CBDT chairman, Sushil Chandra has directed all Principal Chief Commissioners of Income tax to step up efforts to maximise tax collections. The growth in direct tax collections has been slow and unsatisfactory. The CBDT chief suggested targeted surveys, sale of attached properties by tax recovery officers to recover confirmed demand and filing prosecution complaints in courts against wilful defaulters who are evading payment of outstanding taxes. The taxmen have also been asked to verify advance tax payments and timely complete regular assessments in cases where demand is likely to be raised and collected during the current fiscal.
According to a recent directive by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), consumers will have to shell out more to buy cars priced above Rs 10 lakh. The CBIC clarified that GST will be payable on the taxable value comprising of the invoice value and tax collected at source (TCS) by the supplier from the buyer. TCS is applicable on automobiles priced above Rs 10 lakh at the rate of 1%. The buyer is entitled to claim credit of TCS paid under income tax law. The directive will also impact the telecom, minerals and coal sectors.
Raids are being conducted at the offices of Saravana Bhavan, Hot Breads, the Anjappar group and two groups of Grand Sweets in Chennai. Searches are underway at 32 locations in the city, including the homes and offices of the directors of the restaurant groups. Income Tax department officials said the searches are being done following complaints of alleged tax evasion.
GST on under-construction property currently is 12%, while no GST is being charged on completed properties wherein completion certificate has been issued. Currently businesses with a turnover of up to Rs 20 lakh are exempted from GST. The GST council is slated to meet on January 10, 2019 to decide on lowering GST on under-construction flats and houses to 5% and hiking exemption threshold for small and medium enterprises to Rs 75 lakh.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has notified the waiver of late fees for non-filing of GSTR-3B, GSTR-1 and GSTR-4 return forms for the period July 2017 to September 2018. However the returns will have to be filed by March 31, 2019. While GSTR-3B is the summary return, GSTR-1 is the return for all outward supplies. GSTR-4 is filed by businesses who have opted for composition scheme, under which they have to file returns quarterly. The fee for late filing of the returns is Rs 25 per day each for Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST).
The GST Council is expected to provide a slew of relief measures to the SME sector and further ease the compliance burden. The Council is expected to meet by mid-January to discuss proposals such as increasing the exemption threshold from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 75 lakh. PM Narendra Modi in a recent interview said that besides raising the exemption threshold, the government is also mulling to cut the GST rate on under-construction flats from 12% to 5% and providing a concessional tax scheme for the small service providers. Raising the proposed threshold could cost government Rs 800-1400 crore.
GST collection for the month of December 2018 was Rs 94,726 crores as compared to Rs 97,637 crores in November 2018. The total number of sales returns or GSTR-3B filed till 30 December 2018, is 72.44 lakh, the finance ministry said in a statement. The GST collection stood at Rs 1.03 trillion in April, Rs 94,016 crore in May, Rs 95,610 crore in June, Rs 96,483 crore in July, Rs 93,960 crore in August, Rs 94,442 crore in September and Rs 100,710 crore in October.
The Solar Power Developer Association (SPDA) has demanded a uniform GST rate of 5% on solar power generating system (SPGS) in line with the government policy of promoting renewable energy. The GST rate on SPGS would work out to be 8.9% after the recent recommendation by the GST Council to tax 70% of the gross contract value at 5% as the value of supply of goods and the remaining 30% at 18% as the value of supply of taxable services. The government has set a target of 175GW of renewable power by 2022 which includes 100GW of solar power.
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that the income tax department seized assets worth Rs 992.52 crore while 582 search and seizure operations were conducted during 2017-18. The values of assets seized during 2016-17 was Rs 1,469.62 crore while the total number of search and seizure operations stood at 1,152. Shukla said the direct tax-GDP ratio improved to 5.98% in 2017-18, from 5.57% in 2016-17.
Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla informed the Parliament on Friday that GST evasion of Rs 38,896 crore was detected in 6,585 cases during the April-October period of current fiscal. While service tax evasion of Rs 26,108.43 crore was detected in 3,922 cases, central excise evasion totalled Rs 3,028.58 crore in 398 cases during the same period. The total amount of evasion in indirect taxes (GST, service tax, excise and customs) during April-October period added up to about Rs 75,000 crore.
Deputy Bihar CM, Sushil Modi, informed that the group of state finance ministers may recommend to raise the GST turnover exemption limit from the present Rs 20 lakh to Rs 75 lakh. This could potentially offer relief to several SMEs. He also said that a composition scheme could be made available for small services providers as well. The annual revenue limit for the composition scheme could be between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 1 crore. 25% of the registered firms in India have turnover between Rs 20 lakh to 1 crore but contribute only 5% to the GST revenues.