GST Updates (12 January 2017)



1. Pending issues on GST will be resolved in few weeks: Arun Jaitley

January 12, 2017

Press Information Bureau Government of India Ministry of Finance
On demonetization, Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley says that difficult decisions initially pass through difficult phases as historic decisions have temporary pain attached to them. Stressing the implementation of GST, FM says that most of the issues have been resolved; few critical issues are left which will be resolved in the next few weeks.
The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley reiterated the advantage of taking bold and courageous decisions to transform Indian economy. He said difficult decisions initially pass through difficult phases as historic decisions have temporary pain attached to them. Speaking about demonetization, Shri Jaitley said that India needs bold decisions as it is time now to clean up the table and demonetization is going to have an impact over the course of our present and future lives. Shri Jaitley was addressing a seminar on ‘GST: The game changer for Indian economy’ on the second day of vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar today.
Stressing the implementation of GST, FM said that most of the issues have been resolved; few critical issues are left which will be resolved in the next few weeks. He further added that GST Council is deliberative democracy in action and the impact of both GST and demonetization will be felt this year.
FM said, when GST merges all the taxes and makes India into one entity, it’s an advantage to the assesse. Once the GST is implemented, the combination of a more digitized economy with a more efficient tax system will make India better. The Minister said that People want transparency. So, government is emphasizing on bringing transparency and elimination of discretion and Indian economy has opened up significantly in the last two years.
About the Summit, Shri Jaitley said it has been branded as Vibrant Gujarat but it has become foremost economic conclave. It showcases both Indian economy and progress of Gujarat.
Shri Vijay Rupani, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Nitin Patel, Dy. Chief Minister of Gujarat, Dr. Hasmukh Adhia, Revenue Secretary, Govt. of India, Shri Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure & Communities, Government of Canada were also present on the occasion.

2.GST Launch: Excise, Service Tax Payers Being Moved To GST Platform
January 11, 2017
Several state ministers, like West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra, and others have expressed doubt over the centre’s ability to meet the 1 April deadline for rolling out the goods and services tax (GST). Among the concerns raised are the notion that GST roll-out will come as a second blow to the country, after demonetisation, and the compensation for states, especially in the wake of the recent cash crunch, is still up for debate.
However, the Union government seems firm on its resolve to meet the 1 April deadline. On Monday (9 January), the centre started the migration of existing central excise and service tax assessees to the GST platform. As part of the requirement is a valid income tax permanent account number (PAN). The finance ministry release said,
Once the existing registered Taxpayers (both Central Excise as well as Service Tax) login to CBEC’s web portal http://www.aces.gov.in, a facility will be given in a secure manner to access the provisional login ID and password given by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN).
The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) is sending emails and recorded telephonic messages to all registered central excise and service tax assessees requesting them to migrate to GST. The migration has to be done as early as possible, said the release, and latest by 31 January 2017. Source – http://swarajyamag.com [10-01-2017]


3.Hopeful of resolving issues to roll out GST from April 1: Arun Jaitley
January 11, 2017
Hopeful of resolving issues to roll out GST from April 1: Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today reiterated that the Centre is still aiming to roll out the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime from April 1 if all pending issues are sorted out.
GST, which is to subsume most of central and state taxes like excise, service tax and VAT, needs to roll out by latest September 16, 2017, he said.
This because, under the Constitutional Amendment passed by Parliament for the GST implementation, some of the existing levies would expire after September 16.
Jaitley said the government was aiming to implement the new sales tax from April this year. “We would want it to be implemented from April if all issues are resolved.”
“There is a provision for GST implementation because constitutional amendment has been passed. So it’s Constitutional necessity that before September 16 it should be rolled out,” he said on the sidelines of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit here.
GST, or a national sales tax, will replace a jumble of levies to create one of the world’s biggest single market. A single tax will make it easier to do business in the world’s seventh-largest economy as also help combat evasion, boost revenue for the government.
But the rollout is struck because of differences between the Centre and states over control and administration of the tax as also on how the states that face revenue shortfall because of the GST rollout would need to be compensated.
Jaitley is hoping to resolve the issue of dual control of tax payers at the next meeting of the GST Council on January 16.
“We would want it to be implemented from April if all issues are resolved. But implementing before September 16 is a necessity,” he said.
The Finance Minister said the digitisation that got a leg up post demonetisation of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, together with GST will lead to expansion of formal economy and boost growth.
“The two steps together will lead to a larger economy and a cleaner GDP. I am hopeful that we will see the two this year,” he said. Source- http://economictimes.indiatimes.com [11-01-2016]

4.GST effect: Exemptions likely to be pruned
January 11, 2017

While the introduction of Goods and Service Tax (GST) law would be at the top of the priority list of the government, the time lag before implementation of GST provides an opportunity to align the current tax system to the proposed GST to enable a smooth transition.
Under GST, the list of items enjoying exemption is likely to be pruned. Exemptions under GST is expected to be extended predominantly to the ‘merit’ goods. Thus, withdrawal of some of the exemptions ahead of the introduction of GST could be on the cards. Presently, the exemption list under Value Added Tax (VAT) laws is more restricted when compared to the one provided for excise. Thus, we may see curtailment of excise duty exemptions on some of the products.
Under the current tax system, non-creditable Central Sales Tax (CST) levied at the rate of 2% created a distortion in the supply chain. The gradual phasing out of CST was always the plan. As we move closer towards GST, it is also possible that the rate of CST is brought down to 1%.
With the intention of developing the backward areas, the government comes up with area-based exemptions. However, sometimes, such exemptions lead to an economic distortion. It is anticipated that under GST, such exemptions could be converted to refund schemes wherein units would be first required to deposit the tax and subsequently claim a refund. Commercially, such changes can have a significant impact on the overall business decisions. It would be worthwhile if some direction in this regard is provided.
To keep a check on the parallel economy, there has been impetus to adopt cashless transactions. The government may consider extending the tax exemption on service charge levied by the bank to transactions over Rs 2,000. The industry has been waiting for GST. Providing a concrete roadmap and a definitive date for its introduction will do well to the business sentiments. Source – http://www.dnaindia.com [11-01-2017]

5. No Traders Identification Number to be cancelled forcefully
January 10, 2017
Commercial tax department (CTD) would not forcefully cancel Traders Identification Number (TIN) of those merchants forcefully, who are unwilling to migrate to Goods and Services Tax (GST) portal. CTD would withdraw a circular issued in this regard and release an amended one on Tuesday.
This assurance was given by additional commissioner of CTD Rajesh Bahuguna to a visiting delegation of over 50 members of Commercial Tax Practitioners’ Association (CTPA) and MP Tax Law Bar Association (MPTLBA) here on Monday. An e-mail on January 4 from CTD commissioner’s office had instructed all circle heads to initiate action of cancellation of TIN of traders unwilling to migrate to GST portal. Aim behind the action was to force traders to GST portal to seek temporary enrollment of GST, the date of whose implementation is not yet confirmed. The main aim was to ensure that MP topped the list of states in numbers of GST enrolment from the current second position in the country.
After meeting Bahuguna, secretary of CTPA Kedar Heda told Free Press that they had convinced him that through help and efforts of traders and tax consultants MP could succeed in over 80 per cent traders’ migration to GST. Bahuguna said the circular might have been released by mistaken. He said, “Our aim is to cancel TIN of those traders only whose last two years’ return filing is nil.” He would release a seprate circular on Tuesday to all circle heads instructing them to refrain from taking such action against genuine traders.
However, a written receipt would be taken from traders who do not wish to migrate to GST portal. Their TIN would be continued until VAT Act comes into force.
The January 4 mail said, ‘We have been able to achieve GST data migration for 80 per cent of the dealers, who have been shared provisional ID. However, for remaining dealers we are still find it challenge to ensure compliance. Therefore you are requested to take action to cancel all such dealers who have not filled returns for FY 2015-16 or FY 2016-17, not paid any tax for FY 2015-16 or FY 2016-17 and not taken any step for GST migration i.e. user name enrolment or form submission.” In the mail it was requested to field officers, ‘to identify all such dealers and after due notice, proceed for cancellation of such dealers.’  Source – http://www.freepressjournal.in [10-01-2017]

6.Excise, service taxpayers to migrate to GST portal by January 31
January 10, 2017
Keen to ensure roll out of goods and services tax from April 1, 2017, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has begun migration of its existing excise duty and service tax assesses to the new regime.
“All existing central excise/service tax assesses are requested to migrate as early as possible, latest by 31st January, 2017,” a CBEC statement said on Monday.
Once the existing registered taxpayers (both Central Excise as well as Service Tax) login to CBEC’s Web Portal http://www.aces.gov.in, a facility will be given in a secure manner to access the provisional login ID and password given by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), it said.
Thereafter, using the same, they can log in to GST Portal (www.gst.gov.in) to fill the required fields and submit scanned documents.
However, if they have already initiated the process of migration to GST as a Value Added Tax assessee under state commercial tax department, they will not need to re-register.
Permanent Account Number is mandatory for migration to GST and if an existing excise duty or service tax registration does not have one then it has to be obtained from the income tax department. Registration details will have to updated on the ACES portal, it said.
CBEC has started 24X7 help desk to help assesses. The board is also sending Emails/recorded telephonic messages to all registered assesses. Source – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com [09-01-2017]


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