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Central Government Released Rs 1.65 Lakh Crore As GST Compensation To States In FY20

Central Government Released Rs 1.65 Lakh Crore As GST Compensation To States In FY20

The central government’s payout to states as compensation towards goods and services tax for the year ended March more than doubled over the last year as a result of slowing economic activity.

The compensation to states was Rs 1,65,302 crore, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement, adding the GST compensation cess, collected by the Centre, stood at Rs 95,444 crore. In 2018-19, the GST cess collected and compensation released to states were Rs 95,081 crore and Rs 69,275 crore, respectively.

The virus outbreak and the world’s most stringent lockdown lasting over more than two months aggravated an already-slowing economy by obliterating consumption—which nearly contributes 60% to the economy. As a result, India’s economy is widely expected to witness its first contraction in nearly four decades.

The central government compensates states bi-monthly as they lost powers to levy taxes such as value added tax with the rollout of GST. The compensation is guaranteed for five years, and is calculated at a growth rate of 14% keeping 2015-16 as the base year. With declining GST collections last year following a demand-led slowdown, the government had stopped releasing compensation bi-monthly due to inadequate collections from GST compensation cess that’s levied on sin or demerit goods.

Since the cess collected was about Rs 70,000 crore less than the requirement to compensate states, the amount collected as excess in 2017-18 and 2018-19 of about Rs 47,271 crore was used for the same. Besides, Rs 33,412 crore—that was transferred to Consolidated Fund of India—as balance IGST in 2017-18, was also utilised to compensate states, the statement said.

The amount of compensation to be given to the states is going to increase substantially this year, Rajat Bose, a partner at Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., said. That, he said, would be on account of muted GST collections as the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted consumption.

The government may have to resort to market borrowing to fulfill its commitment towards compensating states for losses due to GST, Bose told BloombergQuint.

The government is exploring various options to adequately compensate states that involve raising money from the markets with a guarantee from the central government or by extending compensation levy beyond five years and continuing to compensate states with the collections.

No Compensation For Five States
Maharashtra received the highest compensation of Rs 19,233 crore in 2019-20 followed by Karnataka that got Rs 18,628 crore, the statement said. Meghalaya received the lowest compensation of Rs 157 crore. States such as Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh reported surplus collection and didn’t need compensation from the Centre.

Source: Bloomberg-Quint

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June GST collections stand at Rs 90,917 crore

June GST collections stand at Rs 90,917 crore

Goods and service tax (GST) collections for June 2020 clocked Rs 90,917 crore at gross levels, 9% lower than the same month last year, the department of revenue said Wednesday.

The collections are higher than those recorded in April and May – the peak months of lockdown due to the Covid 19 pandemic – where GST collection for April was Rs 32,294 crore and Rs 62,009 crore for May.

However, for both months, the collections were lower than those in 2019. Collections in April were down 72% on-year and 38% down on-year in May.

For the month of June, of total collections of Rs 90,917 crore, CGST was Rs 18,980 crore, SGST was Rs 23,970 crore, IGST was Rs 40,302 crore, including Rs 15,709 crore collected on import of goods and Cess was Rs 7,665 crore, including Rs 607 crore collected on import of goods.

The government said GST collection for the first quarter of the year was 41% less than the revenue collected during the same quarter last year, but a large number of taxpayers still have time to file their return for the month of May, 2020 till early this month.

“Since government has allowed a relaxed time schedule for filing of GST returns, returns of the month of April, March as well as some returns of February got filed during June, 2020 and some returns of May, 2020, which would have otherwise got filed in June, will get filed during first few days of July,” the department said.

Source: Economic-Times.

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Kerala becomes the first State to adopt second-level verification for new GST registrations

Kerala becomes the first State to adopt second-level verification for new GST registrations

In an effort to curb ‘benami’ businesses under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, Kerala has become probably the first State to introduce second level verification of registration granted on or after June 1.

This verification will be done for both State and central assessees.

In case of services, GST registration would be mandatory for all businesses with turnover of ₹20 lakh or more, with the exception of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, where this threshold would be ₹10 lakh. Registration is done mainly on the basis of Permanent Account Number (PAN). As on date, there are nearly 1.22 crore registered assessees in the country.

A circular issued by Kerala’s Commissioner of State Tax, State Goods and Services Tax Department said the Registering Authority has the primary responsibility of ensuring proper paper work.

“Considering the present situation, it is decided to conduct a second level verification by the intelligence wing,” it said.

Details on portal
Further, it mentioned that once registration is granted, all details will be made available on the GST portal and the Deputy Commissioner (Intelligence) of each jurisdictional district will collect and assign the Enforcement Squad for verification.

Squads will conduct detailed enquiries and check the background of proprietor/partners/directors. They will also confirm whether the applicant is genuine or a benami. Then a report will be submitted to District Joint Commissioner with a recommendation whether the registration is to be cancelled or not along with giving reasons for that.

“This verification and furnishing report is to be completed within seven days of receiving the details by each squad,” the circular said. The same mechanism will be adopted for Central assessees but the report will be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of Central Goods and Services Tax.

The circular noted that despite the instructions issued for ensuring utmost care while granting new registration, bogus and benami registrations are being reported in the State.

This is very critical especially in the case of evasion-prone commodities such as lottery, iron and steel, flooring materials, glass, timber, hill produce, plywood, arecanut, cardamom etc. Since, the system automatically approves the application within three days of filing, many unscrupulous persons misuse the system. This is being done to claim fake input tax credit or taking and supplying credit through circular trade.

Interestingly, the Central Goods and Services Taxes (CGST) rules prescribe physical verification of the place of business of a registered person after the grant of registration, in case of doubt or incomplete Aadhaar authentication.

Accordingly, a report is to be submitted within 15 days. However, as on date no such mechanism has been developed at the State level for re-confirming or verifying the credentials of applicants but now Kerala seems to have taken the lead.

This exercise is critical for all States as all administrative control over 90 per cent of taxpayers having turnover below ₹1.5 crore vests with State tax administration and the remaining with Central tax administration.

Further all administrative control over taxpayers having turnover above ₹1.5 crore shall be divided equally between the Central and State tax administrations.

Source: The-Hindu-Business-Line


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Centre releases Rs 36,400-cr GST compensation to states for 3 months till February

Centre releases Rs 36,400-cr GST compensation to states for 3 months till February

The Centre has released Rs 36,400 crore as GST compensation to the states and union territories for three months till February 2020.

For the April-November 2019 period, the Centre had already released Rs 1,15,096 crore to compensate states and UTs on account of revenue loss due to implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

“Taking stock of the current situation due to COVID-19 where state governments need to undertake expenditure while their resources are adversely hit, the central government has released the GST compensation of Rs 36,400 crore to the states/UTs with legislature for the period from December 2019 to February 2020,” an official statement said.

The Centre had released Rs 69,275 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 41,146 crore in 2017-18 as compensation for GST which was rolled out on July 1, 2017.

The cess collection in 2019-20, 2018-19 and 2017-18 fiscal was Rs 95,000 crore, Rs 95,081 crore and Rs 62,611 crore, respectively.

As the compensation requirement of the states was less than collection in the first two years (2017-18 and 2018-19) of GST rollout, Rs 47,271 crore GST compensation cess collected had remained unutilised in the compensation kitty.

Under the GST law, states were guaranteed to be paid for any loss of revenue in the first five years of the GST implementation from July 1, 2017. The shortfall is calculated assuming a 14 per cent annual growth in GST collections by states over the base year of 2015-16.

Under the GST structure, taxes are levied under 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs. On top of the highest tax slab, a cess is levied on luxury, sin and demerit goods and the proceeds from the same are used to compensate states for any revenue loss.

There were no differences between the Centre and states with regard to compensation payment in 2017-18, 2018-19, and in the first four months (April-July) of previous current fiscal (2019-20).

However, with revenue mop-up from compensation cess falling inadequate, the Centre held back fund transfer to states for revenue shortage beginning August 2019, following which states raised the issue.

Source: Economic-Times.

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GST collections down 70% in April

GST collections down 70% in April

Centre may have held over the monthly GST collection figures for April, but data released by the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGA) suggests that GST collections have seen a precipitous drop of up to 70 per cent in April.

Data released by the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGA) for April 2020 shows that the Centre’s share of GST collection during the month was a paltry Rs 16,707 crore compared to Rs Rs 55,329 crore in the previous year, a drop of 70 per cent. Usually, the GST numbers announced by the government comprise collection by both the Centre and states. However, CGA’s data only shows the Centre’s share of the GST collection.

In April 2019, total GST collection – state and Centre included – was Rs 113,865 crore. Extrapolating from the Centre’s GST numbers (Rs 16,707 crore) for April, 2020 the total GST collection – Centre and State – could be around Rs 34,300 crore.

The sharp drop in the GST collection in April 2020 could partly be because of lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak. However, it is to be noted that April GST collections are for March transactions, and the lockdown started only from 25 March.

Therefore, the poor collection in April could be mostly due to extension of return filing dates. On March 24, the government announced several measures to ease the compliance burden on taxpayers given the outbreak of Coronavirus.

As per the announcements, for registered GST taxpayers with aggregate annual turnover less than Rs 5 crore, the last date for filing GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020 by the last week of June 2020. For such taxpayers, no interest, late fee, and penalty were to be charged.

For those whose turnover is Rs 5 crore or more, could file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020 but the same would attract reduced rate of interest at 9 per cent per annum from due date (current interest rate is 18 per cent per annum). No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till June 30, 2020.

Source: Business-Today.

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CBIC extends due date for Filing GST Annual Return

CBIC extends due date for Filing GST Annual Return

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs ( CBIC ) has extended the due date for filing GSTR-9 (Annual Return) for the Financial Year 2018 – 19 to be extended till the 30th of September, 2020.

The GST Council, in its 39th meeting, had extended the due date for filing GSTR-9 (Annual Return) and GSTR-9C (Reconciliation Statement) for the Financial Year 2018 – 19 to 30th June 2020.

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. 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.

The late fees for not filing the GSTR 9 within the due date is Rs 100 per day, per act. That means late fees of Rs 100 under CGST and Rs 100 under SGST will be applicable in case of delay. Thus, the total liability is Rs 200 per day of default. This is subject to a maximum of 0.25% of the taxpayer’s turnover in the relevant state or union territory. However, there is no late fee on IGST yet.

Read Notification here: https://www.taxscan.in/preview/?previews=15ax53cDwCpa7kwoRqfcTGX6Lai_q4Go_

Source: TaxScan.

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CBIC enables Form PMT-09 for Shifting Wrongly Paid Input Tax Credit

CBIC enables Form PMT-09 for Shifting Wrongly Paid Input Tax Credit

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs ( CBIC ) has enabled the Form PMT-09 for shifting the wrongly paid the Input Tax Credit ( ITC ).

The CBIC has recently introduced Form PMT-09 (i.e. a challan) for shifting wrongly paid Input Tax Credit. This enables a registered taxpayer to transfer any amount of tax, interest, penalty, etc. that is available in the electronic cash ledger, to the appropriate tax or cess head under IGST, CGST and SGST in the electronic cash ledger.

Hence, if a taxpayer has wrongly paid CGST instead of SGST, he can now rectify the same using Form PMT-09 by reallocating the amount from the CGST head to the SGST head.

All taxpayers registered under GST are eligible to shift any balances available in the electronic cash ledger using Form GST PMT-09. The option is available after the taxpayer logs in, under the electronic cash ledger tab. Thus, a taxpayer can now easily rectify wrongly paid taxes or other amounts.

Source: TaxScan

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NAA directs GST Commissioners to ensure Profiteering Amount is passed to all eligible buyers of Flats

NAA directs GST Commissioners to ensure Profiteering Amount is passed to all eligible buyers of Flats

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAPA) directed the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) or State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) Commissioners to ensure the profiteering amount is passed to all the eligible buyers of the flats. And submit a report of compliance within 4 months from the date of receipt of the order.

In the case of Abhishek Singh & Director General of Anti-Profiteering vs. M/s. Aparna Constructions and Estates Pvt. Ltd., it was observed that the respondent company denied the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) to the buyers of the flat, which is the contravention of Section 171(1) of the Central Goods and Service

Tax (CGST) Act, 2017. Consequently, the respondent is liable for the penalty for the contravention of Section 171(1) CGST Act, 2017.

The respondent, in this case, is M/s. Aparna Constructions and Estates Pvt. Ltd. was a builder and it undertook the project namely ‘Aparna Serene Park’ wherein one of the flats was purchased by the Applicant. The applicant was denied the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) by the company, by the way of commensurate the reduction in the price of the flat purchased by the applicant.

The issue raised in this case was whether the applicant was eligible to avail of the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) or not?

The National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAPA) comprising of the Chairman, B.N. Sharma and the Technical Members, J.C. Chauhan and Amand Shah observed that the respondent company denied the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) to the buyers of the flat, which is the contravention of Section 171(1) of the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) Act, 2017. Consequently, the respondent is liable for the penalty for the contravention of Section 171(1) CGST Act, 2017.

The Authority further directed the Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) or State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) Commissioners to ensure the profiteering amount is passed to all the eligible buyers of the flats. The commissioner was asked to submit a report of compliance within 4 months from the date of receipt of the order.

Source: TaxScan.

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Interest on delayed payments to figure in GST Council meet

Interest on delayed payments to figure in GST Council meet

Businesses facing the prospect of having to pay around Rs46,000 crore as interest on delayed payment of goods and services tax (GST) may get a reprieve, with the government considering calculating the interest only on their net tax liability, and with retrospective effect . The finance ministry hasn’t yet calculated the savings that would accrue to assessees as a result.

“The issue is expected to be raised at the next GST Council meeting on March 14, which will take a final call on this matter,” one of two officials who briefed HT about the plan said on condition of anonymity. The federal council, which has representation from states, is the apex decision-making body on GST matters, and is chaired by the Union finance minister.

The current position of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) is a rigid one—that interest will be calculated on gross GST. And so, it has calculated the dues on the basis of gross GST liabilities of assesses.

Meanwhile, citing a GST Council decision , taxpayers have challenged the methodology in various tribunals, saying interest should be calculated on the basis of net tax liability after factoring in assesses’ input tax credit (ITC).

Gross GST is the total tax liability of the assesses on the sale of goods and services without any input tax credit being deducted. ITC is available to all assesses on taxes paid on all procurements. Net GST liability is the difference between gross GST and ITC).

Experts said the issue rattled taxpayers on February 10, when CBIC issued an internal memo directing field offices to collect ₹46,000 crore from GST assessees.

The CBIC action was not in tune with the GST Council’s decision on December 22, 2018 at its 31st meeting. The Council decided to amend Section 50 of the Central GST Act to provide that interest be charged only on the net tax liability of the taxpayer, after taking into account the admissible input tax credit. The amendment was passed by Parliament in July 2019 along with the Budget [the Finance (No.2) Act, 2019] and received a presidential nod on August 1.

According to CBIC, as the amended Act has not yet been notified, the old position on calculation of interest is the legal position, hence assesses should pay interest on the gross amount of tax. “The GST laws, as of now, permit interest calculation on delayed GST payment on the basis of gross tax liability. This position has been upheld in the Telangana high court’s decision dated 18.04.2019,” CBIC said in a series of tweets on February 15.

The finance ministry did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.

CBIC also clarified that the interest will be calculated on the basis of net tax liability prospectively only after the government notifies the December 22, 2018 decision of the GST Council. “In spite of this position of law and the Telangana high court’s order, the central government and several state governments, on the recommendations of GST Council, amended their respective CGST/SGST (central GST/state GST) Acts to charge interest on delayed GST payment on the basis of net tax liability. Such amendments will be made prospectively,” CBIC tweeted.

Source: Hindustan-Times.

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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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