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GST Council hikes tax on caffeinated beverages, cuts rates on hotel tariffs. (October 7, 2019)


PANAJI:
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council has cut taxes on hotel accommodation, outdoor catering, cut and polished semi-precious stones and lowered cess on passenger vehicles of up to 4,000-mm length carrying 10-13 people, but left the rates unchanged for larger automobiles and biscuits.

The council also removed the requirement to file returns for two years for small taxpayers, and raised the producer levy on caffeinated beverages to 28% from 18% now while also imposing a cess on it.

“Several decisions have been taken with the broader principle of making the economy more vibrant,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is also the chairman of the GST Council, said after an eight-hour meeting on Friday in Goa. The new tax rates come into effect from October 1, she said.

Three government officials attending the meeting said the proposal to cut GST rates on automobiles in general and biscuits was not discussed. The council accepted the suggestion of the fitment committee, one of the officials said. The issue of tax rates on lotteries has again been referred back to the group of ministers.

Sitharaman said the council had taken steps to promote hospitality and tourism. She said this was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Red Fort speech to accord priority to the tourism industry.

The council rejigged tax rates for hotels to help achieve the targeted expansion in the tourism industry. Hotels with room tariffs of up to Rs 1,000 need not pay any GST. For those with tariffs of Rs 1,001-7,500, the tax will be 12%, and for those offering rooms at more than Rs 7,500 a night, the levy will be 18%.

The council not only reduced the rates, but also rejigged the slabs. Earlier, room tariffs of Rs 1,001-2,500 attracted a rate of 12%; Rs 2,500-7,500 attracted an 18% rate, and those costing above Rs 7,500 paid tax at 28%. Outdoor catering will now pay 5% in taxes instead of 18%.

“Reduction in tax from the peak rate of 28% to 18% for hotels having tariff of more than Rs 7,500 and from 18% to 12% for hotels having tariff less than Rs 7,500 should give a boost to the tourism industry,” said Pratik Jain, national indirect taxes leader, PwC.

However, from a policy standpoint, it is better to not link the rate of tax with price points, Jain said. The GST council also cut the tax rate on job work for engineering services to 12% from 18% and on diamond supply to 1.5% from 5%.

TIn a relief for the IT and ITeS sectors, the council has approved exemptions on outsourcing. It has exempted pharma companies that carry out specific research and development for foreign companies from GST.

“The call has been taken for simplification,” Sitharaman said. The council raised tax on caffeinated beverages to 28% from 12% now and imposed a 12% cess. GST was also increased on railway wagons to 12% from 5% to address the issue of accumulation of input tax credit. It also restricted the refund of compensation cess on tobacco.

With the GST on caffeinated drinks up to 28% from 18%, prices of Red Bull, Coca-Cola’s Monster and Thums Up Charged, and PepsiCo’s Sting could increase increme ..

Thums Up Charged, launched mid-2018, has about 150 parts per million caffeine content, double that of the original variant, and it would be the most affected by the GST increase, the official said. In a major relief on the compliance front, the council allowed waiver from filing of return to small and medium enterprises, with an annual turnover of up to Rs 2 crore, under the composition scheme. It also deferred the implementation of the new return form to April 1, 2020.

“The annual return compliance waiver until Rs 2 crore turnover would be quite an aid from an ease of compliance perspective for small businesses,” said Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY. Sitharaman said the council has also asked the group of ministers to meet soon.


One Nation-One Card : All you need to know about ATM (July 6, 2019)


New Delhi, July 06: In the Budget speech on July 05, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hailed the benefits that were provided by 'One Nation-One Card' .

The National Transport Card (NTC) is based on India's first indigenous payment ecosystem for transport and is based on National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) standards, launched in March 2019. The indigenously-developed card runs on Rupay. It is issued by banks on debit/credit/pre-paid card basis.

"The NCMC standard developed is an inter-operable transport card that allows holders to pay for their bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and withdraw cash," the finance minister said while dubbing the system as 'One Nation One Card'.

This new card will enable the holders to make payment for various kinds of transport charges across India such as toll taxes as well as metro services.

This way, the card will offer special convenience to those who rely on various modes of transportation for their daily commutation. Besides this, the NTC will also allow a user to make day to day retail payments.

Here are the key point you need to know about the 'One Nation One Card':

The ATM like card could be used for payment across all segments that include retail shopping, smart city, metro, bus and suburban railways.

It will be similar to any RuPay debit/credit card, that will be available for more than 25 banks.

It will offer 5 per cent cashback via ATMs as well as 10 per cent cashback at merchant outlets while travelling outside India.

The card can be used for making payments across all segments including metro, bus, suburban railways, smart city and retail shopping.

The card can also be used for paying at toll plazas and for parking.

The card offers cashback on bill payments and more than thousand other offers.

The card will be supported by Swagat, which is an indigenously developed Automatic Fare Collection Gate and Sweekar that is an Open Loop Automatic Fare Collection System that were both launched by PM Modi on 4th March.


New income tax rules with tougher penalty (June 22, 2019)

Under the revised guidelines of the Income Tax department, those indulging in serious offences under black money and benami laws will not be able to get away just by paying a penalty. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex direct tax policy making body, has issued a revised 32-page guideline for compounding of offences under direct tax laws, 2019. The new tougher tax laws came into effect from this Monday. Here are 10 things to know about the new income tax rules:

1.  Earlier, taxpayers were able to settle cases of tax evasion earlier by just paying the tax demand, penalty and interest.

2.  Earlier, taxpayers were able to settle cases of tax evasion earlier by just paying the tax demand, penalty and interest.

3.  The Income Tax department may allow compounding keeping in mind factors such as conduct of the offender, the nature and magnitude of the offence in the context of the facts and circumstances of each case.

4.  Offences under serious criminal cases of money laundering, terror financing, corruption, possession of benami properties and undisclosed foreign assets will be "generally" non-compoundable, according to the revised CBDT guidelines.

5.  The fresh guidelines also mentions offences related to anti-national or terrorist activity or those being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (for offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, CBI (IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act), Lokpal, Lokayukta or any other central or state agency like the local police will also be non-compoundable "generally".

6.  The CBDT has listed 13 cases where the offences are not to be generally compounded.

7.  The Union Finance Minister will be sole authority to relax these guidelines in a "deserving case" after obtaining a report from the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).

8.  Cases in which the person seeking compounding of an offence under the I-T Act was convicted by a court for two years or more will fall under the no compounding category.

9.  Offences under Sections 275A, 275B and 276 of the Act will not be compounded.

10. Said the new guidelines, the new guideline that supersedes the one issued in 2014, are aimed to streamline the action against serious cases of black money and criminal tax evasion.


RTGS-NEFT पर नहीं लगेगा कोई शुल्क, जानिए अभी क्या लगता है चार्ज (June 11, 2019)

RBI (भारतीय रिजर्व बैंक) ने RTGS और NEFT पर बैंको की ओर से वसूले जाने वाले चार्जेस को पूरी तरह से खत्म करने का फैसला किया है। RBI ने बैंकों से कहा है कि वह इसका फायदा जल्द से जल्द ग्राहकों को देना सुनिश्चित करे। इसके अलावा एटीएम लेनदेन पर लगने वाले शुल्क की समीक्षा के लिए भी एक समिति का गठन किया गया है।

फिलहाल एसबीआई की ओर से लिया जाता है कितना चार्ज जानिए

NEFT चार्ज

  1. अमाउंट इंटरनेट बैंकिंग चार्जेज बैंक से लेनदेन चार्ज
  2. 10000 रुपये तक 1 रु प्लस GST 2.50 रु प्लस GST
  3. 10000 से 1 लाख रु तक 2 रु प्लस GST 5 रु प्लस GST
  4. 1 लाख से 2 लाख तक 3 रु प्लस GST 15 रु प्लस GST
  5. 2 लाख से ज्यादा 5 रु प्लस GST 25 रुपये प्लस GST

RTGS चार्ज

  1. 2 लाख से 5 लाख तक 5 रु प्लस GST 25 रु प्लस GST
  2. 5 लाख से ज्यादा 10 रु प्लस GST 50 रु प्लस GST
  3. RTGS की समय सीमा बढ़ी
  4. पिछले दिनों RBI ने रियल टाइम ग्रॉस सेटलमेंट (RTGS) के जरिए पैसे भेजने का समय डेढ घंटे बढ़ाकर शाम 6 बजे तक करने का फैसला किया था। यह नई व्यवस्था 1 जून से प्रभावी हो गई है।

क्या है आरटीजीएस

आरटीजीएस यानी रियल टाइम ग्रॉस सेटलमेंट वह प्रणाली है जिसके माध्यम से मनी ट्रांसफर का कार्य रियल टाइम में ही तुरंत हो जाता है। इससे व्यक्तिगत खाताधारकों या समूह में ग्राहकों को फंड ट्रांसफर किया जा सकता है। यह सिस्टम मुख्यत: बड़ी राशि के ट्रांजेक्शन के लिए प्रयोग होता है। इसके माध्यम से न्यूनतम 2,00,000 रुपये का ट्रांजेक्शन किया जा सकता है, वहीं ट्रांजेक्शन के लिए अधिकतम राशि की कोई सीमा नहीं है।

NEFT भी है लोकप्रिय माध्यम

आरटीजीएस के अलावा मनी ट्रांजेक्शन का एक अन्य लोकप्रिय माध्यम नेशनल इलेक्ट्रॉनिक फंड ट्रांसफर (NEFT) भी है। इसकी सबसे खास बात यह है कि, इसमें न्यूनतम और अधिकतम रुपयों की कोई सीमा नहीं है। इसकी कमी यह है कि, इसमें फंड ट्रांसफर एक निर्धारित समय पर ही होता है।


Govt probes income tax returns and GST claims (June 3, 2019)


The government is all set to take action against tax and money laundering with the help of data analysis to detect overstated goods and services tax (GST) claims that do not match up with income tax returns (ITR). The action against these entities is being launched with notices being sent out.

This cleanup operation is followed by the past exercise where potential shell firms were identified and their directors were found fake. Most of these firms were struck off, according to a ToI report.

Officials told the national publication that this is the first time when the government is matching income tax of taxpayers and GST returns.

The initial findings indicated the overstatement of GST claims and understatement of ITR. However, the action against these entities might get stringent as recently Supreme Court (SC) refused to protect the GST violators from the arrest. In the coming months, the revenue department's core focus is seen to be on data analytics as some of the analysis has hinted at discrepancy on the customs front.

For instance, in order to claim exports, some traders have shown inflated imports and remitted the funds overseas beyond the requirement. But these exports proceeds are not reflected in their ITRs, as reported by ToI. The national daily cited an official as saying, "So far, various tax agencies were working in silos but now it’s possible to tally data and go after evaders." Based on preliminary data mapping, thousands of companies were identified, he further added.

The tax authorities have complained of leakages in GST but the state and the Centre's political leadership demanded more time for the new tax regime to settle down. Now that polls are over, in several cases arrests have begun where Manpasand Beverages is a prime example. Shell companies are used to make bogus claims. The tax officials have come across instances where drivers, gardeners or even slum-dwellers were found as directors of these companies.

In fact, authorities have identified such cases where the slum-dwellers have been made to fill the form to join a delivery service and details like Aadhaar numbers were collected. After that, this information was used to open bank accounts and set up companies.


Nirmala Sitharaman gets Finance Ministry (June 2, 2019)

Nirmala Sitharaman, who served as the Defence Minister in the Narendra Modi government from September 2017 to May 2019, has been appointed as the new finance minister. Nirmala Sitharaman is the first woman finance minister though Indira Gandhi held the finance portfolio when she was the prime minister in 1970-71.

Nirmala Sitharaman would step into the shoes of Arun Jaitley who opted out of new government on health grounds. She will have a deputy in Anurag Thakur, a first time minister in the Modi government.

The Finance and Corporate Affairs ministry has now been given to Nirmala Sitharaman. Nirmala Sitharaman was the first woman to be appointed full-time Defence Minister of India in September 2017.

Sixty-year-old Nirmala Sitharaman, a Rajya Sabha member, is the second woman to take charge of the crucial ministry after Indira Gandhi who as the Prime Minister also held the portfolio in the seventies.


GST revenue collection jumps over Rs 1 lakh crore in May 2019 (June 1, 2019)


The total GST revenue collection jumped more than Rs 1 lakh crore in the month of May 2019, the government said on Saturday, June 1, 2019. "​The total gross GST revenue collected in the month of May 2019 is Rs 1,00,289 crore of which CGST is Rs 17,811 crore, SGST is Rs 24,462 crore, IGST is Rs 49,891 crore (including Rs 24,875 crore collected on imports) and Cess is Rs 8,125 crore (including Rs 953 crore collected on imports)," government stated.

The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of April up to May 31, 2019, increased marginally to Rs 72.45 lakh as compared to 72.14 lakh for the month of March up to April 30, 2019. Notably, May 2019, is the third straight month in which the GST collections have surged over Rs 1 lakh crore.

The government has settled Rs 18,098 crore to CGST and Rs 14,438 crore to SGST from IGST as regular settlement. The total revenue earned by Central Government and the State Governments after regular settlement in the month of May 2019 is Rs 35,909 crore for CGST and Rs 38,900 crore for the SGST.

The GST collections of Rs 1,00,289 crore in May 2019 is 6.67 per cent higher than the GST collections in May 2018. Earlier last year, the government collected total revenue of Rs 94,016 crore from GST. The revenue in May 2019 is 2.21 per cent higher than the monthly average of GST revenue in FY 2018-19, which stands at Rs 98,114 crore.

A cumulative amount of Rs 18,934 crore has been released to the states as GST compensation for the months of February-March, 2019.

Earlier last month, the GST revenue collections surged beyond Rs 1.1 lakh crore. For April 2019, the government collected a record high revenue of more than 1.13 lakh crore, up by 10 per cent over the collection in the year-ago period. The record high GST mop-up was possible due to the anti-evasion steps taken by income tax officers.


Due dates for filing GSTR-1, GSTR-3B and GSTR-4 have been extended in those places which were affected by cyclones Titli and Gaza: (November 28, 2018)

Sl. no.Return/FormExtended due dateTaxpayers eligible for extension
1Form GSTR-3B for September 2018 and October 201830th November 2018Taxpayers whose principal place of business is in the district of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh
2Form GSTR-3B for October 201820th December 2018Taxpayers whose principal place of business is in 11 districts of Tamil Nadu*
3Form GSTR-1 for September 2018 and October 201830th November 2018Taxpayers having aggregate turnover more than Rs.1.5 crore and whose principal place of business is in the district of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh
4Form GSTR-1 for October 201820th December 2018Taxpayers having aggregate turnover more than Rs. 1.5 crore and whose principal place of business is in the 11 districts of Tamil Nadu*
5Form GSTR-1 for the quarter July 2018 to September 201830th November 2018Taxpayers having aggregate turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore and whose principal place of business is in the district of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh
6Form GSTR-4 for the quarter July 2018 to September 201830th November 2018Taxpayers registered under Composition scheme, whose principal place of business is in the district of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh
7Form GSTR-7 for the month of October 201831st January 2019All taxpayers


What is the problem with current tax arrangement (June 3, 2017)

There are two important problems with the current arrangement. First, keep in mind that some good such as a shirt has to first be manufactured before it is consumed. The central government,...


Major changes in proposed GST bill in Lok sabha (June 2, 2017)

1.    Non-Applicability of GST Law in the State of Jammu and Kashmir:

Earlier the GST Law was proposed to be applicable to J&K as well.However, in the Bill, the applicability of GST Law is extended to whole of India except the state of J&K.

2.    Change in the Scope of Taxable Event i.e. Supply:


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