Dear Professional Colleagues,

With you a Very Happy Raksha Bandhan and Janmashtami.

As you all know, GST has been rolled out w.e.f. 1st July, 2017 and now it’s a time to file the first return. In order to ensure smooth implementation of GST, 18 sectorial groups representing various sectors of economy, e.g., Banking Sector, Telecom, Textile etc. and containing Senior Officers of the Centre and the State are setup by the Government to timely respond to the issues and problems of their respective sector. The Cabinet Secretary, Government of India has asked the Secretaries of different Ministries/Departments to setup GST Facilitation Cell in their respective departments which will be in constant touch with the major industries and business associations relating to their respective departments.

The professional bodies including our Federation are also extending all their resources, expertise and efforts to make the GST transition as smooth as possible. A series of Conference and Seminars are being organised to educate the stake-holders, be it a professional or the businessman. It is our pious duty to support the Government for smooth implementation of GST. In the words of our Prime Minister, it is indeed a turning point in the country’s economy and unprecedented movement in the country’s history.

As per the news, 71 lakh Central and State taxpayers have migrated to GST system. Another 15.67 lakh new applications for registration have been received. The first tax return under the new GST regime will be filed till August 20, 2017. The return for July & August, 2017 will be filed in GSTR-3B Form. All major 25 banks, Private & Public have been authorised by RBI to collect taxes. The final GST return will have to be filed by September 05 instead of August 10. Companies have to file sales invoices for August by September 20 instead of September 10, earlier and sales return for September have to be filed by October 10, thus slight relaxation has been allowed for two months i.e., July & August 2017.

However, it is a matter of great concern that GSTR-3B Form does not provide any column for carry forward of credit from earlier regime of Central Excise Duty, Service Tax and VAT though the form provides for ITC eligible on procurement made during the month. Thus the registered dealers will be unable to adjust the tax paid against the tax liability. Taxpayers may have hundreds of crore of rupees stuck-up in ITC but they may still have to pay GST for July & August in full, potentially disrupting working capital flow. This may not have been the intention of the Government and it requires quick clarification.

It is also to be pointed out that the e-way Bill will be rolled out from October 1, 2017. Goods more than ₹ 50,000/- in value will have to be pre-registered on-line before they can be moved. There will be no check-post and the whole process will be technology driven with minimum human intervention.

It is also clarified that the legal services (including representational services) provided by an individual Advocate or a senior Advocate or a firm of Advocate (including LLP) provided to a business entity in taxable territory are covered under reverse charge mechanism. In so far as legal services are concerned these are covered under HSN Code 998211 to 998216. However, tax consultancy and preparation services are covered under the code 998231 and 998232. This means that the taxation consultancy and preparatory services are segregated from legal services. Therefore, the professionals who provides tax consultancy and prepares/files the returns will not fall under the reverse charge mechanism and they will have to collect the GST.

Friends in so far as Income-tax is concerned, linking of Aadhaar Card with PAN is made mandatory to e-file the income tax returns. If the same is not done then the PAN Card might be rendered invalid by December 2017. Mentioning of Aadhaar Numbers is also made mandatory for applying PAN w.e.f. July 1, 2017. Recently, the Income Tax Department has reportedly deactivated around 11.44 lakh PAN Cards. This move has been taken to check fake PAN cards and also to block multiple Permanent Account Number of a single assessee. The Government has also witnessed cases where citizens have got PAN Cards by providing false documents. Hence, the professionals have to direct their clients to surrender multiple PAN cards or fake PAN cards.

In so far as widening of tax base is concerned, as per official data released by Finance Ministry, there is a 25% growth in the number of income tax returns filed in current fiscal. Advance-tax (personal income tax) collections have also gone up by 41%. The number of returns filed as on 5-8-2017 stands at 2,82,92,955 as against 2,26,97,843 filed during the corresponding period of FY 2016-17, registering an increase of 24.7% compared to growth rate of 9.9% in the previous year. The above figures amply demonstrate the result of the Government’s commitment to fight the menace of black money.

It is also to be apprised that your Federation had filed a PIL before Hon’ble Delhi High Court, challenging Constitutional validity of provisions of sections 174, 183 and 184 of the Finance Act 2017 and the notification dated 1-6-2017 issued thereunder whereby the Government has sought to restructure and reorganise the Tribunals including eligibility, appointment, term of office, tenure, removal, retirement etc. In this PIL, Hon’ble Delhi High Court is pleased to issue the notice to the Department and the matter is listed for December 4, 2017.

Last but not the least, friends, we will be meeting very soon in Kolkata on 2nd & 3rd September, 2017. You are all invited to this Educative & Informative Conference organised by East Zone of AIFTP. Looking to the WhatsApp group created by Shri Kakraji, a lot of enthusiasm is being seen amongst the outstation members. This shows the activeness and involvement of the members and there lies the success of our Federation, more important is involvement of members and not merely the counting of members. My good wishes to entire organising committee of East Zone.

With Best Regards

Prem Lata Bansal
National President

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