GST: What is an e-way bill and why is it important? All you need to know

What is an e-way bill ?
An e-way bill is a document that a person in charge of a conveyance carrying any consignment of goods of value exceeding Rs 50,000 is required to carry. It is a mandatory document that is generated from the GST Common Portal by registered persons or transporters who undertake movement of goods. A transporter needs to generate the e-way bill before the movement of goods commences.
Is there any scheme under GST for payment of taxes by small traders?
Composition levy is an alternative method of levying tax that is designed for small taxpayers whose turnover is up to Rs 10 million. This scheme is optional and is meant mainly for small traders, manufacturers and restaurant owners. However, it is not available to a trader engaged in inter-state supplies. Further, a trader opting to discharge GST liability under the composition scheme will not be eligible to claim input tax credit of GST paid on inward supplies.
In the pre-GST regime, a special economic zone (SEZ) customer was required to provide Form A-2 to claim exemption from payment of service tax. Will a service provider be required to obtain a similar form from his customers for not charging GST?
Under the pre-GST regime, a service provider was not required to charge service tax on his invoice for services rendered to an SEZ customer if the latter provided Form A-2 wherein he was authorised to receive specified services from such service providers.
However, under GST law, there has been a change of procedure.

Under this law, supplies to SEZs have been treated as zero rated subject to execution of Letter of Undertaking/Bond by the service provider. GST law doesn’t require the SEZ customer to provide any specific form (such as Form A-2 under the service tax law).
If the GST rate on outward supply is less than the GST rate on inputs, what will be the treatment of input tax credit that gets accumulated? If refund is available, then at what time can one apply and within what time will one get it?
GST law contains a specific provision wherein the supplier of goods or services can apply for refund of input tax credit accumulated on account of inverted duty structure, except for a few categories.
The refund can be applied for before the expiry of two years from the date on which the claim for refund arises. Further, the supplier would be granted provisional refund within seven days from the receipt of acknowledgment from the tax department.
A person runs a grocery shop wherein he supplies goods worth Rs 50, Rs 200 and Rs 250 to three customers. Under the GST regime, can he issue a consolidated tax invoice for all the supplies made at the end of each day?
Under GST law, a separate tax invoice is not required to be issued in case the value of goods or services is less than Rs 200, subject to the condition that the recipient is not a registered person and he does not require such an invoice. In such cases, the registered person can issue a consolidated tax invoice for such supplies at the close of each day for all such supplies. But for supplies of Rs 200 or Rs 250, A will have to issue separate invoices.
At the time of filing GSTR-1, does one have to file invoice-wise details or can one file consolidated details if the supplies are made to unregistered persons?
GST law allows a registered person to file the details of outward supplies in a consolidated manner in cases of intra-state supplies made to an unregistered person or inter-state supplies to unregistered person where the invoice value is up to Rs 250,000.

GST: What is an e-way bill and why is it important? All you need to know

GST: Anti-profiteering complaint form is expected to become simpler

Filing complaints against companies for not passing the benefits of tax reduction under the goods and services tax (GST) regime is expected to become simpler.

The government is looking at simplifying the anti-profiteering application complaint form to allow the public to file profiteering complaints against firms. The chairman of the anti-profiteering authority, B N Sharma, has asked the standing committee, part of the anti-profiteering mechanism, to suggest a simplified version of the form. “We understand the current application form is a little complicated for a layman. We are in the process of simplifying it. The standing committee is looking into the matter. Meanwhile, people can take help of tax authorities to file a complaint,” Sharma told Business Standard.
The current format of the complaint form requires detailed information such as sale price, taxes (both before and after GST), benefits of input credits, etc, making it tough for a common man to file a complaint. Besides, one is required to fill in details such as GST identification number of the company and the six-digit harmonised system of nomenclature (HSN) code of the products. A separate application needs to be filed for each good or service for which anti-profiteering is alleged, making the process tedious. The anti-profiteering authority has so far received 169 complaints alleging that suppliers of goods or services have not passed on the GST benefits to customers.

Director General of Safeguards, the investigative arm of the department of revenue, has sent out notices to Pyramid Infratech, Honda Motor Vehicles, Lifestyle International and Hardcastle Restaurants (the master franchisee of McDonald’s) for not passing on the benefit of the GST to the final consumer. It has asked these firms to provide their balance sheets, trial balance and profit and loss accounts for the past one year.

The anti-profiteering mechanism is a three-stage process — state-level screening committee for local complaints and a standing committee for national-level complaints; investigation by the Directorate General of Safeguards, and a probe by the decision-making body, the the National Anti-Profiteering Authority.

Pratik Jain of PwC India said there was certainly a need to simplify the form for consumers. “Once a prima facie case is established, the details can then be sought from the business concerned. The entire methodology of conducting the investigation needs to be relooked, including the information being sought from the businesses.” According to the rules, “Benefits of input tax credit should have been passed on to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices.” The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has argued that this definition was not clear and that discretionary bias might creep in. “The rules say benefit of input tax credit should have been passed on to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices. However, as this definition is not clear, discretionary bias may creep in,” a PTI report quoting CII said.

It pressed for clear guidelines on anti-profiteering for the industry as it could lead to hardship for smaller players. “Another challenge is complicated compliance. The government would need to compare the cost of every product before and after GST to determine the amount of tax benefit applicable. Manufacturers or suppliers may also deal in several products that are not distinguished in their accounting books, so that determining price margins for individual products will be difficult,” CII says.

“Tax authorities will need to be sensitive to natural business outcomes and avoid undue harassment. Also, the clause gives relatively less time for preparation and adoption of the new provisions.” Bipin Sapra of EY said: “While simplification of the complaint form would make it easy to file complaints for the common man, it is important for the government to do preliminary verification before initiating an inquiry to avoid undue hardship to industry.”

GST: Anti-profiteering complaint form is expected to become simpler

Top firms get GST notices on credit claims; replies sought within hours

Goods and services tax (GST) officers sent notices to hundreds of companies across Gurugram, Mumbai and Bengaluru on Friday, demanding they reply with exhaustive lists of documents within hours.

The notices sent to firms including Google India, Honeywell International, DLF City Centre, Panasonic, Hitachi Zochen, Yamaha Music India, Suzuki Motorcycles, leading banks and insurance companies, among others, pertain to transitional credit claimed for pre-GST stocks.

The notice, reviewed by Business Standard, said: “…Your organisation has been marked for preliminary verification…in order to ascertain the correctness of Transitional Cenvat Credit…you are requested to submit the documents on priority by today (Friday) evening positively.”


The drive — labelled unrealistic by tax consultants — comes amid slowing revenue collections and significantly high transitional credit claims worth Rs 1.3 trillion. The impromptu verification of documents and related information follows directive from the Central Board of Excise and Customs to tax officers to verify claims of credit over Rs 10 million.

The dealers who received the notices are being asked to submit this information amidst numerous statutory return filings in the months of December and January.

The tax officers have, however, claimed the deadline to send the replies by Friday evening was not strict, and attributed the drive to subdued GST collections.

They said about 2,000 companies were taking 90 per cent of input credit and, hence, the focus was on them. Claims could be higher due to duplication, because the companies were registered at one place earlier for the purpose of paying central excise but were now filing returns in each state, they added.

The documentation requirement includes ‘Central Excise Return’ Forms 1, 2 and 3 for January-June 2017, service tax return for October 16-June 17, calculation sheet for credit availed in TRAN-1 application and GST Electronic Credit Ledger. In addition, it has asked for a statement of inputs, work in progress, and finished goods.

graph “While the scrutiny of transition credits may be required in some cases, businesses should be given adequate time to respond with details. Some of the details being sought by the tax authorities will need to be worked out with relevant details and, hence, it would be better if only relevant details are sought from only those taxpayers who have availed excessive credits during transition,” said M S Mani, partner, Deloitte India.

Revenue collections touched the lowest in November at Rs 808 billion, substantially lower than the government’s expectation of Rs 920 billion each month. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia took a meeting of centre and states officers last month to review the revenue position and to do an analysis for the first five months since the implementation of the new tax regime viz-a-viz last year.

“What is unprecedented is that such notices are being issued to all and sundry, irrespective of any evidence of incorrect filing. It appears that most of the dealers have been selected on an arbitrary basis and issued with notices to submit an exhaustive set of documents,” said Harpreet Singh, partner-indirect taxes, KPMG.

The GST Council had allowed companies to claim 100 per cent input tax credit by uploading excise payment invoices for the period before July 1. In case of unavailability of invoices, the Council had allowed 40 per cent input tax credit through TRAN-2. In fact, the limit on input tax credit was raised to 60 per cent from 40 per cent of GST liability on items with tax rate above 18 per cent in the June 4 meeting. Besides, the entire 100 per cent input tax credit could be claimed on high-value items above Rs 25,000 with a chassis number.

Tax experts said such notices are issued to curb malpractices of those dealers that have transferred unlawful transitional credits. “However, the authorities have not been considerate to understand the time that would be required to collate details like working sheet for credit availed, source documents or invoices for the same, statement in respect of inputs, work in progress and finished goods for the period,” a tax consultant, several of whose clients have got such notices, said.

Singh said such a step by the tax authorities to augment revenue would definitely not help in building an environment of trust. “It does not augur well for the government’s image of creating a tax-friendly environment,” he added.

Top firms get GST notices on credit claims; replies sought within hours

Budget worries: GST collections fall to lowest in November at Rs 80,808 cr

In continuance with the slide, the mop-up under the goods and services tax (GST) in November fell to just above Rs 80,000 crore – a decline that could be attributed to the rate reduction for more than 200 items in the same month and the use of the integrated GST (IGST) as credit for paying taxes. This will heighten the Centre’s fiscal concerns ahead of the Union Budget, dashing hopes of any further reduction in rates in the near future.

“The collection under the GST for November has been Rs 80,808 crore till December 25, 2017,” the government said in a release on Tuesday. The collections are lower than the Rs 83,346 crore in October and way below the average target of Rs 91,000 crore a month.

Experts say the GST collections will decline also in December and stabilise from January.


The slowdown has prompted the GST Council, in its meeting on December 16, to do a nation-wide roll-out of the electronic way bill on June 1 next year to plug revenue leakages and tighten enforcement.

The roll-out for inter-state movements of goods has been advanced to February 1 from April 1 decided earlier. As many as 5.31 million assessees filed returns for November (till December 25) out of the 8.24 million registered. The number does not include those under the composition scheme. Besides, those with an annual turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore are allowed to file quarterly returns.

While Rs 13,089 crore was collected as the Central GST, Rs 18,650 crore was on account of the State GST, and Rs 41,270 crore was mopped up as integrated GST (IGST). The compensation cess accounted for Rs 7,798 crore.

graph A senior official in the Council said: “The focus of the Council will now be to stabilise the revenue position. Any decision on rate reduction will be taken after the Union Budget on February 1.”

The GST rate for 176 items, including detergents, shampoos, and beauty products, was reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while on two others to 12 per cent at the November 15 meeting, leaving only 50 items in the highest bracket.

The revenue slowdown has prompted the Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia to ask officers to review the revenue collections in the first five months compared to the corresponding period last year.

The government has also asked officers to send notices to the assesses who have failed to file returns. “The dip is on expected lines because the rates for over 175 items were reduced and refunds to exporters started recently,” said Pratik Jain, Leader-indirect Tax, PwC.

“Even for December, there could be an impact of opening credit claim for which the last date is December 27. From January onwards, the collections should stabilise,” he added.

Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co, said: “It should be noted that refunds to a very substantial extent have not been processed. The government should keep that number in mind before forecasting. It is hoped that the refund process is not slowed due to decrease in collection.”

The government had earlier attributed the decline in revenue collections for October to the postponement of GST features like matching returns and the reverse charge mechanism.

“Though the reasons can be attributed to lowering rates in mid-November, the expansion of the tax base and buoyancy due to rate reduction should have ideally checked the dip in collections. If this continues, the government may be hesitant in further rationalising the GST rates,” Abhishek Jain of EY said.

Ansh Bhargava of Taxmann said GSTR-3B, a summary input-output form, was a kind of self-assessment return and businesses might not report accurate figures. Thus, there are chances that the collection of taxes came down because there was no fear of penalty for inaccurate details in this form, according to him.

M S Mani of Deloitte said lower collections in November depicted a trend where the collections seemed to be declining every month since July. “While the decline on account of rate reductions is understandable, the fact that there is a decline in compliance would be a matter of concern,” he said.

Budget worries: GST collections fall to lowest in November at Rs 80,808 cr

Revenue concerns may push back further GST cuts

With revenue concerns surfacing, a reduction in goods and services tax (GST) rates for consumer durables in the 28 per cent slab may take longer than expected.
With almost three months to go for the fiscal year to end, pruning the 28 per cent slab again may not happen in the next GST Council meeting in January. The reduction in rates for more than 200 items in the November meeting had raised expectations that white goods would be taken out of the 28 per cent slab.

According to officials, the January meeting will not discuss rate reduction and the focus will be on stabilising revenue collection.


“The meeting in January is unlikely to look at reducing rates. A decision will be taken after the Union Budget is presented in February. The revenue position will become clear after that,” a senior official in the Council told Business Standard.

The focus was to meet the revenue collection target, he added.
The Centre and the states should collect Rs 91,000 crore a month, according to the target set on the basis of the Budget Estimates of the Union government and specific formula for the states.

The formula is taken from the compensation being given to the states, assuming their revenue collection will grow 14 per cent over the base year of 2015-16.

Fiscal uncertainties were voiced after the collections touched their lowest in October at Rs 83,346 crore and a further slowdown is expected after the impact of the massive rate reduction in the November meeting is accounted for.

“With almost three months to go for the fiscal year, the focus is on improving revenue collections,” another official said.

graph The GST rate for 176 items, including detergents, shampoos, and beauty products, was reduced from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, while on two others to 12 per cent at the November 15 meeting, leaving only 50 items in the highest bracket.

Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has asked states and union officers to review revenue collections in the first five months compared to the corresponding period last year.

The slowdown in revenue collection prompted the Council in its meeting on Saturday to do a nation-wide roll-out of the electronic way bill from June 1 next year to plug revenue leakages and tighten enforcement. The roll-out of the bill for inter-state movements of goods would be advanced to February 1 from April 1 decided earlier.

“Revenue collections have been erratic and are yet to settle down in view of changes in rates and transitional provisions. The government may take some more time to analyse the impact of the changes before it embarks on further streamlining the GST rate structure,” said Bipin Sapra of EY.

Saloni Roy of Deloitte said after the statement that the GST rates of 12 and 18 per cent could be combined to make a single rate, there had been hopes that “we may see another rate revision, possibly downwards like the one witnessed in the mid-November”.

“However, considering that GST collections are yet to stabilise this rate rationalisation may happen only after we see GST revenue collections achieving some stability,” said Roy.

The GSTN has introduced the facility for tax officers of all states and union territories to examine and monitor the details of all returns and ledgers.

Revenue concerns may push back further GST cuts

Consumers to get GST rate cut benefits; Cabinet nod for new panel

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

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said currently there are only 50 items which attract the highest tax of 28 per cent under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and rates on many items have been cut to 5 per cent 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,” 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 said.

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 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 is 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 either direct the entity to pass on the benefits to consumers or if the beneficiary cannot be identified 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 it would probably be the last step against any violator.

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 per cent interest, as also impose penalty.

Consumers to get GST rate cut benefits; Cabinet nod for new panel

GST collections slow down in August to Rs 90,669 crore

The government collected Rs 90,669 crore goods and services tax (GST) for August, a little lower than the Rs 94,063 crore collected in July. This is also lower than the Rs 91,000 crore which should have come to the Centre and states in a month, given the Budget Estimates and assumed growth rates in receipts for 2017-18.

Only 55 per cent of assessees paid taxes for August, compared to 64 per cent for July.

But, the figures should be compared cautiously. About Rs 92,283 crore GST was collected for July till August 29, while Rs 90,669 crore was garnered till September 25. Hence, growth in collections was flat in August, compared to July. As much as Rs 94,063 crore was paid till August 31.


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About Rs 14,402 crore came from the Central GST (CGST) in August, against Rs 14,894 crore in July (paid till August 29); Rs 21,067 from State GST (SGST), against Rs 22,722 crore in the previous month; and Rs 47,377 crore from Integrated GST (IGST), compared to Rs 47,469 crore in July. Of the IGST, Rs 23,180 crore came from tax on imports, against Rs 20,964 crore in July, according to figures released by the finance ministry. The cess over the peak rate of 28 per cent garnered Rs 7,823 crore in August, from Rs 7,198 crore in July. Of the August amount, Rs 547 crore came from cess on imports. The cess will be used to pay states that suffer losses because of the GST.

Taking a broad look at the numbers, it is clear that two figures — the IGST on imports and cess collections were higher in August. This means imports in the month were higher than in July, and items that draw cess, such as aerated drinks, cigarettes, cars, and coal, were sold more, at least in value terms.

Merchandise imports of $35.46 billion were made in August, against $33.99 in July, according to trade figures released by the commerce department earlier.

graph These are gross figures, as such it is very hard to assess how much would be net collections for the exchequer as claims for input tax credit are not given.

As much as Rs 65,000 crore of credit for pre-GST stocks were claimed in July, but the government said only Rs 12,000 crore of claims were valid.

“The collection has dipped marginally as assesses start to utilise their transitional credit. As industry settles down to the GST law and compliance, a more realistic collection figure will be seen in the coming months,” said Bipin Sapra of EY. Ideally, the tax figures in August should be more than July as there were more returns filed last month. But those collections may come later. If those who paid taxes till August 29 and till September 25 are compared, the figures are more for the former month. The total number of taxpayers, who were required to file monthly returns for August was 6.82 million, of which 3.76 million filed returns (as of September 25). Over three million taxpayers are yet to file returns. There were 5.95 million registrations under the the GST in July, of which 3.83 million filed returns as of August 29. This also raises the issue of compliance.

“The alarming fact which emerges is with respect to the level of compliance for the month of August. It appears that 45 per cent of the assesses have still not filed returns (against 35 per cent for July). The government should go to the root cause and analyse whether these assesses are facing some genuine problems or they have been migrated automatically and are not required to comply,” said Abhishek Rastogi of Khaitan & Co.

Extrapolating the targets in the annual Budget, the central government’s August tax revenue should be Rs 48,000 crore. Against this, Rs 49,680.5 crore (Rs 14,402 crore from the CGST, Rs 23,180 crore from the IGST on imports and half of the remaining IGST at Rs 12,098.5 crore) came to the central kitty before devolution to the states. However, this is a broader number as division of the IGST is a complicated exercise. Assuming 14 per cent growth each in 2016-17 and 2017-18 to the 2015-16 revenues of states, their tax kitty should have been Rs 43,000 crore for the month. The growth rate is taken according to a formula of compensating loss-making states. Against this, states got Rs 40,919 crore, including cess, in August.

GST collections slow down in August to Rs 90,669 crore