Category Archives: SSI, Small & Micro Enterprise, MSME

Deadline for filing “GSTR-3B” form extended till May 22

The central government on Friday extended the deadline for filing of the return “FORM GSTR-3B” for the month of April, 2018 till May 22, 2018.

“Earlier it was brought to the notice of the competent authority that certain technical issues are being faced by the taxpayers during the filing of FORM GSTR-3B for the month of April, 2018,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

“In order to resolve the same, emergency maintenance is being carried out on the system.”

The last date for filing of return in Form GSTR-3B for the month of April has been extended by two days.

Taxpayers can now file their April GSTR-3B return till May 22. Filing GSTR 3B is mandatory for all those who have registered for the Goods and Services Tax (GST)

The move to extend the due date follows the “emergency maintenance” being carried out on the system in the wake of technical issues being faced by the taxpayers during the filing of Form GSTR-3B.

Source : Press Reports

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E-commerce companies may need to prepare for withholding tax in two months

India Inc, in particular e commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart, may need to prepare for withholding tax provisions in two months under the goods and services tax (GST).

The tax deducted at source (TDS) and tax collected at source (TCS) provisions had been
put on hold following petitions by industry that this would increase the compliance burden.

But with the GST regime stabilising, these provisions may be imposed from July 1, said a
senior government official.

The TDS provision mandates that notified entities have to deduct up to 1% state GST and
1% central GST on intrastate supplies of over Rs 2.5 lakh.

In the case of interstate supplies of over Rs 2.5 lakh, TDS will be 2% integrated GST. These provisions are aimed at checking tax evasion as TDS/TCS will leave a trail of transactions. In the case of e commerce companies, it means that when they make payments to suppliers for goods sold on their platforms, they have to collect 1% tax and deposit this with the government.

“The GST Council decision was to extend suspension of TDS/ TCS proposal till June 30,” said the official cited above. On June 26, 2017, days before the July 1rollout of GST, the government had deferred implementation of the provisions after industry feedback.

The Odisha state government has already issued a circular on TDS provisions that says identified deductors need to register themselves, with the likelihood of these coming into force on July 1. It asked the state tax authorities to identify deductors within their respective jurisdictions and facilitate registration. “A nodal officer should be nominated at the circle level to handle all TDS-related activities,” according to the circular, which ET has seen.

Other states are expected to follow suit. E commerce firms are likely to lobby the government against the move, reiterating that TCS provisions will add to their compliance burden and could squeeze cash flow for small and medium-sized enterprises. Although TDS / TCS can be claimed, industry is of the view that it could lead to working capital issues.

Some tax experts also cautioned against the timing as the return filing process is expected to undergo a revamp with the upcoming GST Council meeting this week is likely to approve two new forms. “It may not be the best time to introduce TDS or TCS while the whole return processes are being reworked,”

“Also, since the GST system is based on self policing with invoice-matching mechanism, there may not be a need of TDS or TCS, unless there are specific cases of tax evasion that have surfaced.”

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Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA)

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) was established by the Government of India under the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act passed by the Parliament in December, 1985. The Act (2 of 1986) came into effect from 13th February, 1986 by a notification issued in the Gazette of India: Extraordinary: Part-II [Sec. 3(ii): 13.2.1986). The Authority replaced the Processed Food Export Promotion Council (PFEPC).

1.1 ASSIGNED FUNCTIONS

In accordance with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Act, 1985, (2 of 1986) the following functions have been assigned to the Authority.

  • Development of industries relating to the scheduled products for export by way of providing financial assistance or otherwise for undertaking surveys and feasibility studies, participation in enquiry capital through joint ventures and other reliefs and subsidy schemes;
  • Registration of persons as exporters of the scheduled products on payment of such fees as may be prescribed;
  • Fixing of standards and specifications for the scheduled products for the purpose of exports;
  • Carrying out inspection of meat and meat products in slaughter houses, processing plants, storage premises, conveyances or other places where such products are kept or handled for the purpose of ensuring the quality of such products;
  • Improving of packaging of the Scheduled products;
  • Improving of marketing of the Scheduled products outside India;
  • Promotion of export oriented production and development of the Scheduled products;
  • Collection of statistics from the owners of factories or establishments engaged in the production, processing, packaging, marketing or export of the scheduled products or from such other persons as may be prescribed on any matter relating to the scheduled products and publication of the statistics so collected or of any portions thereof or extracts therefrom;
  • Training in various aspects of the industries connected with the scheduled products;
  • Such other matters as may be prescribed.

1.2 PRODUCTS MONITORED

APEDA is mandated with the responsibility of export promotion and development of the following scheduled products:

  • Fruits, Vegetables and their Products.
  • Meat and Meat Products.
  • Poultry and Poultry Products.
  • Dairy Products.
  • Confectionery, Biscuits and Bakery Products.
  • Honey, Jaggery and Sugar Products.
  • Cocoa and its products, chocolates of all kinds.
  • Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Cereal and Cereal Products.
  • Groundnuts, Peanuts and Walnuts.
  • Pickles, Papads and Chutneys.
  • Guar Gum.
  • Floriculture and Floriculture Products.
  • Herbal and Medicinal Plants.

In addition to this, APEDA has been entrusted with the responsibility to monitor import of sugar.

1.3 COMPOSITION OF THE APEDA AUTHORITY

As prescribed by the statute, the APEDA Authority consists of the following members namely:

    • A Chairman, appointed by the Central Government
    • The Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Government of India, ex-offical.
    • One member appointed by the Central Government representing the Planning Commission
    • Three members of Parliament of whom two are elected by the House of People and one by the Council of States
    • Eight members appointed by the Central Government representing respectively; the Ministries of the Central Govt.

(i) Agriculture and Rural Development
(ii) Commerce
(iii) Finance
(iv) Industry
(v) Food
(vi) Civil Supplies
(vii) Civil Aviation
(viii) Shipping and transport

    • Five members appointed by the Central Government by rotation in the alphabetical order to represent the States and the Union Territories
    • Seven members appointed by the Central Govt. representing

(i) Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ii) National Horticultural Board
(iii) National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation
(iv) Central Food Technological Research Institute
(v) Indian Institute of Packaging
(vi) Spices Export Promotion Council and
(vii) Cashew Export Promotion Council.

  • Twelve members appointed by the Central Government representing
  • Fruit and Vegetable Products Industries
  • Meat, Poultry and Dairy Products Industries
  • Other Scheduled Products Industries
  • Packaging Industry

Two members appointed by the Central Government from amongst specialists and scientists in the fields of agriculture, economics and marketing of the scheduled products.

1.4 ADMINISTRATIVE SET UP

Chairman – Appointed by the Central Government
Director – Appointed by APEDA
Secretary – Appointed by the Central Government
Other Officers and Staff – Appointed by the Authority

Section 7 (3) of the APEDA Act provides for appointment of such officers and employees by the Authority as may be necessary for the efficient performance of its functions.

The total sanctioned staff strength is 124 in different categories of A, B, C & D.

At present, APEDA has a total of 30 female employees in Group A, B and C categories. The welfare of the female employees is also well looked after. APEDA has provided a separate ladies room within the office premises.

As per Govt. norms, the reservation for physically handicapped persons is 3% of the total strength in all grades. APEDA has total sanctioned staff strength of 124 out of which two are physically handicapped employees. The requirement of 3% will be completed in subsequent recruitments.

1.5 APEDA’S PRESENCE

APEDA has marked its presence in almost all agro potential states of India and has been providing services to agri-export community through its head office, five Regional offices and 13 Virtual offices.

HEAD OFFICE

  • New Delhi

REGIONAL OFFICES

  • Mumbai
  • Kolkata
  • Bangalore
  • Hyderabad and
  • Guwahati

 

Source : APEDA Website

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GST Council meet on May 4, simplifying returns on agenda

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-chaired GST Council will meet on May 4 to discuss a simpler return form and the amendments required in the indirect tax regime rules.

The 27th meeting of the Council, comprising state finance ministers, will meet through video conferencing and will also mull over the proposal of converting GSTN into a government company.

A decision on return simplification could be on the cards with the Sushil Modi-led Group of Ministers putting before the Council the three models of new return form for discussion, an official said.

With Jaitley been advised by doctors to stay in isolation to avoid contracting infection, the meeting has been planned through video conferencing.

The Council had in March discussed on two models of GST returns and suggested that the GoM would work further simplification.

The official said the amendment to the law would also be taken up once the Council clears the new GST return format.

One of the models presented before the Council was that provisional credit should not be granted unless the taxpayers file returns and pay taxes.

The second model stated that provisional credit could be granted to a taxpayer, but returns have to be filed within 3-4 months and taxes have to be paid or else the credit amount would be reversed.

After consulting the stakeholders, the GoM earlier this month worked out a third model for return filing as per which credit could be extended once the invoice uploaded by the supplier is verified by the purchaser on the GSTN portal.

Jaitley had earlier this month asked Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to “examine the possibility” of converting GSTN into a majority government company or a 100 per cent government company. GSTN provides the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime.

Currently, five private financial institutions — HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd — hold 51 per cent stake in GSTN, which was incorporated on March 28, 2013, in the erstwhile UPA regime.

The remaining 49 per cent stake is with the Centre and States.

Sources :  Press Reports

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Prabhu promises exporters to take up GST refund issue

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday assured exporters of
taking up the issue of Goods and Service Tax (GST) refund with the finance ministry and
said he plans to call a ministerial meeting to discuss export related issues.

As exports dipped in March after a gap of four months, Prabhu sought a detailed action plan from exporters of all sectors in an interaction with them here.

“I have asked exporters to give me the details of the pending refund. GST refund is a major issue for exports. I will take it up with the finance ministry,” he said.

Exporters have claimed that over 60% of their refunds are stuck with the government complaining that delay in GST refund has blocked their working capital.

Prabhu also said the government is taking all steps to further boost the country’s exports.
Speaking to members of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations here, the minister asked them to prepare a detailed action plan of all sectors and sub-sectors suggesting ways to promote their exports.

Exporters raised issues related with GST refund, increasing logistics costs and inadequate infrastructure at ports.

The government has sanctioned GST refunds to exporters to the tune of Rs 17,616 crore till March of which Rs 9,604 crore is on account of integrated GST refund and another Rs 5,510 crore on account of refund on input credit by the centre.

“We need a concrete plan to work on that,” Prabhu said and added that he would call a ministerial meeting to discuss issues pertaining to outbound shipments.

India’s exports dipped after a gap of four months in March but finished 2017-18 with a rise of 9.78% to $302.84 billion.

Source : Press Reports

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Tax Break Limits notified to Angel Investors

The government announced it had exempted investments by individuals in some categories of start-ups from the so-called ‘angel tax’.

The notification says start-ups may avail of the tax concession only if total investment, including funding from angel investors (those who make the initial equity investment) does not exceed Rs 100 million.

Concerns were expressed over the possibility of investment into the start-up system being discouraged by this; also, of harassment by tax officials.

“Genuine angel investors should not be taxed. This notification, as well as the follow-up notification from the department of revenue, will provide the mechanism for this to happen,” said Ramesh Abhishek, secretary, department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP). “We have been told 300-400 start-ups normally get angel funding in a year.” His department oversees the regulatory framework for start-ups.

However, after the latest notification, only angel investors with average return income of Rs 2.5 million for the past three years or a net worth of Rs 20 million are eligible for 100 per cent tax exemption on investment into start-ups above the fair market value.

Also, only investors who have funded start-ups that have been certified by the government’s inter-ministerial board (IMB) will be eligible, the official added. In other words, the majority of such investment gets no relief.

IMB recognises start-ups for the purpose of providing tax benefits. However, those incorporated before April 1, 2016, are not eligible for such breaks and will, therefore, also not be eligible for exemption from the angel tax. Only 88 start-ups have been extended tax benefits till date, of 8,765 ventures that had applied for it since January 2016.

“The positive is that the govt is working to help address the issue. The need of the hour is to make it less, not more, onerous and bureaucratic. Else, we could stifle a growing start-up eco-system,” said Padmaja Ruparel, president, Indian Angel Network.

Start-ups will continue to enjoy income tax benefits for three out of a block of seven consecutive assessment years. In the case of start-ups in the biotechnology sector (including medical devices), the period shall be up to 10 years from the date of incorporation or registration, up from the earlier five years. Abhishek said the government was not looking to further change the definition of a start-up.

IMB itself has now been given specific legal sanctity. It will have eight members from various government departments, under the convenorship of the additional secretary, DIPP. Also, representatives from the ministries of corporate affairs, electronics and information technology, department of science and technology and the Central Board of Direct Taxes, among others.

It will also operate under specific time-based guidelines to certify start-ups, Abhishek said. The IMB was set up in 2016, to provide an impetus to start-ups.

Sources : Press Reports

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