GST e-waybills for intrastate goods in phases from Apr 15; for interstate goods from Apr 1

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley flanked by MoS for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla and Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia at the 26th meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI Picture

New Delhi, Mar. 10 (Agencies): The GST Council on Saturday decided to introduce electronically-generated waybills for interstate movement of goods from April 1, and for intrastate movement from April 15.

But member-states failed to agree on how to make it simpler for businesses to file tax returns in the new goods and services tax (GST) regime.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said tax officials from the Centre and states wanted the returns to be simple without having loopholes that allow tax evasion.

”The Council felt that there should be a single return every month, it should be simple, not prone to evasion and (there was a need to discuss) how to simplify it further. So no decision was taken today,” he told reporters after the council’s meeting.

Apart from the Union finance minister and the revenue minister, the GST Council has a minister nominated by each state.

The existing system has been extended by three months, and a group of ministers will work on a model to simplify the returns.

Businesses will continue to file summary sales returns GSTR-3B and final sales return GSTR-1 till June.

E-way bills for intrastate movement will be introduced in phases from April 15, keeping in mind the collapse of the system after it was introduced on February 1 for the first time.

For this, the states would be divided into four groups, and the first will be named on April 7, so that they can begin using it from April 15.

All the states will have the system in place by June 1.

The government hopes to prevent tax evasion and check cash deals by using electronically generated waybills, which are documents that describe the goods being transported and identify the consignor and consignee, among other things.

E-waybills will be required only for consignments worth over Rs 50,000.

The GST Council also decided to implement e-wallet scheme for giving refunds to exporters under GST by October 1, 2018; the date till which exporters can continue to claim tax exemptions given by the Council in its October 6 meeting.

Accordingly, merchant exporters can pay a tax at the rate of 0.1 per cent on goods procured for export purposes and obtain a refund for the same.

Also, domestic procurement made under Advance Authorisation, Export Promotion (Capital Goods) Scheme and Export Orient Unit Scheme are being recognised as 'deemed exports' with flexibility for either the suppliers or the exporters being able to claim a refund of GST/IGST paid thereon.

The Council also suspended till June 30 the provision for tax deduction at source (TDS) and tax collection at source (TCS), as well as implementation of the reverse charge mechanism.

The GST implementation committee has been asked to handle grievances of taxpayers arising out of IT glitches.

Saloni Roy, a senior director of Deloitte India, said, “The proposal of introducing intra-state e-way bills in a staggered manner is a more pragmatic approach”.


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