The shattering news

Holika dahan festival on 9th march 2020 ended with a shattering news of sudden demise of young Shivam, son of our Immediate Past President Dr. Ashok Saraf. The members from all over India poured their Condolence messages. Few of us could reach in time for funeral while some of us could attend the prayer meeting. AIFTP family stand by our Past President Dr. Ashok Saraf in his hours of grief. We pray to the God to bestow eternal peace to the departed Soul and express our deepest condolences to Dr. Ashok Saraf and his family.

GST – Acceptance of Technical Glitches

After more than 30 months of introduction of GST coupled with grave hardship and harassment of taxpayers and tax consultants, the GST Council has ultimately accepted that the system suffered from technical glitches. Unfortunately, despite this acceptance, no remedial measures are offered to the affected person. The transition credit issue is still being considered by various Courts including Bombay High Court. The GST Council should have allowed as a one-time measure to file the Tran-1.

Taking lesson from the past, the Council has rightly postponed the new return filing system till the entire new technical support is ready. Needless to say, the tax consultant spent endless time in learning and grasping the intricacies of the new system. Nonetheless, rather than facing the technical glitches, it is wise that to postpone the entire new return system.

I am happy to say that few of the suggestions made by us are accepted by the Council. The first and foremost being accepting to give retrospective effect to the proposition to levy interest on the net amount. In the area of interest there are still few burning issues which remain unresolved. There are cases where the registered person has paid the amount due within the time prescribed but for various reasons have failed to file the return in time. Such dealers have no remedy under the law. As for interest on net amount I must thank our past president, Hon’ble Dr. M. V. K. Moorthy and Hon’ble Dr. Saraf for filing the writs in the respective courts. It is also true despite the judgment of the Madras High Court in case of Refex Industries Ltd, the officers all over India continued to issue notices for gross interest. The CBIC Board must instruct the officers to follow the High Court judgments, not following the same would amount to contempt of court. The orders levying interest on Gross, wherever passed should be suo moto rectified. Due date for filing GSTR 9 & 9C for the period 2018-19 is extended up to only 30th June 2020 as against our request to extend it up to 30th September 2020.

The GST Council should be generous in extending the time up to September as in the present crisis of Coronavirus, during the month of March and in the first week of April, there would be prohibition and restriction to attend the offices.

The issue in relation to 36(4) of CGST Act is not dealt with by the GST Council. Merely providing the new facility of “know your supplier” would not help the bona fide buyer in getting the input tax credit. While the facility being installed, it must be ensured that the facility is updated from time to time so that the information is available on real time basis. We have also represented about allowing to claim excess input tax credit in the annual return. Unfortunately, the Council has not discussed this well deserved proposition. I have requested all the zonal chairmen and vice presidents to request the concerned Commissioner and Chief Commissioner.

Havoc of Corona

Usually in the month of March all the stakeholders are busy with recovery and time barring matters. This March would be an exceptional one with the Central and State Governments wanting all the merchandises to suspend functioning to stop the spread of coronavirus. The High Court and Tribunals have made it clear that except for very urgent matter, no one should go in the premises. While the entire world appreciates the efforts by the Government of India in taking steps to control the spread, the future is grave at least for next few weeks and we, the citizens of India, should remain indoors unless essentially required. Closure of offices or partial working of the offices or work from home should be strictly followed to ensure that the public at large understand the importance and magnitude of the problem.

As a measure to stop people gathering, the ensuing National Tax Conference at Mahabaleswar is postponed. Junagadh and Muzaffarpur were the two last conferences which were allowed to be proceeded. None of the zones of AIFTP would be organizing any seminar or gathering till further clearance by the Government.

Work from home gives ample opportunity to learn more, to read more. The Website Committee Chairman, Shri Hitesh Shah, is shortly going to arrange series of webcasting on various subjects. I propose to have various webcasting from different places of India to involve maximum participation. The webcasting would be on burning subject, the decision would be made by the experts in the field and after the webcasting the AIFTP HO would be receiving e-mail in which the viewers can put their queries to ensure that each and every query is answered. The benefit of webcast is that it is free for all the members of the AIFTP and not only the members but all the staff and the juniors of the members can also listen to the webcast.

The first webcast would be around 24th of March 2020, obviously it will be on the subject ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme. We are awaiting the rules and the forms. After receiving the same, the exact date and time would be announced by mass email to each member. This would give an opportunity to the members to keep abreast with the latest information. In the month of April, there would be one more webcast on GST. I request member to send the suggestion for the subject as also the queries in relation to the subject.

We are also going to have e-publication on ‘Vivad se Vishwas’ scheme. The publication is ready and the authors are waiting for the rules and the forms to make it a complete publication. This publication is free to all the members. Here also, I am proposing to have at least three to four e-publications during my tenure.

While I wish well being of all the members I request all of you to take utmost care to follow the “Do’s & Don’ts” circulated by the Government Department and other authorized institutions during this critical period to stay safe and healthy.

Nikita R. Badheka
National President, AIFTP

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