Goods and services tax collections for February stood at Rs 1.05 lakh crore, falling short of the Rs 1.15 lakh crore target set by the government but grossing 8% more than the revenue collection for the same month last year.
It was the fourth consecutive month when GST collections crossed Rs 1 lakh crore.
Of the total Rs 1,05,366 crore , the central GST stood at Rs 20,569 crore, state GST at Rs 27,348 crore and integrated GST at Rs 48,503 crore, which included Rs 20,745 crore collected on imports, the revenue department said in a statement on Sunday.
The GST cess stood at Rs 8,947 crore, including Rs 1,040 crore collected on imports.
The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of January up to February 29, 2020 was 8.3 million, the department said.
The revenue department had in January reset the target for GST collections to Rs 1.15 lakh crore for February and Rs 1.25 lakh crore March. The targets were earlier Rs 1.1 lakh crore for each month.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has been on a war footing to augment collections by reducing input tax credit (ITC) fraud. Field formations of GST authorities have been asked to focus on identifying fraudulent ITC claims while weeding out miscreants that may use fake invoices or inflated or fake e-way bills. Recently, several thousands of notices have been issued by authorities asking companies to reverse ITC which has been wrongfully claimed.
Tax authorities has also been mandated to use data analytics to check mismatch of supply and purchase invoices, mismatch in return filings, over invoicing, excess refunds availed, patching the tax leakages, fake or huge ITC claims, and refunds under inverted duty structure.
Experts said the consecutive collections of Rs 1 lakh crore was an encouraging sign for the economy, and expected collections to stabilise at this level going forward.
“The GST collections continuing at above the Rs 1 lakh mark is quite an encouraging situation for the Indian economy,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY. “One possible significant reason linked to reasonable collections is the differential liabilities discharged by businesses in reference to the observations in GST annual returns and audit for 2017-18; which was due in January 2020,” he said.
MS Mani, partner at Deloitte India, said, “These numbers indicate that the GST collections are becoming stable, with new changes like e-invoicing and new returns slated for next month, more stability is expected in future.” GST authorities would now go all out to enhance the March collections so that the deficit is reduced to the extent possible, he said.
In its statement, the revenue department said the government settled Rs 22,586 crore to CGST and Rs 16,553 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. The total revenue earned by the Centre and all the states put together after regular settlement was Rs 43,155 crore and Rs 43,901 crore, respectively.
GST revenues during February from domestic transactions showed a growth of 12% year on year, the department said. Taking into account the GST collected from import of goods, the total revenue increased by 8% on year while GST on import of goods declined by 2% on year.
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