Direct tax collections during the first nine-and-a-half months of the current fiscal have risen by 18.7% to Rs 6.89 lakh crore, the tax department said on Wednesday.
The collections till January 15, 2018 represent over 70% of the Rs 9.8-lakh-crore revenue target from direct taxes, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said in a statement.
Gross collections (before adjusting for refunds) have increased by 13.5% to Rs 8.11 lakh crore during April, 2017 to January 15, 2018. Refunds amounting to Rs 1.22 lakh crore have been issued during this period.
Stating that there has been “consistent and significant” improvement in the position of direct tax collections during the current fiscal, the CBDT said the growth rate of total gross collections has improved from 10% in Q1, to 10.3% in Q2, to 12.6% in Q3 and to 13.5% as on January 15, 2018.
Similarly, the growth rate of total net direct tax collections has climbed up from 14.8% in Q1, to 15.8% in Q2, to 18.2% in Q3 and to 18.7% as on January 15, 2018.
The growth in corporate tax collections has risen from 4.8% in the first quarter of current fiscal to 10.1% in Q3 and 11.4% as on January 15, 2018.
Similarly, the growth rate of net corporate tax collections increased from 10.8% in Q2 to 17.4% in Q3 and to 18.2% as on January 15, 2018.
The GST Council may move the sales and purchase invoice matching system to the back end. It will do so to keep tabs on missing transactions and check over-claim of input tax credits in the goods and services tax (GST).
At present, assessees claim input credits themselves by filing summary input- output returns, and the tax authorities do not have any clue whether the claims are correct or not. The process of invoice matching was supposed to be done by the assessees, though it was deferred till March. However, slowing GST revenues have now prompted the government to design an alternative mechanism, under which tax officials will do the matching themselves.
“Instead of asking taxpayers to match invoices, we may do it ourselves at the back end. We may follow a risk-based approach; when the gross level of transactions does not match, we may match invoices,” an official said, adding the proposal was under consideration.
GSTR-1 (sales) and GSTR-2 (purchase) returns have to be matched with GSTR-3 to ensure that claims by taxpayers are correct. Both GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 returns have been postponed.
A committee, under GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey, is looking at ways of making the filing of the GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 forms business-friendly. The time period for filing the GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 forms for the months of July to March is also being worked out. The committee has recommended merging the GSTR-1, 2 and 3 forms as one option to simplify filing returns.
According to estimates, there is a 15-20 per cent GST revenue leakage at the moment.
GSTR-1 is used to file details of outward sales of a dealer. After submission, the details of purchases made by the dealer are automatically populated in the GSTR-2 form. The dealer is required to verify the details and submit the form. Finally, GSTR-3 calculates a taxpayer’s tax liability and the available input tax credit.
GST revenue collections touched their lowest in November at ~808 billion. According t0o the government’s estimates, if this trend continues, there could be a shortfall of ~250-300 billion in indirect tax collections this fiscal year. The government had attributed the slowing revenue to postponement of features of the GST such as matching of returns, electronic way bills and the reverse charge mechanism.
The revenue slowdown prompted the GST Council to call an urgent meeting on December 16 and advance the introduction of the electronicway bill for inter-state movements of goods to February 1 and for intra-state carriage from June 1.
“It is important that the concept of invoice matching continues as it is part of the basic design of the GST. If it is not done electronically, it will be needed at the time of assessment or audit, which will lead to more paperwork. The process can, however, be simplified,” said Pratik Jain, leader-indirect taxes, PwC India.
M S Mani, senior director-indirect taxes, Deloitte, said invoice matching provided taxpayers the ability to view transactions and take corrective steps on an ongoing basis. “While this may be cumbersome for small businesses, there are significant benefits for taxpayers and the government. However, the technology challenges will have to be overcome so that the matching happens seamlessly online in real time,” he said.
Bipin Sapra, partner— indirect taxes, EY, said, “In the absence of invoice level matching, the alternative is to match revenues and credits with GSTR1 but since the process will not be automated, it will be possible for a limited number of clients on the basis of risk assessment.”
The government has extended by 10 days the last date for filing of final sales return GSTR-1 till January 10 under the Goods and Services Tax, sources said.
Businesses with turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore will have to file GSTR-1 for July-September by January 10, 2018, as against December 31, 2017 earlier. For businesses with turnover of more than Rs. 1.5 crore GSTR-1 has to be filed for the period July-November by January 10.
Earlier these businesses were required to file GSTR-1 return for July-October by December 31 and that for November by January 10. For the month of December, GSTR-1 is to be filed by February 10 and for subsequent months, it would be 10th day of the succeeding month.
The GST Council had in November allowed businesses with turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore to file final returns GSTR-1 quarterly. Businesses with turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore will have to file returns by February 15 for the period October- December and that for January-March by April 30.
Avoiding income tax notices by fudging addresses or shifting residence will now become difficult. Income tax rules have been amended that will allow the tax department to deliver notices to assessees at addresses given by them to banks, insurance companies, post offices etc in case the notice is undeliverable at the address supplied to the tax department.
The government issued a notification dated December 20, 2017 amending the Income Tax Rules to ensure that all notices, summons, requisitions or any other communication issued in your name is delivered to you either via post or e-mail.
As per the notification, in case the communication or notice to be served to the assessee cannot be delivered/transmitted to the available address, as per Rule 127 of the Income Tax Rules, the government may use the address mentioned in the following databases to deliver the communication:
a) Address given by you to the bank;
b) Address given by you to the insurance company;
c) Address given by you to the post office while investing in the Post Office schemes;
d) Address as available in government records;
e) Address available in the records of local authorities;
f) Address of the assessee as furnished in Form 61 to the income tax department under Rule 114D;
g) Address as furnished in Form 61A to the tax department under rule 114E.
As per the earlier norms, the communication to the assessee was sent through post or email at the any of the following addresses:
a) Address available in the PAN database;
b) Address available in the income tax return (ITR) to which the communication pertains to;
c) Address as available in the previous year’s ITR;
d) E-mail address available in the ITR for which communication pertains to;
e) E-mail address as available in the last ITR;
f) Any e-mail address available with the income tax authority.
The notification has been published in the Gazette of India by the Minsitry of India vide Notification No. 98/2017/F. No. 370142/36/2017-TPL
Ferrying goods across states may get quicker as the GST Council today decided to make rollout of all India electronic-way bill compulsory from February 1, two months ahead of the earlier plan.
“The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from February 1, 2018. This will bring uniformity across states for seamless inter-state movement of goods,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
The decision comes after the Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, met earlier during the day via video conference, to decide upon the advancement of the implementation of e-way bill under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Under GST rules, ferrying goods worth more than Rs 50,000 within or outside a state will require securing an electronic-way or e-way bill by prior online registration of the consignment.
To generate an e-way bill, the supplier and transporter will have to upload details on the GST Network portal, after which a unique e-way bill number (EBN) will be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.
The Council had decided that till such time as the national e-way Bill is ready, the states were authorised to continue their own separate e-way bill systems. The finance minister had said that system will be introduced in a staggered manner, with effect from January 1, 2018, adding that the document will be made applicable on an all-India basis from April 1.
“It was represented by the trade and transporters that this (lack of national e-way bill) is causing undue hardship in the inter-state movement of goods and therefore, bringing in an early all India system of e-way Bill has become a necessity,” the ministry said.
As a nationwide e-way bill system will be ready for implementation on a trial basis by January 16, transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from the same date, it said.
While the system for both inter and intra-State e-way bill generation will be ready next month, the Council decided that states may choose their own timings for implementation of the document for intra-state movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018.
“There are certain States which are already having system of e-way bill for intra-state as well as inter-state movement and some of those states can be early adopters of national e-way Bill system for intra-state movement also. But in any case, the uniform system of e-way bill for inter-state as well as intra-State movement will be implemented across the country by 1st June, 2018,” the statement said.
According to Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co, the government should check the system thoroughly so that there is no disruption in movement of goods.
“The fair balance for mandatory inter-state e-way bill compliance from February 1 will have to be maintained. This compliance will reduce tax evasions but may pose some problems for businesses in movement of goods…while compulsory intra-state e-way bill compliance will happen from June 1, the government should be clear whether these provisions will be applicable for supplies which are out of the GST net,” Rastogi said.
Another expert said that the immediate call to advance the implementation of e-way bill reflects that some serious gaps in the system have been noticed by the government.
“The downfall in the revenue on account of GST, goods crossing the state borders unaccountable by few taxpayers, etc. could be the reasons for the early implementation of e-waybill as this form will forcefully make the taxpayer accountable in the absence of matching of invoices which is currently postponed,” Ansh Bhargava, Head Growth & Strategy, Taxmann said.
The government it seems is in no mood to lower its guard on the tax collection front as it looks to send notices to GST defaulters.
According to a report in Business Standard, the government is set to issue notices who have failed to file returns.
Due to postponement of measures under the GST such as matching returns, the e-way bill, and the reverse change mechanism, assessees have found a way to avoid paying taxes. This has prompted a hardening stand on revenue leakages, as per a government official.
In July, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) had asked its officers to go easy on taxpayers till GST’s teething problems were solved. But CBEC Chairperson Vanaja Sarna in a letter to his officers has said “sending out notices to those assessees under your jurisdiction who have failed to file returns may be considered.”
GST collections slowed to their lowest at Rs 83,346 crore in October as the integrated GST was used as credit and rates were revised downward, the report said.
The government official further said that reduction in the GST rates for more than 200 items last month might also affect collections. Fearing a slump in revenue collections, the GST Council on Saturday decided to implement the nationwide roll-out of the electronic way bill on interstate movements of goods from February 1 and for interstate carriage from June 1.