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Arrest under GST

We discussed about the provisions of seizure under GST. While inspection, search and seizure are stringent procedures by themselves, the fact remains that if a taxable person has committed an offence which warrants a greater punishment, then he can be arrested by an officer, under the GST norms. In this blog, we will go through the provisions of arrest under GST.

Arrest under GST

The term ‘Arrest’ has not been defined in the CGST / SGST Act. However, as per the law, it basically implies the taking into custody of a person under some lawful command or authority. In other words, a person is said to be arrested when he is taken and restrained of his liberty by power or colour of lawful warrant.

If the Commissioner of CGST / SGST believes that a person has committed an offence, he can be arrested by any authorised CGST / SGST officer. The arrested person will be informed about the grounds of his GST arrest motion, and he will appear before the magistrate within a period of 24 hours, in case the offence is of a cognizable nature.

As per the arrest provisions under GST, the following officers have been empowered and are required to assist the CGST / SGST officers in the execution of an arrest under GST:

  • Police
  • Railways
  • Customs
  • Officers of State / UT / Central Government engaged in collection of GST
  • Officers of State / UT / Central Government engaged in collection of land revenue
  • All village officers
  • Any other class of officers as may be notified by the Central/State Government

Note: Here, it is important to note the difference between a cognizable and a non-cognizable offense. Cognizable offenses are those where the police can arrest a person without any arrest warrant, i.e. the offense is clear enough. Examples could be murder, robbery, counterfeiting etc. Non-cognizable offenses are those, where a police officer cannot arrest a person without a warrant issued by a competent authority. They are relatively less serious crimes like public nuisance, assault etc.

Offenses which warrant Arrest under GST

The following are the offenses, for which the arrest provisions under GST become applicable:

  • When a taxable person supplies any goods or services without any invoice or issues a false invoice
  • When a taxable person issues any invoice or bill without supply of goods / services in violation of the provisions of GST
  • When a taxable person collects GST, but does not submit it to the government within 3 months
  • When a taxable person has already been convicted earlier under the same provisions i.e. this is his 2nd offense

To sum up the offences which warrant arrests, broadly it may be said, that if tax evasion is more than INR 100 lakhs i.e. INR 1 Crore, or when a person has committed his 2nd offense (i.e. first arrest under GST has occured already), an arrest will be made.

Procedures related to Arrest under GST – Points to Note

The following are certain key procedures that you should note with regards to arrest provisions in GST:

  • Cognizance of Offense – A court cannot take cognizance of any offense punishable without the prior permission of the designated authority. Only a Magistrate of the First Class (and above) can conduct the trial for such an offense.
  • Availability of Bail – Bail is available only for non-cognizable and specified bail-able offenses.
  • Summons – A proper officer can summon any person to provide evidence or to produce a document. Any person summoned, has to either attend the summon himself, or send an authorized representative. Both entities will appear under oath.

Taking a holistic view of inspection, search, seizure and arrest under GST, it can be concluded that the government as well as the GST body have well defined arrest provisions in GST, to restrict tax evasion activities across the nation. Given the stringent nature of these offenses, which attract sizeable penalty, taxpayers would hopefully be discouraged from engaging in any illegal business practices.

Seizure under GST

We started to explore the various provisions in place which enable the officers to take action against tax evasion, namely – inspection, search, seizure and arrest. To start with, we understood all about inspection and search under GST, and all the rules in place for the same. In this blog, we will go through the provisions of seizure under GST.

Seizure under GST

The term “Seizure” has not been specifically defined under GST. In legal terms, seizure under GST implies the act of taking over something or someone by force through a legal process, such as, the seizure of evidence found at the scene of a crime. It generally means – taking possession forcibly against the wishes of the owner.

Difference between Detention and Seizure under GST

In this context, most taxable persons may be confused about the difference between detention and seizure under GST. Detention is basically the act of not allowing the owner any access to the seized goods under GST, by means of a legal order or notice. In case of a detention, the ownership and possession of goods still lie with the owner, and it is issued, only when it is suspected that the goods are liable for confiscation.

However, seizure is actually taking over or possessing the goods by the department, although the ownership stays with the owner. A seizure under GST can be made only after inquiry or investigation that the goods are liable to confiscation.

Procedure for Seizure under GST

The following are the provisions pertaining to seizure of goods under GST:

  • The proper officer will give an order of seizure of goods under GST in Form GST INS-02
  • The officer authorized to search will have the power to seal the door of the premises. He can also break open the door of any premises, in case access is denied. He can also break open any cupboard or box in which goods, books, documents etc. are suspected to be concealed
  • However, if it is not practical to seize the goods, the proper officer will order the owner not to remove these goods without the prior permission of the officer. The officer will issue an order of prohibition in Form GST INS-03
  • The officer will keep the books and documents as long as it is necessary for examination and inquiry
  • Other books which are not relevant to the issue of notice will be returned within 30 days from the date of the notice
  • The seized goods under GST can be released on a provisional basis against a bond, for the value of the goods in Form GST INS-04. The owner must also furnish a security in the form of a bank guarantee for the amount due i.e. the applicable tax, interest and penalty payable
  • If the owner fails to produce the provisionally released goods at the appointed date and place, then the security will be encashed and adjusted against the amount due
  • Provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure will apply to search and seizure of goods in GST

Post-Seizure Procedures

  • Goods – Post the seizure in GST, all the goods which have been taken into custody will be properly listed by an officer. The goods will then be divided into hazardous and non-hazardous, and also into perishable and non-perishable. The government can issue a list of hazardous or perishable goods which can be disposed as soon as they are seized. Also, post the seizure in GST, a notice is to be issued by the department. If the notice is not issued within 6 months, from the date of seizure of goods in GST, they will need to be returned. This time limit is extendable by 6 more months.
  • Documents – In case the person who is the owner of the documents, wants to make copies, he can do so in presence of the officer.

Post inspection, search and seizure under GST, if the Commissioner believes that a person has committed an offence under the requisite section of the GST Act, the concerned person can be arrested. In our next blog, we will understand the specific provisions laid down for Arrest under GST.

Mismatches between GSTR-2A & GSTR-3B

Minimize Mismatches between GSTR-2A and GSTR-3B using Tally.ERP 9

Mismatch in Input Tax Credit arising due to any difference in values between inwards supply details (furnished by businesses in their GSTR-3B) and outwards supply details uploaded by respective suppliers (available on GST portal as GSTR-2A) may lead to loss in the claimed Input Tax Credit (ITC).

Let’s look at how GSTR-3B and GSTR-2A mismatch can happen

Typically, you would have declared the consolidated value of your inward supplies in your monthly GSTR-3B returns. Your suppliers would have uploaded their sales invoices in GSTR-1, based on which your inward supplies get auto populated in GSTR-2A.

Now in case there are any discrepancies in the values of inward supplies available in GSTR-2A and inward supplies declared by you for the month in your GSTR-3B, it may lead to loss of Input Tax Credit.

Now let us understand the probable reasons for such mismatches.

Possible reasons for mismatches

  1. Your supplier has not uploaded the invoices for which you have already claimed Input Tax Credit.
  2. Values in the supplier’s invoices are not matching with values available in your books.
  3. You might have missed out recording any Purchases or Debit Notes (Purchase Returns) which resulted in reduced Input Tax Credit.

How to identify GSTR-3B and GSTR-2A mismatch

  1. Firstly, you must compare the purchases available in your books with GSTR-2A (available on GST Portal) of the respective returns period.
  2. You can manually match each purchase invoice and identify the differences or identify invoices that are not available on the GST portal or in your books.
  3. If you identify invoices whose values are either not matching or invoices are not available, connect with the respective supplier and ask him to either upload the related invoice in his latest return which is yet to be filed, or amend the invoice details at the time of filing his returns.
  4. Alternately, you can check the physical copies of respective purchase invoices and correct your purchase data, and accordingly make corrections in your latest GST returns which are yet to be filed by reversing the Input Tax Credit.

How Tally.ERP 9 eases your efforts

  1. Download GSTR-2A of the corresponding period
  2. Open Tally.ERP 9. Go to GSTR-2 Report. Load GSTR-2A into Tally.ERP 9. Within seconds, Tally.ERP 9 will show you the details of invoices which are either –
    1. Fully Matched
    2. Partially Matched: This may be due to partial match between invoices available in the books with invoices available on the GST portal.
    3. Available only in Books: This can happen if your supplier has not uploaded some invoices.
    4. Available only in Portal: This can happen if you have not recorded the transaction in your books but your supplier has uploaded the same.
  3. You can take action on the invoices which are mismatched, available only in books and available only in portal by checking with your suppliers or correcting/recording respective purchase invoices in your books.

You can download and compare GSTR-2A of previous periods with your books for all the GST returns filed for the previous periods to ensure that you have claimed the right Input Tax Credit and identify mismatch of GSTR-2A with GSTR-3B. Also, going forward, you can follow this activity for the returns of all upcoming months to reduce chances of mismatches.

Tally. ERP 9 Release 6.2 and higher versions allow you to import and match GSTR-2A. Download the latest release of Tally.ERP 9 and ensure that you get the right Input Tax Credit.

Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling under GST

It is a good time to note, that appealing against the advance ruling is a new provision in GST. The previous tax regime did not have any scope for appeal against Advance Ruling at all, and the only way to contest the ruling was by going through the Division Bench of the High Court. However, this process has been made easy by the introduction of an appeal mechanism to the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling under GST – which we will understand in this blog.

Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling Process

The following are the various provisions laid down pertaining to the procedure for advance ruling by the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling, under GST:

Initiation of Advance Ruling Procedure by AAAR

  • The initiation of the appeal to Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling can be made by the applicant or the officer who is aggrieved by any advance ruling
  • Appeal against the advance ruling of the AAR, must be made within 30 days from the date of the advance ruling issued by the AAR. However, this limit is extendable by 30 days.

Advance Ruling Forms by AAAR

  • The application for appealing against the advance ruling of the AAR, has to be made in Form GST ARA-02, along with the payment of fees of INR 10,000
  • If the appeal is made by a GST tax officer, then Form GST ARA-03 needs to be filed. However, no fees will be applicable in this case.

Advance Ruling Purview by AAAR

The AAAR can, by order, either confirm or modify the advance ruling issued by the AAR, which is appealed against. However, if the members of the AAAR, differ in opinion on any point, then an advance ruling cannot be issued.

Post the decision of the AAAR, a copy of the advance ruling signed by the members will be sent to the applicant, the prescribed or the jurisdictional CGST / SGST officer and to the initial authority that passed the Advance Ruling i.e. the AAR.

Advance Ruling Time Limit by AAAR

An advance ruling decision by the AAAR will be given within 90 days from the date of the application.

Rectification of the Advance Ruling by AAAR

The AAAR can amend its own order to rectify any apparent mistake, if the same is noticed within 6 months from the date of the original order. The rectification of the order can be done by:

  • AAAR on its own
  • Prescribed or the Jurisdictional CGST / SGCT officer
  • Applicant

However, it is to be noted that any rectification which may result in increase in tax liability or decrease in input tax credit, will be allowed only after giving a notice and an opportunity to be heard to the applicant.

Scope of the Advance Ruling by AAAR

The advance ruling decision by the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling will be binding only on the following entities:

  • Applicant
  • Jurisdictional Tax Authorities in respect of the Applicant

However, if the law or the facts of the original advance ruling change, then the advance ruling issued by the AAAR will not apply.

Nullification of the Advance Ruling by AAAR

If it is discovered, that the appellant has obtained the advance ruling by fraud or suppression of material facts, then the Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR) or the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling (AAAR) will declare the ruling to be void ab initio (from the beginning). All the provisions of GST, will then be applicable to the applicant as normal without any advance ruling – however, an opportunity of being heard will be given to the applicant, in such as case, post which advance ruling nullification may take place.

In conclusion, it can be said that the provisions of advance ruling under GST are bound to make life simpler for a taxable person who wants to gain clarity on the tax arrangements to be made for a particular transaction. However, the only area where currently a clarity is not available is – that there is no defined level of appeal beyond the 2nd level i.e. the Appellate Authority for Advance ruling. However, it may be expected that the process to appeal further should be similar to that in the previous tax system, and a taxable person who is not satisfied with the decision of the AAAR, may appeal against it, via a special dispensation to the Division Bench of the High Court.

27th GST Council Meeting Updates – Returns Simplified

27th GST Council meeting – Simplified returns

The 27th GST Council meeting introduced a simplified return filing process, major features of which are as follows:

One monthly return

All taxpayers, with a few exceptions, will have the facility to file one monthly returns, and the return filing dates will be determined in a staggered order, based on the turnover of the registered person. This has been primarily done to manage the load on the GST portal. Composition dealers and dealers with nil transactions will continue to file quarterly returns, as per the 27th GST Council meeting highlights.

Unidirectional flow of bills

There shall be a unidirectional flow of bills, i.e. bills may be uploaded by the seller anytime during the month, which will serve as valid documents to avail input tax credit for the buyer. The buyer too, will be able to see the uploaded invoices on a continuous basis, during a particular month. There will be no need to upload any purchase invoices as per the model suggested initially. Also, for all B2B transactions, HSN codes of 4 digits or more will need to be specified to achieve uniformity in the reporting system, as per the 27th GST Council highlights.

Simpler returns design

B2B dealers will need to fill invoice wise details of all outward supplies made by them, based on which the system will automatically calculate their tax liability. Similarly, their input tax credit will be calculated automatically by the system based on the invoices uploaded by their sellers. All this will be supported by a user-friendly interface coupled with an offline tool to upload invoices. Another major aspect of simplifying the returns process introduced by the 27th GST Council meeting was, the reduction in the content or the information required to be filled in the return forms. The details of the design of the return form, business processes and legal changes will be worked out by the appointed law committee based on these principles, as per the 27th GST Council updates.

No automatic reversal of ITC

There shall not be any automatic reversal of input tax credit from the buyer, in case the seller does not pay the tax, as was the case earlier. In case the seller defaults on the payment of tax, the recovery shall be made from the seller itself. However, as per the 27thGST Council recommendations, the option of reversal of ITC from the buyer shall also be an option available to the GST authorities, to address exceptional scenarios, such as, missing dealers, closure of business by the supplier, supplier not having adequate assets etc.

Online process for recovery and reversal

The recovery of tax or reversal of ITC shall be done through an online and automated process to reduce the human interface. The process will continue to follow the due course of issuing a notice and order, as per the updates from 27th GST Council meeting.

Supplier side control

In case a supplier has defaulted in payment of tax above a threshold amount, such a supplier will not be allowed to upload invoices and thus will not be allowed to avail any ITC. This has been introduced to avoid and to control misuse of the ITC facility. Similar safeguarding provisions have now been built in for newly registered dealers as well as per the 27th GST Council meeting updates. The GST Council has proposed setting up analytical tools to identify such transactions at the earliest, so that loss in revenue may be prevented.

Three stage transition

The following 3 stage transition to the new returns filing system was decided upon at the 27th GST Council meet:

  • Stage 1 – Present system of filing GSTR 3B and GSTR 1 returns. GSTR 2 and GSTR 3 will remain suspended. This will continue for a maximum of 6 months, by which the new return filing software will be ready.
  • Stage 2 – New return system will go live, with the facility for invoice – wise data upload and also facility for claiming ITC on a self-declaration basis, similar to the role of GSTR 3B currently. During this stage, the dealer will be constantly fed with information about the existing gap between ITC available, and provisional ITC being claimed.
  • Stage 3 – Provisional credit will get withdrawn totally, and ITC will be limited only to the invoices uploaded by the sellers from whom the dealer has purchased goods.

GST Rates discussed at the 27th GST Council meeting

While there were no GST rate changes announced as such at the 27th GST Council meeting, there was a good deal of discussion on the following two aspects:

  • Reduction of GST rates for digital transactions – Keeping in mind the need to move towards a less cash economy, the GST Council discussed a proposal to have a concession of 2% in the GST rate i.e. 1% each for CGST and SGST, for all B2C supplies in which payments are done via cheque or via digital mode. This was proposed in all cases where the overall GST rate is more than 3%, with a ceiling of INR 100 per transaction. The GST Council has recommended to set up a Group of Ministers from the State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, before the next GST Council meeting, as suggested by the 27th GST Council meeting news.
  • Sugar Cess over and above 5% GST and reduction in GST rates of ethanol – Keeping in mind, the record production of sugar in the current sugar season, and the consequent reduction in sugar prices, the GST Council discussed imposing a sugar cess over and above the stipulated 5% GST rate and also considered reducing the GST rate on ethanol. The proposal has come from the food ministry, which has been mulling cutting down the GST rates on ethanol to help sugar mills clear dues worth INR 19,000 crore to sugarcane farmers. However, a conclusion could not be reached, and the GST Council finally recommended to set up a Group of Ministers from the State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, within a period of 2 weeks, as per the 27th GST Council news.

GSTN changes finalised at the 27th GST Council meeting

The GSTN, as one may be aware, was created as a private limited, non-profit company, with an objective to provide shared IT infrastructure and services to Centre and State governments, tax payers and other stakeholders for the implementation of GST. Currently, the Central government and State governments are holding 24.5% equity shares respectively and the remaining 51% are held by 5 non-governmental institutions namely – HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Co and LIC Housing Finance Ltd. Majority of the GST processes including registration, return filing, tax payment, refunds processing are largely IT driven, and thus it was a given that the GSTN was handling large scale invoice level data of lakhs of business entities.

Considering the nature of the functions handled by GSTN, the GST Council felt that the GSTN should be converted into a fully owned government company.

Keeping this in mind, it was decided at the 27th GST Council meeting, that the 51% held by the non-governmental institutions, worth INR 5.1 Crore, was decided to be distributed equally among the Centre and the State governments, thus taking the respective share of both bodies to 50% each. It was also decided that the GSTN board will be allowed to retain the existing staff at the existing terms and conditions for a period of up to 5 years, and shall also have the flexibility to hire people through contract on the terms and conditions similar to those used by GSTN till now, while hiring regular employees. Nevertheless, the existing financial commitments given by the Centre and the States to GSTN to share the capital costs and O&M costs of the IT systems will continue as before.

In short, the 27th GST Council meeting was a major game changer, as far as the simplified return filing process is concerned. Given the various initiatives discussed, proposed and finalised at the meeting, life for the business is surely bound to become simpler as far as GST compliance is concerned.

How Tally.ERP 9 Helps Tax Consultants to Generate E-way Bills

As a tax consultant, you deal with different types of clients. For some, you provide end-to-end accounting services, while for others you must be providing services up to the extent of filing GST returns. More recently, you must have come across requests to generate and manage e-Way Bills as well from those clients to whom you provide end-to-end services.

As part of GST compliance, Tally.ERP 9 can be used to manage e-Way Bills efficiently. In this blogpost, we would like to highlight how Tally.ERP 9 can be best used to your advantage for managing e-Way Bills for all your clients easily.

Avoid repetitive work while generating e-Way Bills

Clients for whom you provide end-to-end services request you to generate e-Way Bills on a continuous basis. How will you execute these requests?

One way to do this is to visit the e-Way Bill portal, provide invoice level details and transportation level details, and generate e-Way Bills.

However, in this method, you will end up spending twice the effort. Firstly, you have to provide all the details on the portal. Secondly, you have to enter these details again in your accounting software for the purpose of bookkeeping and compliance.

Another way to generate e-Way Bills is to directly record the sales entry in Tally.ERP 9. While recording the entry, you can also provide additional details that are required to generate e-Way Bills. The transaction entry can be exported as a JSON file and uploaded on the e-Way Bill portal. The portal will generate your client’s e-Way Bill. Not only for sales, you can generate e-Way Bills even for purchases and sales returns using Tally.ERP 9.

By using Tally.ERP 9, you are avoiding the repetitive activity of entering same information twice.
You get to save time and ensure that the records reflect the same values as in the transaction information used for generating e-Way Bills. This reduces the chances of manual errors as well.

Identify transactions for generating consolidated e-Way Bills

If your client wants to dispatch multiple consignments in a single vehicle to the same State, then you can generate a single consolidated e-Way Bill. If the State, place of supply, vehicle number and mode of transport are the same, then you can generate e-Way Bills for each of the invoices individually, then combine these e-Way Bills to finally generate a single consolidated e-Way Bill with Tally.ERP 9.

Tally.ERP 9 makes it even easier for you. It groups invoices based on the criteria mentioned above so that you don’t have to manually select the invoices. A consolidated bill eases the life of the transporter.

Generate e-Way Bills faster for multiple invoices

Suppose you get request to generate 10 e-Way Bills from a client. It sure is a big hassle to export data of each and every invoice in JSON format and upload them individually to the portal for generating e-Way Bills.

Tally.ERP 9 makes this easier. You can export the data of all the invoices together in a single JSON file and upload the file to the e-Way Bill portal for generating e-Way Bills. This saves your time significantly and once again helps avoid manual errors.

We have taken you through the key advantages of using Tally.ERP 9 to generate and manage e-Way Bills. As a tax consultant, you need to save time, avoid repetitive work and manual errors. If you haven’t explored Tally to generate e-Way Bills, upgrade to Release 6.4.1 and start enjoying the benefits. You will discover some more advantages in your favour. Please do share your feedback with us.

Liability for GST – Transfers, Mergers & Liquidation

In our previous blog, we had studied about various provisions which defined the liability to pay unpaid GST for stakeholders. In this blog, we will go through certain company specific scenarios – such as transfers, mergers and liquidation – and understand how the liability for GST is worked out in such cases.

Liability for GST during transfer of business

If a taxable person transfers his business, either wholly or partly, to another person, then both the taxable person and the person to whom the business is transferred, will be have liability for GST – jointly and severally, wholly or to the extent of such a transfer, to pay the tax amount which is due, which will include tax, interest and penalties. It does not matter whether the due tax amount was determined before and after the transfer of business under GST, as long as it is unpaid.

All forms of transfer, ranging from sale, gift, lease, leave and license, hire etc. will be covered under GST liability in transfer of business.

Apart from the unpaid tax amounts, the new owner of the business will also have the liablity to pay GST from the date of transfer. If he carries on the business in a new name, which is different from the original, then he must apply for an amendment of his registration certificate, which will prevent any legal complications.

Liability in case of merger or amalgamation of companies

There could be situation where companies enter into an amalgamation or merger under GST. As per the GST provisions, if two or more companies merge or amalgamate, then they are individually have liability for GST, provided:

  • Under GST, merger or amalgamation has happened due to the order of a court or tribunal
  • Order is to take effect from a date earlier to the date of the order i.e. in retrospective effect
  • Both companies have supplied goods and / or services to each other during the period in between the order date to order effect date

It is to be noted that the merging companies will be treated as separate companies under GST till the date of the order and not the order effect date. Their registrations will stand cancelled on the date of the order.

Liability in case of company liquidation

When any company is being wound up, either under the orders of a court or Tribunal or otherwise, every person who is appointed as a receiver of any assets of that company, will need to inform the Commissioner of his appointment as a liquidator, within 30 days. Post this, the Commissioner may conduct enquiries to confirm the same, and then notify the final amount to the liquidator, which in his opinion, will be sufficient to provide for any tax, interest or penalty, which is payable by the company at that point in time. This amount will need to be communicated to the liquidator by the Commissioner within 3 months of receiving the appointment intimation.

When any private company is wound up, the scenario is little different. If, any tax, interest or penalty payable by the company for any period (whether before or in the course of or after its liquidation) cannot be recovered, then every person who was a director of the company at any time during the period for which the tax was due shall, jointly and severally, have liability for GST payment, interest or penalty. However, if he manages to prove to the Commissioner that such a non – recovery cannot be attributed to any gross neglect, misfeasance or breach of duty on his part in relation to the affairs of the company, then he may be excused from paying the due amount.

In our next blog, we will understand more about the liability to pay unpaid GST, in case of death and dissolution of the business.

How Tally.ERP 9 Simplifies Generating E-Way Bills for you?

You might have already generated e-Way Bills for your business since e-Way Bills are mandatory for interstate movement of goods in India from April 1st onwards.

An e-Way Bill has to be generated if the total of taxable value and tax amount in the invoice of goods being transported exceeds Rs. 50,000, and in few States for intrastate transactions as well.

By now, you must also be aware of the challenges involved in generating e-Way Bills. It is quite likely that you are evaluating a software to make it easy for you to generate and manage e-Way Bills, or you are already using Tally.ERP 9 to do so.

In this blogpost, we will take you through the various challenges that businesses go through on a typical day and how Tally.ERP 9 supports them by helping generate e-Way Bills in a faster and simplified way. Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4 has been launched with the purpose to make e-Way Bill generation and management easy for you.

Generating e-Way Bills faster using Tally.ERP 9

For many businesses, generating e-Way Bills is now mandatory in addition to their routine activities. Businesses need to generate e-Way Bills faster and correctly for overall efficiency.

Businesses such as distributors of machinery, electrical equipment, consumer durables, wholesalers and manufacturers who dispatch goods in bulk will find it handy to generate an e-Way Bill right at the time of creating the invoice.

Keeping this in view, at the time of creating the invoice after you have provided all the invoice level details, Tally.ERP 9 opens an additional form where you can provide transportation and other details required for generating e-Way Bill.

On the other hand, a business involved in dispatching small quantities of goods such as FMCG distributors will find it a hindrance to generate e-Way Bills for every transaction. They will prefer to generate e-Way Bills in bulk since they dispatch goods for multiple orders at the same time.

In such a case, you can disable the e-Way Bill form in Tally.ERP 9 when creating sales invoices. When you are ready to dispatch goods, you can see all the transactions for which e-Way Bills are yet to be generated. You can select them all together and export them as a single JSON file which can be uploaded on the e-Way Bill portal. The portal will generate e-Way Bills for all these invoices in a single click.

How Tally.ERP 9 helps generate e-Way bills correctly?

Errors can take place when entering data. Tally.ERP 9 has inbuilt capability to check for such errors.
In the absence of any mandatory detail such as distance, vehicle number, pin codes of consignee and consignor, and so on, Tally.ERP 9 will not allow you to export the JSON file for the purpose of generating e-Way Bill. It also checks if the GSTIN numbers and Transporter IDs of the parties are correct or not.

Due to all these inbuilt checks, the chances of your JSON file getting rejected in the e-Way Bill portal is minimized. Generation of e-Way Bills will be faster and accurately.

Be sure to not to miss e-Way bills

Typically, businesses are involved in multiple things at the same time. In a hurry, you could send the goods to your transporter without an e-Way Bill. Due to this, your consignment can get delayed and you will miss out on your promise made to customer. This situation can be avoided easily. Tally.ERP 9 ensures that all the transactions for which e-Way Bills are yet to be generated are available in one place in a single report. You will never miss generating the required e-Way Bills. Even if you have created an e-Way Bill in the portal first, you can update the respective transaction with e-Way Bill details at a later stage through this report.

How Tally.ERP 9 helps in generating consolidated e-Way bill?

If the State, place of supply, vehicle no. and mode of transport are the same, then you can group such invoices, generate their individual e-Way Bills and finally consolidate the individual e-Way Bills and generate a single consolidated e-Way Bill.

Tally.ERP 9 helps you in grouping invoices based on the above criteria, with a single click. This makes it convenient for the transporter since he can now carry just the single consolidated e-Way Bill for multiple invoices.
We have taken you through various kinds of business scenarios with respect to e-Way Bills and explained how Tally.ERP 9 handles all of them, simplifying the generation of e-Way Bills. We are eager to hear about your experiences. Download Tally.ERP 9 Release 6.4 and let e-Way Bill management make your business more efficient. Do share your experience with us.

 

Special GST Recovery Provisions

Let’s go through some such special scenarios, and the associated GST recovery provisions in detail.

Void transfer of property

As we have discussed in our previous blog, the department can seize properties belonging to the defaulter to recover the due tax amount. Sometimes, in order to avoid such seizures, the taxpayer transfers the property via sale, mortgage, exchange etc. after the amount has become due – the intention being to evade paying the tax amount which is due.

To handle such a scenario, the provisions have been laid down, which state that transfer of property will become void, whenever there is a tax amount due to be paid.

However, the transfer will not be held as void, provided:

  • Transfer has been made for an adequate consideration
  • Transfer has been made in good faith, i.e. without any intention to cause fraud
  • The taxpayer has not received any notice regarding pending tax dues or proceedings at the time of transfer
  • Prior permission of the proper officer has been obtained

Tax to be the first charge on property

As per the GST recovery provisions, any tax amount which is due, including interest and penalty, will be the first charge on the property of the defaulter, and will override all laws, except the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

For example, Manjunatha Traders owes INR 20,000 as tax due amount as well as INR 1,00,000 as loan to the bank. Manjunatha Traders has a vehicle worth INR 80,000. However, the due tax amount of INR 20,000 will be the the tax first charge on property i.e. the vehicle, post which the remaining INR 60,000 may be taken by the bank against the loan.

Provisionally attaching property to protect revenue

If at any point in time, the commissioner is of the opinion, that the government revenue is at stake, then he has the authority to provisionally attach any property of the defaulting taxpayer. Such a provisional attachment will have a validity of 1 year.

Properties are generally treated as a temporary security for the purpose of provisional attachment, especially when there is a strong suspicion that the defaulter will abscond. That is the reason why the provision has been made to include bank accounts also into such property and include them as part of provisional attachment of property to protect revenue.

Appeal and Revisions

If the taxpayer files for an appeal or revision against the notice of demand received, then either of the following can occur, as far as the decision is concerned:

  • Due Amount is Increased – In this case, the commissioner will serve another notice of demand for the difference amount. The old amount will anyway be covered by the notice issued earlier.
  • Due Amount is Decreased – In this case, the commissioner will inform the taxpayer about the reduction, and also apprise the authority with whom the recovery proceeding under GST is pending. No new notice will be issued in this case.

Thus, it is important for businesses to not only be aware of the demand provisions, but also the GST recovery provisions, so that a clear clarity exists between what is deemed legal and what is deemed illegal. However, there are certain scenarios – such as transfer of business, mergers, demergers, liquidation etc., which can make recovery of GST a tricky situation for the department. In our next blog, we will go through the provisions in place to determine liability in the case of certain business cases.

10 Year end Tax Planning Tips

Year-end is always a crucial period for most businesses. Most businesses will undergo a time-crunch, primarily because they need to close the books of the current financial year, and prepare themselves to start afresh from the new financial year. However, March 31st, 2018 will be more hectic compared to previous year-ends which a business would have faced, because this is the first year end in the GST era. Needless to say, the role of a tax consultant, or a tax return preparer, will become all the more important – since apart from the usual year end practices, they will also need to guide their clients for a few additional things, as they help them to file the last returns and close the books of accounts. In this blog, we will attempt to list out 10 year end tax planning tips, you can tell your client, if you are a tax consultant.

10 year end tax planning tips for your clients

  • Books of Accounts – Books of Accounts should be finalized for two different periods – one pre-GST and one post-GST. Thus one finalization will be from the period 1st April, 2017 to 30th June, 2017, and another finalization will be from the period 1st July, 2017 to 31st March, 2018. Books of Accounts will thus need to be carefully closed.
  • Transitional Credit – The department is going to scrutinize all the cases of Transitional credits of old taxes paid in the previous tax regime, while migrating to the GST regime. The taxpayer who has claimed transitional credit, should ensure that the following activities are completed, as part of year end tax planning:
    • Maintain copy of 6 months returns – From Jan 2017 to June 2017
    • Maintain copy of GST TRAN 1 – while ensuring that the stock as per GST TRAN 1 is matching with the finalized books of accounts i.e. stock as on 30th June, 2017
    • Maintain certified copy of invoices with tax paid bills
    • Maintain certified copy of Stock Summary
    • Check and file GST TRAN 2 before 31st March, 2018, for claiming transitional credit against the sale of stock for which tax paid documents are not available
  • Verification of Purchases – Although Form GSTR 2 has been deferred for the time being, a business can still see the Form GSTR 2A in the GST portal. From the same form, one can take a stock of monthly purchases from made from registered dealers, and verify the same with records of purchases in the books. Doing this will allow businesses to take the necessary steps to reconcile the books properly, as part of year end tax planning.
  • Reconciliation – This would be the right time to reconcile sales and purchases as well as the GST tax liability along with the Form GSTR 3B returns. If there are any differences, the same should be brought into the Form GSTR 3B of March 2018. One should thus reconcile the cash ledger, credit ledger and liability ledger, with the books of accounts, and ensure that all entries are completed before the year ends. At the same time, debit notes, credit notes, rate differences, discounts etc. also have to be accounted for, and the effect of these have to reflect in the returns being filed.
  • Reversal of ITC – As per the Input Tax Credit rules, if the recipient does not make full payment within 180 days of the issuance of the tax invoice, then the ITC taken on that invoice is to be reversed. The ITC will be made available again, only when the payment is made. Thus ageing analysis of the debtors and creditors should be done, and all old invoices which have been issued before 1st October, 2017 should be paid before 31st of March, 2018.
  • GST Turnover Check – Before the new-year starts, taxpayers will need to check their annual GST turnover in FY 2017-18. The turnover under GST, will be an integral part of year end tax planning for the business in FY 2018-19, which are as follows:
    • How many digits should HSN Code have in Invoice? – Taxpayers whose turnover is above INR 1.5 Crores but below INR 5 Crores shall use 2 digit codes and the taxpayers whose turnover is above INR 5 Crores will need to use 4 digit codes. Also, taxpayers whose turnover is below INR 1.5 Crores are not required to mention HSN codes in their invoice at all.
    • Whether to file Monthly or Quarterly GSTR 1 Returns? – Taxpayers whose turnover is above INR 1.5 Crores will have to file monthly GSTR 1 returns, while those taxpayers whose aggregate turnover is less than INR 1.5 Crores will have an option to file quarterly GSTR 1 returns.
    • Whether to go for Composition Scheme? –In Special Category States the turnover limit for Composition Scheme is 75 lakhs, whereas in Rest of India the limit is INR 1.5 Crores. Depending on the turnover, a business may decide to go for Composition Scheme in the new financial year, in which case he will need to apply for the same in Form GST CMP 02 before 31st March, 2018. Similarly, all those who wants to cancel the registration under composition scheme will have to apply for the same in Form GST CMP 04 before 7th April.
    • Cancellation of Registration – In the unlikely scenario, that a business who had taken voluntary registration under GST, does not want to continue, either because of lower turnover or closure of business, they can apply to cancel their registration
  • New Series for Tax Invoice – If anyone wants to change the series for invoicing or billing in the new year, then he can do that from 1st April, 2018.
  • Depreciation on Capital Assets – If ITC has been claimed on the purchase of fixed assets, or capital assets, then a business should not include the same in the cost of the asset, while calculating the value of depreciating assets.
  • Anti-profiteering – As per the directives of the government and the GST Council, businesses are to compare the Gross Profits for the FY 2016-17, FY 17-18 and for the periods April 2017 to June 2017 and July 2017 to March 2018. If the gross profit ratio for March 2018 is higher, then a business will need to check whether the credit for the profit has been passed on to the customer or not.
  • Important Return Filing Dates – There are various important return filing dates in April and May which businesses need to be aware of:
    • 10th April – Monthly GSTR 1 to be filled by Regular Dealer for February 2018
    • 18th April – GSTR 4 to be filled by Composition Dealer for Jan to March 2018
    • 20th April – GSTR 3B to be filled by for March 2018
    • 30th April – Quarterly GSTR 1 to be filed by Regular Dealer for Jan to March 2018
    • 10th May – Monthly GSTR 1 to be filled by Regular Dealer for March 2018

Last but not the least, the e-way bill is going to be rolled out from the 1st of April, 2018. Besides all the important activities listed above for year end tax planning, tax consultants will also need to guide their clients to successfully use the right technology to generate e-way bills, and navigate the e-way bill portal without hassle, to ensure a smooth movement of goods both within and between States.

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