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GSTN Chairman Urges with experts to simplify GST Returns filing

The committee tasked with simplification of GST returns filing will consult tax experts and trade bodies to make the process convenient for businesses that have minimal transactions, its chairman said today.

GSTN Chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey-headed panel comprises VAT commissioners of Karnataka, Gujarat, Telangana, and senior officials from the Department of Revenue and the CBEC.


As many as 40 per cent of the businesses filing returns on GST Network (GSTN) portal has nil tax liability.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council had set up this committee on November 10 to suggest ways for simplification of the returns filing process. It has also decided to keep in abeyance till March 31 the filing of GSTR-2 (purchase returns) and GSTR-3 (the matching of sales and purchase returns).

Now, businesses will have to file simplified initial GSTR-3B forms till March, along with sales returns GSTR-1.

“The committee would look into simplification exercise because all (GST returns) are intricately connected,” Pandey said, when asked if the committee would focus on only GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 or all the returns under GST.

The committee will collect feedback from people, the trade and industry and study the whole system in detail and then come out with an appropriate plan.

“If people have very minimal transactions, they should be able to file both the returns in a manner without going through full complications. Therefore, the display of the forms will be based on certain questions and the questions posed to the dealer,” Pandey said.

He added that the panel will also look into what information on returns should be taken and at what frequency.

Pandey said the ultimate goal will be to provide convenience to people so that those who are filing the returns can do so without any difficulty.

According to the data, 55.87 lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed for July, 51.37 lakh for August and over 42 lakh for September. Preliminary returns GSTR-3B form for a month is filed on the 20th day of the next month after paying due taxes.

According to the GSTN data, a huge chunk of businesses files their returns after the expiry of the due date.

While only 33.98 lakh July returns were filed by the due date, the number has now gone up to 55.87 lakh. Similarly, for August, 28.46 lakh returns were filed until the last date, but the figure went up to 51.37 lakh later.

Also, for September, while 39.4 lakh returns were filed by the due date, the number is rising and was over 42 lakh until October 24.

Also, the Council earlier this month substantially lowered late return filing fees for businesses from the Rs 200 at present. Businesses with nil tax liability will now have to pay only Rs 20 as late fee for the delayed filing of return while for the rest, the fee is Rs 50.

Source : Press Reports

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GST Rate Cut: Cabinet clears Setting up of Anti-Profiteering Authority

The anti-profiteering measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval for the creation of the posts of chairman and technical members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, following up immediately on yesterday’s sharp reduction in the GST rates of a large number of items of mass consumption.

This paves the way for the immediate establishment of this apex body, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.

The establishment of the NAA, to be headed by a senior officer of the level of secretary to the government with four technical members from the Centre and/or the States, is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.

It may be recalled that effective from midnight of 14th November, the GST rate has been slashed from 28% to 18% on goods falling under 178 headings. There are now only 50 items which attract the GST rate of 28%. Likewise, a large number of items have witnessed a reduction in GST rates from 18% to 12% and so on and some goods have been completely exempt from GST.

The ‘anti-profiteering’ measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers.

Affected consumers who feel the benefit of commensurate reduction in prices is not being passed on when they purchase any goods or services may apply for relief to the Screening Committee in the particular State.

However, in case the incident of profiteering relates to an item of mass impact with ‘All India’ ramification, the application may be directly made to the Standing Committee. After forming a prima facie view that there is an element of profiteering, the Standing Committee shall refer the matter for detailed investigation to the Director General of Safeguards, CBEC, which shall report its findings to the NAA.

The authority is to ensure benefits of the GST rate cut are being passed on to the consumers

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved setting up of a National Anti-profiteering Authority under the GST, seeking to ensure consumers get the benefit of reduced prices under the new indirect tax regime.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said currently there were only 50 items that attracted the highest tax of 28% under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and rates on many items have been cut to 5% as well.

“The National Anti-Profiteering Authority is an assurance to consumers of India. If any consumer feels that the benefit of tax rate cut is not being passed on, then he can complaint to the authority,” Mr. Prasad told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

This reflects government’s full commitment to take all possible steps to ensure benefits of implementation of GST to the common man, the minister added.

The approval by the Cabinet paves the way for immediate establishment of the apex body, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of GST rate reduction is passed on to consumers.

The GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had last week decided to slash tax rates of over 200 items in the GST regime as well as lowered tax rates on AC and non-AC restaurants to 5 per cent.

The Council had earlier approved setting up of a five-member National Anti-Profiteering Authority to enable consumers to file complaint in case price reduction was not passed on.

A five-member committee, headed by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha, comprising Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, CBEC Chairman Vanaja Sarna and chief secretaries from two states, has been entrusted to finalise the chairman and members of the authority.

The authority will have a sunset date of two years from the date on which the chairman assumes charge. The chairman and the four members of the authority have to be less than 62 years.

As per the structure of the anti-profiteering mechanism in the GST regime, complaints of local nature will be first sent to the state-level ‘screening committee’, while those of national level will be marked for the ‘Standing Committee’

If the complaints have merit, the respective committees would refer the cases for further investigation to the Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS). The DG Safeguards would generally take about three months to complete the investigation and send the report to the anti-profiteering authority.

If the authority finds that a company has not passed on GST benefits, it will direct the entity to pass on the benefits to consumers. If the beneficiary cannot be identified, it will ask the company to transfer the amount to the ’consumer welfare fund’ within a specified timeline.

The authority will have the power to cancel registration of any entity or business if it fails to pass on to consumers the benefit of lower taxes under the GST regime, but that might be the final step.

According to the anti-profiteering rules, the authority will suggest return of the undue profit earned from not passing on the reduction in incidence of tax to consumers along with an 18% interest, as also impose penalty.

Source : PTI

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100% FDI to fuel the next phase of growth

Ecommerce Association of India (ECAI) welcomes the government’s decision for allowing 100% FDI in marketplace eCommerce. This is certainly a way forward in fuelling the growth of eCommerce in India. 

India has seen a very high growth in the marketplace eCommerce, which has in turn thrived many new manufacturers, traders and suppliers providing them limitless market with larger customer base. The industry has seen numerous success stories of startups and entrepreneurs and unabated growth. And, moreover, the government’s support and regulation shall make the growth process long-lasting and more stable.

With 100% FDI on the cards, the marketplace eCommerce companies expect to see a larger influx required for the next phase of growth. Existing marketplaces would grow bigger and the newer marketplaces may come up. We may also see niche marketplaces coming up and ultimately everything will lead to bigger opportunities for the sellers. The move will allow more capital infusion in the sector from the foreign investors and the same can be used for financing their development needs.

The marketplace model has been a big driver of growth for the small businesses which again has been on the priority list of the government. Many young entrepreneurs have benefitted from the marketplace model with the large market reach and larger customer base. They are now able to access a pan-India market which was not possible earlier for a small business with very low or zero marketing budget. Since the marketplace manage the entire logistics of sales and even return, the small businesses do not have to invest or manage the same. The marketplace model has also increased the efficiency of the small businesses. With almost 350 million internet users and almost 800 million mobile users and that too a considerable number using smartphones, it offers even a larger opportunity for the eCommerce companies.

Equitable growth

Though the honeymoon discount period may gradually fade away, but the growth will now be more structured and equitable among players. The sales shall also be not discount-driven, and this would be good for the smaller players with less funding support. They would not have to follow the discount race, as they do not have large bellies to do that. So, things will gradually fall in line in the larger interest of the industry.
The marketplace model also compliments the brick and mortar stores. Of late, the physical stores have also got a larger bandwidth of market space through eCommerce. They are now able to sell to a larger number of customers, and also the eCommerce players are also going offline.

The era of discounting will gradually be corrected, and this will certainly give more opportunities for the brands to reach out to larger pool of young customers through the online marketplace. Hence, the role of eCommerce players become even more important, as they have a huge young customer base following. Also, the rise of mCommerce has given rise to a convenience marketplace where anything and everything can be sold at the convenience of customers.

The government has been looking forward to support the growth of eCommerce industry and we are hopeful that we would see more such pro-industry moves by the government for the sector that has been the largest employment generator for the economy in the last five years. The eCommerce sector has also given rise to a more structured and organised businesses, as all the transactions are recorded. This helps in checking tax evasion and illegal transactions.

Also, with the government’s focus on building a strong manufacturing base in India, eCommerce can play an enabling role for manufacturers and suppliers to access the consumer base. With the borderless market, the manufacturers and suppliers can access any regional market and even global market as well.

(The author is the secretary general at e-Commerce Association of India)

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E Commerce Association of India

Ecommerce Association of India

E-Commerce Association of India (ECAI) is India’s first and nodal agency representing the e-Commerce community in India. ECAI is the association representing companies selling products and/or services online to consumers in India.

e-Commerce Association of India seeks to develop India as an e-commerce hub by collaborating with various e-commerce organizations across the country.

Its mission is to advance the interests and influence of e-commerce in India through advocacy, communication and networking.

ECAI is the only association in India that intends to dedicatedly works towards promoting the business of eCommerce in India. The association shall encompass the entire eCommerce eco-system including, the service providers, suppliers, PE & VCs, supply chain companies and as well as the consumers.

The scope of e-Commerce in India is ever increasing to include all the amenities like healthcare, education, retail, tourism, entertainment etc which is also aligned with the broadband revolution which India is witnessing.

ECAI through its concentrated efforts seeks to contribute in the development of the entire ecosystem for the growth of e-Commerce in India. ECAI seeks to develop India as a e-commerce hub by collaborating with various e-commerce organizations (both government and private) across the country.

Objectives & services

• To promote, project and develop the interests and influence of e-commerce in India through advocacy, communication and networking.

• To press forward the interest of B2C e-commerce industry with relevant stakeholders and institutions

• To provide with new brand recognition and membership engagement at all levels.

• To collaborate and associate with related National and International Organizations for update on technologies and latest practices the ecommerce and online business in India.

• To provide an avenue and forum for an open and constructive framework for the discussion of trends, forecasts, policies, directions and challenges of ecommerce industry in India.

• Political and legislative community supervision through analyzing and following up on political and regulatory developments

• Public affairs initiatives and actions to Indian institutions: meeting with institutions and relevant e-commerce stakeholders.

• Institutional communications: foster research, preparing position papers, white papers, reports, facts and figures relevant to the Indian e-commerce market.

• To collaborate and associate with related National and International Organizations for update on technologies and latest practices the ecommerce and online business in India.

• To actively initiate, organize, and support activities and programs for the development and growth of ecommerce and online business in India.

• To provide an avenue and forum for an open and constructive framework for the discussion of trends, forecasts, policies, directions and challenges of ecommerce industry in India.

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CGST Notification No. 65/2017 – Seeks to exempt suppliers of E Commerce platform from obtaining Compulsory Registration

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2017)

CGST Notification no. 65/2017 exempts suppliers of e commerce platform from registration 

Seeks to exempt suppliers of services through an e-commerce platform from obtaining compulsory registration.


[To be published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i)]

                                                              Government of India
                                                                Ministry of Finance
                                                          (Department of Revenue)
                                             [Central Board of Excise and Customs]

                                              Notification No. 65/2017 – Central Tax

                                                                                          New Delhi, the 15th November, 2017

G.S.R. …..(E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 23 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (12 of 2017) (hereafter in this notification referred to as the said Act), the Central Government, on the recommendations of the Council, hereby specifies the persons making supplies of services, other than supplies specified under subsection (5) of section 9 of the said Act through an electronic commerce operator who is required to collect tax at source under section 52 of the said Act, and having an aggregate turnover, to be computed on all India basis, not exceeding an amount of twenty lakh rupees in a financial year, as the category of persons exempted from obtaining registration under the said Act:

Provided that the aggregate value of such supplies, to be computed on all India basis, should not exceed an amount of ten lakh rupees in case of “special category States” as specified in sub-clause (g) of clause (4) of article 279A of the Constitution, other than the State of Jammu and Kashmir.

                                                                                                       [F. No.349/58/2017-GST(Pt)]

                                                                                                            (Dr.Sreeparvathy S.L.)
                                                                             Under Secretary to the Government of India

Source : Press Reports

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GSTR Filing Due Dates – Press Release

Press Release
10th November, 2017
Recommendations made by the GST Council in the 23rd meeting at Guwahati on 10th November, 2017

The GST Council, in its 23rd meeting held at Guwahati on 10th November 2017, has
recommended the following facilitative measures for taxpayers:

Return Filing
a) The return filing process is to be further simplified in the following manner :

i. All taxpayers would file return in FORM GSTR-3B along with payment of tax by 20th
of the succeeding month till March, 2018.

ii. For filing of details in FORM GSTR-1 till March 2018, taxpayers would be divided into two categories. Details of these two categories along with the last date of filing GSTR 1 are as follows:

(a)Taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore need to file GSTR-1 on
quarterly basis as per following frequency:

Period                            Dates
Jul- Sep             :          31st Dec 2017
Oct- Dec            :          15th Feb 2018
Jan- Mar           :          30th April 2018

(b) Taxpayers with annual aggregate turnover more than Rs. 1.5 crore need to file
GSTR-1 on monthly basis as per following frequency:

Period              Dates

Jul- Oct :      31st Dec 2017
Nov  :          10th Jan 2018
Dec :            10th Feb 2018
Jan :             10th Mar 2018
Feb  :           10th Apr 2018
Mar :           10th May 2018

iii. The time period for filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for the months of July, 2017 to March
2018 would be worked out by a Committee of Officers. However, filing of GSTR-1
will continue for the entire period without requiring filing of GSTR-2 & GSTR-3 for
the previous month / period.

b) A large number of taxpayers were unable to file their return in FORM GSTR-3B within due date for the months of July, August and September, 2017. Late fee was waived in all such cases. It has been decided that where such late fee was paid, it will be re-credited to their Electronic Cash Ledger under “Tax” head instead of “Fee” head so as to enable them to use that amount for discharge of their future tax liabilities. The software changes for this would be made and thereafter this decision will be implemented.

c) For subsequent months, i.e. October 2017 onwards, the amount of late fee payable by a
taxpayer whose tax liability for that month was ‘NIL’will be Rs. 20/- per day (Rs. 10/- per day each under CGST & SGST Acts) instead of Rs. 200/- per day (Rs. 100/- per day each under CGST & SGST Acts).

Manual Filing

d) A facility for manual filing of application for advance ruling is being introduced for the time being. Further benefits for service providers

e) Exports of services to Nepal and Bhutan have already been exempted from GST. It has now been decided that such exporters will also be eligible for claiming Input Tax Credit in respect of goods or services used for effecting such exempt supply of services to Nepal and Bhutan.
f) In an earlier meeting of the GST Council, it was decided to exempt those service providers whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs in special category states except J & K) from obtaining registration even if they are making inter-State taxable supplies of services. As a further measure towards taxpayer facilitation, it has been decided to exempt such suppliers providing services through an e-commerce platform from obtaining compulsory registration provided their aggregate turnover does not exceed twenty lakh rupees.
As a result, all service providers, whether supplying Intra-State, inter-State or through e-commerce operator, will be exempt from obtaining GST registration, provided their aggregate turnover does not exceed Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs in special category States except J & K).
Extension of dates
g) Taking cognizance of the late availability or unavailability of some forms on the common portal, it has been decided that the due dates for furnishing the following forms shall be extended as under:
S. No. FORM and Details                                     Original Due Date           Revised Due Date
1 GST ITC-04 – Quarter July-September, 2017             25.10.2017                           31.12.2017

2 GSTR-4  – Quarter July September, 2017                  18.10.2017                             24.12.2017

3 GSTR-5 for July, 2017                                                    20.08.2017 or

7 days from the

last date of registration

whichever is earlier                11.12.2017

4 GSTR-5A for July, 2017                                                      20.08.2017                         15.12.2017

5 GSTR-6 for July, 2017                                                         13.08.2017                         31.12.2017

6 TRAN-1                                                                                 30.09.2017                         31.12.2017                                                                                                                                       (Onetime option

of revision also

to be given till this date)

Revised due dates for subsequent tax periods will be announced in Due Course.

Benefits for Diplomatic Missions/UN organizations

h) In order to lessen the compliance burden on Foreign Diplomatic Missions / UN Organizations, a centralized UIN will be issued to every Foreign Diplomatic Mission / UN Organization by the Central Government and all compliance for such agencies will be done by the Central Government in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs.

2. Relevant notifications for all of the above decisions will be issued shorty, so as to be
effective from 15.11.2017.
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Source : Press Release

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No GST on Second-Hand goods if sold cheaper

The buying and selling of second-hand goods will not attract Goods and Services Tax (GST) if sold at a price cheaper than the purchase price, the government said on Saturday.

Rule 32(5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, provides that
where a taxable supply is provided by a person dealing in buying and selling of second
hand goods or used goods as such or after such minor processing which does not change
the nature of the goods and where no input tax credit has been availed on the purchase of such goods, the value of supply shall be the difference between the selling price and the purchase price and where the value of such supply is negative, it shall be ignored. This is known as the margin scheme.

The clarification comes after doubts were raised regarding the applicability of the Margin Scheme under the GST for dealers in second-hand goods in general and for dealers in old and used empty bottles in particular.

“The value will be the difference between selling and purchase price and where the value of such supply is negative it shall be ignored, provided there is no change in nature of goods and credit on purchased second-hand goods is not availed by the dealer. In case the value determined is negative, i.e. goods are sold at loss then tax will not be payable,” GST expert Pritam Mahure told IANS.

Thus, Margin Scheme can be availed of by any registered person dealing in buying and selling of second-hand goods (including old and used empty bottles) and who satisfies the conditions as laid down in Rule 32(5) of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017.
Rule 32(5) of the CGST Rules is a special sub-rule for the person buying and selling second-hand goods (for instance used cars, television and mobiles).

Further, the government notification exempts Central Tax leviable on intra-state supplies of second-hand goods received by a registered person dealing in buying and selling of second-hand goods (who pays the central tax on the value of outward supply of such secondhand goods) from any supplier, who is not registered.

“This has been done to avoid double taxation on the outward supplies made by such registered person since such person operating under the Margin Scheme cannot avail input tax credit on the purchase of second-hand goods,” the Finance Ministry said here in a statement.

Source : Press Information

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