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  • GST Registration

    The GST (Goods and Service Tax) Bill was approved by Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, in an effort to replace all state or central government-imposed indirect taxes. As a result, it is now compulsory for entities engaging in the supply of goods and services across states to do GST registration online.

    The GST bill was recently passed by the Lok Sabha on March 30th and it is going to directly affect everyone in the country. So, what is GST? GST stands for Goods and Services Tax. It will be imposed by the state and central governments and will be subsume most of the indirect taxes such as VAT, Service Tax, etc.

    Anyone who has a valid PAN, is registered under the current Income Tax Law and crosses the turnover GST limit can register for GST. People who have to pay TDS, casual traders, etc., have to register for GST. Existing assesses have to get their provisional ID and password for GST portal from their state’s ACES or VAT website. After they login on to the GST portal, they will have to create a new user ID and password.

    Mandatory GST Registration Online

    All businesses whose turnover is above Rs.20 lakh, or Rs.10 lakh (for North-Eastern states), are expected to do GST registration as a regular taxable person. GST online registration is also mandatory for NRI taxable individuals, entities engaging in e-commerce, entities supplying goods and services via e-commerce operators, individuals who are eligible for TDS (Tax deducted at source), entities engaging in the provision of online information or retrieval services or database access, etc.

    Most entities and businesses in the country are required to complete GST registration online. Even entities that are not mandated to complete GST online registration can do so on a voluntary basis as registration enables the entity to gain legal recognition as a supplier of goods and/or services, thereby allowing the entity to levy GST on customers who avail their goods or services. As such, entities that have completed GST registration online can be eligible to avail input tax credit.

    How to do GST Online Registration

    Here is a Step-by-Step Procedure to Complete GST Online Registration

    • Log on to www.gst.gov.in.
    • Click on the ‘Services’ tab on the menu at the top of the page.
    • You will have three options, viz. ‘Registration’, ‘Payments, and ‘User Services’.
    • Click on ‘Registration’ and select ‘New Registration’.
    • You will be redirected to a new page wherein you will have to select whether you are a taxpayer or a GST practitioner before entering a few details such as the legal name of the business, the state and district in which the entity is located, Permanent Account Number, email address and mobile number. This is basically Part-A of the form.
    • The details you have entered will have to be verified by the portal, so you will receive a one-time password or an email for confirmation.
    • Based on the kind of business you are running, you will be required to upload a few documents as requested.
    • Part-B of the form will then have to be filled in with a few details after which you will receive the Application Reference Number through email or SMS.
    • Your application will then be verified by a GST officer and it could either be approved or you will be requested to provide some more details or documents until the authorities have all the required information to approve your application.

    Separate registration has to be done for each state, if a trader has branches in multiple states. Businesses with more than 1 vertical can register separately for each of them.

    As GST has just been introduced, it may take us a while to get used to it and understand it. At present, all assessees have been asked to register for GST and not procedure is in place for people who do not want to register for it. They can choose to cancel their registration after registering though.

    Penalties for not Completing GST Online Registration

    Offenders who do not pay tax or fail to make the full payment will face a penalty of 10% of the tax amount. The minimum amount of fine will be Rs.10, 000 if the 10% amounts to anything less. In case of deliberate tax evasions, offenders will be charged a penalty of 100% of the tax amount. The penalty will be 10% of the tax due in case of genuine errors.

    News About GST Registration

    • Overseas E-Commerce Companies Could be Forced to Start GST Registration in Every State

      Overseas e-commerce companies such as Apple, Google, and Amazon that operate in the e-commerce space in India may soon have to commence registering under GST with each state in the country. The Economic Times recently reported that the deadline for these companies to register is October 1. There was hope in the industry that the government will allow a special one-time registration rather than registrations in multiple states, but the government is offering no respite. As a result, compliance costs for these companies are bound to shoot up. From the 1st of October, these e-commerce players will have to collect tax from sellers on their online platforms or websites. Central and State GST of 1% each shall be levied on intrastate supplies exceeding Rs.2.5 lakh. So far as interstate supplies more than Rs.2.5 lakh are concerned, TDS of 2% will integrated into GST.

      26 September 2018

    • GST, GAAR Reporting in Tax Audit Report Pushed Till March Next Year

      The proposed General Anti Avoidance Reporting (GAAR) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) reporting has been pushed till the 31st of March, 2019, by the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The board recently issued a circular stating the same. According to the board, tax auditors no longer have a requirement to submit details requested for under Clause 44 and Clause 30C of tax audit report relating to the Goods and Services Tax and General Anti Avoidance Reporting. According to the circular sent by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, there was examination of the matter and the board came to the conclusion that reporting under the proposed Clause 44 and proposed Clause 30C of the Tax Audit Report will be deferred until the 31st of March, 2019.

      11 September 2018

    • Problems Faced by American Companies Regarding GST and Railway Clearances To Be Resolved

      Piyush Goyal, the Railway Minister, has said that the problems raised by some American companies about the Goods and Services Tax, third-party certification, and fast-tracking at the research and development wing of the railways will soon be resolved by the Railway Board. Goyal stated the aforementioned words over the course of his August 13 round-table talks with a prominent delegation of major American companies that operate in the area of Information Technology, and railway construction and maintenance. Ashwani Lohani, the Chairman of the Railway Board, was among the other senior officials present at the round-table.

      There were 13 US companies that made presentations which covered a wide variety of goods and services, like anti-corrosion coating, the use of cloud computing or high-speed internet for railway passenger reservation and passenger experience, energy efficiency, fire protection, modern ways to construct bridges, composite sleepers for bridges, etc.

      31 August 2018

    • Price Rises and Declines Over The Past Year After Implementation of GST

      The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax took place on the 1st of July 2017, and it subsumed more than a dozen indirect taxes. Since the implementation of the new regime, tax rates of more than 190 items within the 28% GST slab were reduced, and there are only 35 items left in that category now. A comparison of commodities’ prices carried out by Care Ratings showed that the changes in prices were not fully influenced by GST changes, attributing them to other factors too, like global prices, taxes, demand conditions and trade.

      20 August 2018

    • Center May Allow Employees to Travel Overseas Through the LTC

      While the centre seems unlikely to agree to the demands of its employees seeking an increase in the minimum pay beyond the 7th pay commission report, there are rumors that the government might permit employees to go on international junkets.

      Employees may be permitted to travel to a few Central Asian countries as part of their Leave Travel Concession (LTC). The idea behind this decision is to increase the country’s footprint in countries of importance in that region. The proposal has been finalised by the Personnel Ministry and consultations with Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Home departments have already been completed.

      20 August 2018

    • 145% return in one year for V-Mart Retail

      Presently, a number of small cap businesses are staggering in terms of their growth and performance. However, V-Mart Retail has stood out in this case with a massive growth of 108% since January till the first week of July this year. Quite a number of industries are appealing a rapid change and fixing of the loopholes in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

      Anand Agarwal, the CFO of V-Mart Retail said that the company generates 85% of its revenues from products that are priced below the range of Rs.1,000. These products come under the 5% tax slab of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Agarwal said, “We have always been a value for money retailer and with a low tax rate of 5 per cent, the customers at the middle and bottom of the pyramid have continued to see value in the products being sold by us.” He also added that the implementation of the new indirect tax regime has proven to be very useful for the industry and has been very helpful for the retailers.

      Addressing the press, the CFO said that the company has witnessed a lot of benefits from the Goods and Services Tax (GST). These benefits have come in terms of both simplicity of implementation as well as logistics. He further said that this move has helped push the consumers towards the organised retail.

      16 August 2018

    • Rationalisation of GST rate possible, says the Finance Minister

      The Minister of Finance Piyush Goyal recently said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council are looking for possibilities to rationalise the rates of tax on a number of items. However, he added that it will be effective only after ensuring the balance with revenue mop-up. Goyal also said that the council will be discussing the ease of filing returns along with the ease of assessment in their next meeting. He said that the GST Council has already reduced the rates on 328 items which might lead to the further possibility of a reduction in rates on certain items. However, they have to be in balance with the revenue considerations.

      On being asked if the GST Council will consider lowering the rates in the next council meeting, the Minister of Finance said that the council had been very responsive to the demands of the industry from the inception of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Wherever there were cases of inverted duty or any other issue that required attention, the council had reduced the rates accordingly to ensure the ease of doing business. At present, there are 4 slabs under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime: 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.

      Since the rollout of GST on 1 July last year, the new indirect tax system has subsumed over a dozen local levies and helped to transform the nation into a single market with the seamless flow of goods.

      8 August 2018

    • Single GST rate slab is a ridiculous suggestion: Finance Minister

      The Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal recently said that the proposal put forward by some of the political parties for a single GST rate slab was a “ridiculous suggestion”. Some of the political parties have been constantly placing the proposal for the four-slab Goods and Services Tax (GST) rate structure to be abolished. They have proposed the introduction of a single slab tax structure instead and Congress has also promised that the rates will be reduced to just one slab if they are voted to power in the 2019 general elections. In this context, the Union Finance Minister said that implementing one rate of tax slab will not be a prudent move. He indicated that the main burden, in this case, will fall over the people belonging to the middle class as well as the poor as items of daily use such as salt, sugar, and clothes will be coming under the 18% GST slab.

      Goyal said that the past Congress-led UPA government has proposed an 18% single GST slab looking at the tax collections and concessions given to the poor. He added that the rate proposed earlier would not have been accepted and the GST structure would not have worked. After the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) last year, the rates have been reduced for 328 items out of the 1,200 items that have been included under the ambit of the newly implemented indirect tax.

      26 July 2018

    • GST Council to discuss annual return form on 21 July

      The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council is likely to approve the format for annual returns and audit in its meeting which is to be held on 21 July 2018. As the government plans to check tax evasion, the industry is expecting some reconciliation with annual income tax returns. 2017-18 is the first year when businesses will be required to file their annual returns (GSTR-9) under the GST regime. This has to be done by the end of the year, i.e. 31 December 2018. Businesses with a turnover of more than Rs.2 crore will be required to file audit reports in addition to the annual returns.

      A draft has been prepared by the revenue officers for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) annual return form. This form will be taken up for discussion at the GST Council meeting on 21 July 2018. Once the form is taken up, the IT backbone of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), GST Network (GSTN) will finalise the software which will enable the firms to file their annual returns. Tax experts are expecting that the GST annual return form will be in line with the prior indirect tax regime, Value Added Tax (VAT) regime. They are expecting the presence of certain columns on the form for reconciliation with ITR and audit report. The expected date of the availability of the forms according to the experts is by the end of October this year, so that the annual returns are filed by the end of the year, i.e. 31 December 2018.

      20 July 2018

    • Top IT companies have over $2 billion in tax disputes

      Leading IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Cognizant, and Wipro have more than $2 billion in tax disputes pending in India. The main reason behind the disputes is the differences in the calculation of incentives for export-oriented units and distribution of dividend taxes to investors. Reportedly, Infosys and Wipro are fighting cases related to tax incentives that they have claimed under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) schemes. On the other hand, Cognizant is in a dispute over how the dividend distribution tax over profits repatriated to its parent company is calculated.

      Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has over Rs.5,600 crore in disputes pending with the tax authorities. In the financial year 2017, TCS reported Rs.2,690 crore in contingent liability related to tax disputes. The company disclosed in their latest annual report that the liability has almost doubled since the previous financial year. The senior vice president of IT industry body Nasscom, Sangeeta Gupta said, “Many of these disputes are because of issues with interpretation by different tax officials.” She added that a number of these cases eventually land up in courts and are dragged on for years.

      11 July 2018

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