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GST mop-up in July at Rs 87,422 crore, slips from June collections

GST mop-up in July at Rs 87,422 crore, slips from June collections

The government collected goods and services tax (GST) of Rs 87,422 crore for July, lower than that collected in June, indicating a stability in collections, analysts said.

“During the previous month, a large number of taxpayers also paid taxes pertaining to February, March and April 2020 on account of the relief provided due to COVID-19,” the finance ministry said in a statement Saturday.

“Taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 5 core continue to enjoy relaxation in filing of returns till September 2020,” the ministry added.

The revenues for July 2020 are 86% of the GST revenues in the same month last year. During the month, the revenues from import of goods were 84% and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) were 96% of the revenues from these sources during the same month last year.

“A collection approximate to 86% of last year does showcase quite a significant economic recovery from the pandemic though a bit of it could be on account of pent up demand. With economic activities increasing, the collections should hopefully witness aligning with estimates soon,” said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner.

Of the total collections in July, Central Good & Services Tax CGST is Rs 16,147crore, State GST is Rs 21,418 crore, Integrated GST is Rs 42,592 crore (including Rs 20,324 crore collected on import of goods) and Cess is Rs 7,265 crore (including Rs 807 crore collected on import of goods).

Source: Economic-Times.

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Govt dumps new GST return system; to continue with modified version of existing one

Govt dumps new GST return system; to continue with modified version of existing one

The government plans to improve existing GST return filing system instead of rolling out a new model. The new system was supposed to be launched on 1 October this year. Yogendra Garg, Principal Commissioner, GST Policy at CBIC, while speaking at a webinar hosted by Assocham, said that the move is aimed at making compliance much easier.

The GST Network, the IT support of the GST regime, is working on modifying and improving the current returns and will soon announce an advanced version of the existing system.

They are going to introduce a new form GSTR 2B, which like the GSTR 2A will have details of purchases of the company or business with added information on input tax credits. The existing GSTR 1 form, which captures sales-related information, will be more detailed. The Form GSTR 3B, which gives the tax computation, will be auto-populated.

New features likely to be added in the new improved version of the existing return system include matching tool for comparison of GSTR 2A with purchase register, communication channel between buyer and seller, and an improved comparison table of tax liability and input tax credit (ITC) after incorporating ITC on IGST paid on imports.

The GSTN is also looking to reduce error on part of taxpayers by improving the process of linking GSTR1 with GSTR3B and GSTR2A data with GSTR3B for flow of ITC.

Meanwhile, Garg also said that the e-invoicing, a form of electronically-authenticated invoices, will be implemented from 1 October only for businesses with turnover of Rs 500 crore or more. Earlier, it was planned to implement e-invoicing for businesses with turnover of Rs 100 crore or more in a year.

Source: Business-Today.

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Govt blocks fraudulent GST refund claims worth Rs 1,875 crore

Govt blocks fraudulent GST refund claims worth Rs 1,875 crore

The government has blocked fraudulent Goods and Services Tax (GST) refund claims worth Rs 1,875 crore involving 1,377 exporters after their addresses could not be traced, a Union finance ministry official said.

“This number of risky exporters, also, includes seven exporters accredited as star exporters,” the official said requesting anonymity.

The government rates export houses on the basis of their performance and accord them one to five stars.

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has instructed its officials to verify the correct refund of input tax credit (ITC) by such risky exporters on the basis of pre-defined risk parameters, he added.

According to the official, while CBIC is focusing on quick disbursal of pending refunds to exporters, it also uses data analytics to identify “risky” exporter entities that take input tax credit fraudulently and monetise it by paying Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) and claiming a refund on that.

Imports of goods and services are treated as inter-state supplies and attract IGST.

“The verification exercise is aimed at preventing unscrupulous exporters from defrauding the state exchequer and bringing a bad name to the exporting community at large,” he said.

CBIC has, however, assured all genuine exporters that they would continue to get their refunds in a timely manner in a fully automated environment, he said.

The official said a total of 7,516 exporters figure in the risky exporters’ list to date. “IGST refund worth Rs 1,363 crore is suspended in respect of 2,830 risky exporters. Adverse reports have been received in respect of 2,197 risky exporters,” he added.

Source: Hindustan-Times.

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GST Analytics wing to identify risky suppliers to exporters

GST Analytics wing to identify risky suppliers to exporters

The CBIC has asked GST risk management wing to conduct supply chain analysis to identify risky major suppliers to exporters and share it with jurisdictional field officers. The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) had received representations from exporters saying in some cases the Integrated GST (IGST) refunds are getting delayed by over 6 months.

Last year, the CBIC had detected several cases of firms availing credit fraudulently through refund of Integrated Goods and Services Tax on exports of goods.

To mitigate the risk, the CBIC has taken measures to apply stringent risk parameters based checks, and the consignment of such exporters in risky category are subject to 100 per cent Customs examinations and their refunds were kept in abeyance.

The CBIC, which had in January issued a standard operating procedure (SoP) to be followed by such exporters, has now asked GST and Customs Zonal principal chief commissioners to forward all pending verification report to Directorate General of Analytics and Risk Management (DGARM) by June 5.

“The zonal Peincipal Chief Commissioners/chief commissioners of CGST and CX zones are advised to put a process in place to ensure that in future all such verifications are completed and reports sent to DGARM within maximum 3 weeks of receipt of request of verification from DGARM,” the CBIC said.

While partially modifying the SoP issued in January, the CBIC said in order to cut down the time taken in grant of NOC (no objection certificate), the DGARM will “conduct supply chain analysis without waiting for verification report from field and share risky first and second level major suppliers with the jurisdictional CGST (Central GST) formations at the same time when the risky exporter details are shared with the CGST formations”.

The verification report in respect of identified suppliers will be sent by GST and customs Commissionerates directly to DGARM, which will take decision on grant of NOC or otherwise based on such verification reports in respect of exporters and its suppliers.

“DGARM would grant final NOC to the exporter once the verification of the identified first and second stage risky supplier is found in order,” CBIC said.

In case of availment of in admissible credit by the suppliers, the GST officers will ensure due process of recovery. If the taxpayer is under the administrative control of states/UTs, the issue of recovery would be flagged to them, the CBIC said.

Associates Senior Partner Rajat Mohan said exporters have a vested right of tax refunds unless they are proven guilty.

“With an internal memo from GST policy wing looping in the senior-most tax officers in a state is expected to ease the plight of exporters,” he said.

Source: Economic-Times.

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CBIC clears Rs 10,700 cr GST, customs duty refund in 16 days

CBIC clears Rs 10,700 cr GST, customs duty refund in 16 days

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) has cleared over Rs 10,700 crore worth refunds in GST and customs duty between April 8-23.

In the ‘Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive’, the CBIC officers have cleared over 1.07 lakh Goods and Services Tax and IGST refund claims worth Rs 9,818.12 crore.

Over 1.86 lakh customs and duty drawback refund was processed totalling Rs 915.56 crore, the CBIC said in a tweet.

“CBIC is committed to help GST Taxpayers/Exim Trade during #COVID19. Expeditious sanction of refunds during Special Refund Drive provide relief to trade, especially MSMEs,” it said.

The Finance Ministry had on April 8 said that to provide relief during COVID-19, it has been decided to issue all pending GST and custom refunds which would benefit around 1 lakh business entities, including MSME.

The total refund granted will be approximately Rs 18,000 crore, it had said.

The CBIC had earlier asked its field officers to avoid asking for physical submission of documents from entities who are claiming GST and customs refunds and instead use official email for all communication.

The CBIC had said that the decision to process pending refund claims has been taken with a view to provide immediate relief to taxpayers in these difficult times even though the GST Law provides 15 days for issuing acknowledgement or deficiency memo and total 60 days for disposing off refund claims without any liability to pay interest.

Source: Economic-Times

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Centre Still Owes States Over Rs 30,000 Crore In GST Dues For FY20

Centre Still Owes States Over Rs 30,000 Crore In GST Dues For FY20

The central government still owes about Rs 30,000-34,000 crore to states as Goods and Services Tax compensation for December 2019 and January 2020, even as state governments find themselves at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus and struggle with their finances.

The compensation for December-January had to be paid by second week of February, but has been delayed due to inadequate money in the compensation cess fund as a result of the economic slowdown, said a government official, on the condition of anonymity.

The December-January payout will happen in phases and the central government is coordinating with states and asking them to be patient for the compensation payout, said the same government official.

The cess fund is the corpus gathered from the levies put on sin and demerit goods. As the introduction of GST in 2017 prevented states from levying indirect taxes on most goods and services, the central government had promised to compensate states by paying them the lost revenue, for five years starting 2017-18. This compensation is given bi-monthly assuming a 14 percent increase in their revenue keeping 2015-16 as the base year.

On Tuesday, the government released Rs 14,103 crore to states as the second tranche of compensation for October-November. The government had paid Rs 19,950 crore to states in Feb for Oct-Nov too taking the total for the month to Rs 34,013 crore.

Another disbursement of nearly the same amount will have to be paid to the states for February and March, which is due in April, and booked in FY21 accounts.

‘Help States More’

Punjab is owed about Rs 4,000 crore for December to March, and the state’s Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said this should be released at the earliest. With the countrywide lockdown, the GST collections are expected to dip substantially, leading to more trouble for the states, Badal told BloombergQuint. The GST compensation is states’ right, and the centre should step in to help the states, he said.
Other states have also made similar requests.

D Jayakumar, Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Fisheries and Personnel and Administrative Reforms, and the state’s representative to GST Council said the centre needs to clear GST dues as early as possible so that the funds can be utilised to provide relief to people. Jayakumar said the centre also owed Tamil Nadu around Rs 2,400 crore as its IGST share for FY19 and FY20. A group of ministers had been constituted by the GST Council to look into the issue.

Chhattisgarh’s Minister for Commercial Tax TS Singh Deo told BloombergQuint that his state is owed Rs 1,551 crore by the centre for December-March, money that states now needed to use for coronavirus-related relief measures. Derek O’ Brien, a Member of Parliament representing the ruling All India Trinamool Congress party in West Bengal, tweeted that the state is owed Rs 2,393 crore in GST compensation from December 2019 to March 2020. Devolution of central taxes to West Bengal worth Rs 11,230 crore is also due, he tweeted.

Separately, many states have also requested the centre to increase their borrowing limit from the current cap of 3 percent of the GDP.
Just raising the limit will not entirely help states as the borrowing costs are high, Badal added. States’ borrowing costs spiked on Tuesday, the first bond auction of the current financial year. The highest borrowing rate of 8.96 percent was paid by Kerala which raised Rs 1,930 crore for a 15-year duration.

Due to the 21 day countrywide lockdown, states also will bear a significant hit on taxes that otherwise be collected from sale of alcohol and fuel. “I understand the situation of the centre, but we’re at war, and these call for unusual measures,” Badal said.

Lacking funds in the compensation pool to direct to states, the centre is looking at various ways through which it can release money in a timely manner. Due to the economic slowdown with the spread of the coronavirus, the option of raising the compensation cess on sin and demerit goods will have to be carefully thought through, the official quoted above said.

Rs 1.34 lakh crore had been paid out to states as of November, even as the compensation cess collections lagged, at Rs 96,127 crore. Excess cess collected in FY18 and FY19 of about Rs 47,271 crore has also been used to compensate states.

At the conclusion of the last GST Council meeting in March, Finance Minsiter Nirmala Sitharaman had said there was a discussion to borrow from the market to adequately compensate states for any losses they incurred.

The government official said a clear picture would emerge after April 25, once GST collections for March 2020 are known.

Source: Bloomberg-Quint.

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GST collection slips below Rs 1 trillion in March after four months

GST collection slips below Rs 1 trillion in March after four months

Goods and services tax (GST) collection fell below the Rs 1-trillion mark in March after a gap of four months, even as disruptions caused by the coronavirus-induced lockdown will get captured only in the coming months.
The numbers pertain to GST paid in February but collected in March, suggesting that collections might turn grimmer going forward.

The GST mop-up in March stood at Rs 97,597 crore, down 8.4 per cent on a year-on-year basis, the data released by the Ministry of Finance showed on Wednesday. The government had targeted a collection of Rs 1.25 trillion in March. GST collection grew by a meagre 3.7 per cent in the full fiscal year 2019-20.

The dismal collection in March is despite the stringent anti-evasion measures introduced by the government, including the blockage of e-way bill and restricting input tax credit to 10 per cent in the case of failure of invoice uploads by suppliers.

Already hit by an economic slowdown, the country went into a 21-day lockdown from March 24 to prevent the spread of Covid-19. All industries that were struggling have become non-operational, which will reflect in the April GST collection figures.

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told Business Standard that the April numbers, which would essentially be transactions in March would only be about 15-20 per cent of the March figures.

Pratik Jain, partner, India, said, “It seems that many businesses may not have been able to pay GST because of liquidity issues being faced after the lockdown. As the second half of March 2020 has been significantly impacted due to the Covid-19 outbreak, collections in April are likely to be substantially lower.”

In a major relief for businesses facing lockdown due to coronavirus, the last date for GST return filing for March, April and May 2020 has been extended to June 30, with no interest, late fee and penalty, for companies with up to Rs 5 crore turnover and subsidised interest of 9 per cent, and no penalty or late fees for bigger companies.

M S Mani, partner, India, said it was necessary for businesses to conserve cash in order to enable resumption of operations once the lockdown ends. Hence, any deferral of the GST payment timelines by a few months would significantly assist them in this process, Mani said.

Central GST collection for FY20 at Rs 4.95 trillion fell Rs 18,188 crore short of revised estimates for the fiscal year. The finance ministry, in Union Budget 2020-21, had lowered the CGST collection target for FY20 to Rs 5.13 trillion from Rs 5.26 trillion estimated in July.

Of the Rs 97,597-crore revenue in March, the central GST collection stood at Rs 19,183 crore, state GST at Rs 25,601 crore and integrated GST at Rs 44,508 crore, which included Rs 18,056 crore collected on imports, the finance ministry said in a statement.

GST collection on domestic transactions witnessed an 8 per cent decline, while GST collection on imports posted a negative growth of (-)23 per cent, indicating the beginning of Covid-related supply and demand disruption.

In order to plug revenue leakages, the Council allowed blocking of input tax credit in the case of fraudulent invoices and blocking of e-way bills in the case of non-filing of returns for three straight months.

The Council in its meeting on March 14 deferred the new simplified returns and e-invoicing till October, which was to be launched from April 1. Meanwhile, in order to improve collections, the government is aiming to correct inverted duty structure. It raised the GST on mobile phones to 18 per cent from 12 per cent, bringing the rate on a par with the inputs.

Lower-than-expected revenues are also putting pressure on the Centre to compensate states for the revenue shortfall. The compensation cess collection stood at Rs 8,306 crore during the month, much smaller than the approximately Rs 14,000-15,000 crore compensation required by states on a monthly basis. States are up in arms with the Centre over a delay in payment of compensation dues and are planning to drag Centre to the Supreme Court.

Source: The-Business-Standard.

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Centre to extend IGST, compensation cess exemptions under export schemes till March 2021

Centre to extend IGST, compensation cess exemptions under export schemes till March 2021

Offering some relief to exporters struggling to cope with the effects of the lockdown, the Centre has decided to extend the IGST (Integrated Goods and Service Tax) and compensation cess exemptions for goods procurement under two popular export promotion schemes by a year, till March 31, 2021.

The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC), the government-owned company providing insurance cover to exporters, is also adopting measures to aid exporters such as extending the time limit for returns, extension requests, default notifications and filing claims, apart from reducing fees, a government official told BusinessLine.

“We understand that exporters are not in a position right now to adhere to timelines or pay additional taxes. The Centre is trying to give them as much policy flexibility as possible to ease the pains of the lockdown,” the official said.
Exporters have been hit hard this month with the pandemic disrupting their production, shipments, orders and payments.

Following the Centre’s latest decision, exemptions on payment of IGST and compensation cess for goods procurement under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme and Advance Authorisation scheme have been extended by a year to March 31, 2021.

Extended deadline

Also, the ECGC has extended the deadline for all returns, extension requests and default notifications till May 31, 2020, as per a communication from the insurance company to stakeholders. The time for filing claim, reply to claim queries and representations has been extended to June 30, 2020. The specific shipment policy expiring in March 2020 has also been extended to June 30, 2020.

Moreover, the ECGC has reduced by 50 per cent its policy proposal fee for policies due to be renewed or issued between March 1 and June 30, 2020.

Discretion has also been extended to exporters, within RBI guidelines, to extend the due date for payment by buyers for shipments accepted earlier and to decide about the release, re-import or abandonment of shipments that reached their destination but have not been cleared by overseas buyers, said the note.

Source: The-Hindu-Business-Line

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GST collections for February stand at Rs 1.05 lakh crore, fall short of target

GST collections for February stand at Rs 1.05 lakh crore, fall short of target

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.

Source: Economic-Times.

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CBIC enables option to File GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C for FY 2018-19

CBIC enables option to File GSTR-9 & GSTR-9C for FY 2018-19

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) enabled the option to file GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C for the financial year 2018-19.

GSTR-9 is an annual return to be filed yearly by taxpayers registered under GST. It consists of details regarding the outward and inward supplies made/received during the relevant previous year under different tax heads i.e. CGST, SGST & IGST and HSN codes. Basically, it is a consolidation of all the monthly/quarterly returns (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A, GSTR-3B) filed in that year. Though complex, this return helps in extensive reconciliation of data for 100% transparent disclosures.

GSTR-9C is reconciliation statement which is every registered person whose turnover during a financial year exceeds the prescribed limit of rupees two crores shall get his accounts audited by a chartered accountant or a cost accountant.GSTR-9C is a statement of reconciliation between the Annual Returns in file GSTR-9 for an FY and the figures as per the audited annual Financial Statements of the taxpayer.

It can be considered to be similar to that of a tax audit report furnished under the Income-tax act. It will consist of gross and taxable turnover as per the Books reconciled with the respective figures as per the consolidation of all the GST returns for an FY. Hence, any differences arising from this reconciliation exercise will be reported here along with the reasons for the same.

The late fees for not filing the annual return on the due date are Rs. 200 per day. This implies that the person has to pay Rs. 100 under the CGST Act and Rs. 100 under the SGST Act as a penalty in case of delay. The penalty is subjected to a minimum of 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state. There are no fees on IGST yet.

The due date to file GST annual for the Assessment Year 2018-19 is 31st March 2020.

Source: Tax-Scan

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