noncompliance from a GST standpoint.”

Courier companies have no means of checking whether their customers are GST compliant. “The task itself would be monumental given the volume of transactions and number of clients,” Kumar said. “Tracking such compliances would lead to operational challenges… delay in delivery of goods and reduction in operational efficiency.”

Since courier companies get the goods cleared from customs on behalf of those that place the orders, under the end-to-end logistics model, they face the brunt of the rule, experts said.

“While GST was intended to simplify supply chains, logistics businesses have been facing a few challenges such as EWBs on import consignments, which need to be discussed, as this is a key ingredient in improving the ease of doing business,” said MS Mani, partner.

The government is examining the matter to see how it can be resolved, said a senior government official, adding, “States have some reservations on the issue.”

The official said one option would be for courier companies to seek a written undertaking from customers to the effect that they’re GST compliant. The issue will be taken up again with states, he said.

Source: Economic-Times

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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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Non-filers of GST returns for 2 months to be barred from generating e-way bills from June 21

Non-filers of GST returns for 2 months to be barred from generating e-way bills from June 21

Non-filers of GST returns for two straight months will be barred from generating e-way bills for transporting goods effective June 21, the finance ministry said.

Businesses under GST composition scheme, however, will be barred from generating e-way bill if they fail to file tax returns for two consecutive filing periods, which is six months.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified June 21, 2019, as the day from which any “consignor, consignee, transporter, e-commerce operator or courier agency” would be barred from generating electronic way or e-way bill for failure to file tax returns for the stipulated time period as mentioned in the GST rules.

As per rules, a composition scheme taxpayer who has not furnished the returns for two consecutive tax periods and a regular taxpayer who has not filed returns for a consecutive period of two months would be restricted from generating e-way bill.

In the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, businesses have to file monthly tax returns by the 20th day of the subsequent month. However, businesses opting for composition scheme have to file quarterly returns by the 18th day of the subsequent month following the end of a quarter.

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) has put in place the IT system so that businesses which have not filed tax returns for the stipulated period would be barred from generating e-way bills.

The move, officials believe, would help check GST evasion. During April-December, there were 3,626 cases of GST evasion/violations, involving Rs 15,278 crore.

Touted as an anti-evasion measure, e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another. The same for intra or within the state movement was rolled out in a phased manner from April 15.

Transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 would be required to present e-way bill during transit to a GST inspector if asked.

With almost two years into GST implementation, the government is now focussing on anti-evasion measures to shore up revenue and increase compliance.

AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said with this supplier, transporters and e-commerce operators would be forced not to sell or transport goods to non-filers

“E-commerce, logistics, FMCG companies, and businesses working on the franchise model, would have to immediately develop and implement an automated workflow whereby defaulting business partners are moved out from the supply chain on a real-time basis,” Mohan said.


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Source: Economic Times.
Gaps in e-way bill reporting mechanism may be closed

Gaps in e-way bill reporting mechanism may be closed

After detecting mismatches in some e-way bill submissions, the Centre is now examining more GST Network (GSTN) data to see if such evasions are increasing sufficiently enough to consider withdrawing the facility of generating multiple e-way bills on a single invoice, an official source said on Monday.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) authorities are now sifting through GSTN data retrieved through return filings and e-way bills to match these with the summary reconciliation statements of estimated tax liability, thereby, forcing businesses to explain discrepancies like under-reporting distances, the official said.

He, however, said the officials are yet to come across any pattern of deliberate evasion by transporters during the exercise which is still at its early stages.

The reconcilation issues can also be due to typo errors, discontinued supply and the expiry of e-way bills before delivery, and not just owing to tax evasion, he said.

“We will seek clarification once we come across differences between the taxes paid and the liability which the tax officer has ascertained after analysing the sales return GSTR-3B and the e-way bill data for the period in question, and the assessee will be given time and opportunity to make his or her case,” he added.

Designed as an anti-evasion measure, the e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another.


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Source: Economic Times
GST officers seek clarification from companies for mismatch in sales returns, e-way bill data

GST officers seek clarification from companies for mismatch in sales returns, e-way bill data

GST officers have started seeking clarification from companies whose tax payments did not match with the e-way bills generated, as revenue authorities start matching supplies data to check tax evasion, sources said.

Touted as an anti-evasion measure, e-way bill system was rolled out on April 1, 2018, for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another. The same for intra or within the state movement was rolled out in a phased manner from April 15, 2018.

Following this, it has come to the notice of tax officers that some transporters are doing multiple trips by generating only a single e-way bill or not reflecting e-way bill invoices while filing sales return. It has also come to the notice that certain businesses are not generating e-way bills even as supplies are being made.

Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), the company which handles the technology backbone for GST, has started sharing details of e-way bills vis-a-vis taxes paid to help tax officers identify any discrepancy, sources added.

In one of the letters issued by Ghaziabad GST commissionerate, a taxpayer has been asked to provide “clarification” within three days on the difference between taxes paid and the liability which the tax officer has ascertained after analyzing sales return GSTR-3B and e-way bill data for the period October 2018 and January 2019.

Matching of invoices of e-way bills with the sales shown in sales returns helps taxmen in assessing whether the supplies have been accurately shown in the returns and GST paid on the same.

GSTN has also provided the facility to businesses to include details of e-way bills generated while filing the final monthly sales return under GSTR-1 to avoid double data entry.

The government is banking on anti-evasion measures to meet its GST collection target for the current fiscal.

For fiscal 2019-20, the government proposes to collect Rs 6.10 lakh crore from Central GST and Rs 1.01 lakh crore as compensation cess. The Integrated GST balance has been pegged at Rs 50,000 crore.

AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said tax officers have started using the pile of GSTN data retrieved through return filings and e-way bill mechanics to carve out a summary reconciliation statement of estimated tax liability, compelling businesses to justify the outward tax liabilities in a comprehensive manner.

“Tax authorities would be at fault if they presume that reconciliation difference is due to tax evasion only. There be other reasons for this difference like clerical errors, cut off supplies and pre-delivery expiry of e-way bills,” Mohan added.

To further streamline the e-way bill system, GSTN is planning some changes, including auto calculation of route distance based on PIN code and blocking of generation of multiple e-way bills on one invoice/document.

The matching of e-way bill data with that of tax payment is in addition to analysis being done by GSTN by matching taxes paid in summary sales return GSTR-3B and final returns GSTR-1.

Also, businesses whose GSTR-1 did not match with GSTR-2A, which is a purchase return auto-generated by a system from the seller’s return, have been flagged by GSTN systems.

Based on this, last year tax officers sent scrutiny notices to taxpayers seeking an explanation for the reason for the discrepancies

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Source: Money Control.