GST service

India's biggest indirect tax reform in the form of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has completed 1 year. A comprehensive dual GST was introduced in India from 1 July 2017.The idea of moving towards the GST was first mooted by the then Union Finance Minister in his Budget for 2006-07. The talks of ushering in GST took concrete shape with the introduction of Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014. The Bill was passed by the Parliament on 8 August 2016. This was followed by the ratification of the Bill by more than 15 states. On 12 April 2017, the Central Government enacted four GST bills:

  • Central GST (CGST) Bill
  • Integrated GST (IGST) Bill
  • Union Territory GST (UTGST) Bill
  • The GST (Compensation to States) Bill

In a short span of time, all the states approved their State GST (SGST) laws. Union territories with legislatures, i.e., Delhi and Puducherry, have adopted the SGST Act and the other 5 union territories without legislatures have adopted the UTGST Act.

The GST Council, a recommendatory body consisting of representatives of Central as well as state governments, has met on several occasions and taken important decisions relating to tax rate structure, exemptions, rules, composition scheme etc. Over the period, the Council has recommended a reduction in the tax rates of various goods and services. It is also considering the various issues faced by trade and industry and endeavoring to simplify the new tax regime and ease compliance.

On the compliance front, all registered persons have to file monthly returns in Form GSTR-3B (containing a summary of outward and inward supplies) by the 20th of the succeeding month. Additionally, an invoice-wise return of outward supplies needs to be submitted in Form GSTR-1 by the 10th of the succeeding month. Taxpayers with turnover upto INR 1.5 crores can file Form GSTR-1 on quarterly basis. The Government has suspended the requirement of filing Form GSTR-2 (containing details of inward supplies) and GSTR-3 (a consolidated statement of inward and outward supplies).

The GST Council has approved a simplified GST return format wherein the taxpayers will be required to file only one monthly return. Input tax credit will be available based on invoice details of outward supplies uploaded by the supplier. Taxpayers having turnover below INR 5 crores will have an option to file return on quarterly basis.

Under GST, there is a provision for the person in charge of a conveyance to carry electronic way bill (e-way bill) if the consignment value exceeds INR50,000. E-way bill can be generated through various modes such as web (online), Android app, SMS using Bulk Upload Tool and API-based site-to-site integration. The e-way bill system has become effective for inter-state as well as intra-state movement of goods.

GST has been a major transition in the Indian tax framework. It has evolved significantly from the time of its inception. It is expected that Government's pro-active measures and industry's active participation, will make it a truly Good and Simple Tax in the times to come.