Due dates for GSTR-3B, Mandatory GSTIN for importers, exporters, GST on non-compete fee, 10-year imprisonment for hacking GST database and more

Due dates for GSTR-3B, Mandatory GSTIN for importers, exporters, GST on non-compete fee, 10-year imprisonment for hacking GST database and more

From new measures to curb evasion, a demand for a nodal officer to help faster processing of refunds to new due dates for GSTR-3B and mandatory requirements for importers and exporters, it has been a busy week for GST. Here’s every update on #GSTThisWeek.

CBIC notifies due dates for GSTR-3B 
The Centre for Indirect Taxes and Customs has issued a notification announcing the due dates for filing GSTR-3B. As per this notification, taxpayers having an aggregate turnover up to Rs. 5 crores in FY18, and who are operating out of the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh or the Union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Andaman, and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep will be required to file on or before the 22nd of February, March and April 2020 respectively. Additionally, taxpayers with the same parameters on turnover but with operations in the States of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam, West Bengal, Jharkhand or Odisha or the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Chandigarh, and Delhi will need to file on or before the 24th of the months of February, March and April 2020. 

Importers, exporters to mandatorily declare GSTIN in documents from February 15
In another notice by the Centre for Indirect Taxes and Customs, it has been announced that importers as well as as exporters will be required to submit their GST Tin Number in all import and export documents. This is yet another measure to curb tax evasion by the Government. 

Tax department wants companies to pay GST on non-compete fee 
Several private equity firms, strategic investors and others that have bought businesses and entered into non-compete agreements with sellers have received notices from the indirect tax department, demanding that they pay a GST 18% on the non-compete fee. According to the indirect tax department, a non-compete agreement is essentially a service provided by the seller of the business to the buyer and therefore attracts GST. 

Centre and state tax officers to share taxpayers information to curb evasion
The Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs has launched an application for sharing information between Centre and State for targeted enforcement action against GST evasion. The CBIC claims this move will be a big leap in intelligence sharing and cooperative federalism. At present, 90% of assessees with a turnover below 1.5 crore are administered by state tax officials, while the remaining 10% is taken care of by central tax officers. In case of assessees with an annual turnover of over Rs 1.5 crore, the number of assessees are equally split between Centre and State. To curb revenue leakage, the Centre and State will share data on a quarterly basis thereby facilitating early identification of fraud cases. 

Exporters want the appointment of nodal officer for faster GST refunds
Exporters are demanding the appointment of a nodal officer in the Central GST and Customs Department for faster processing of GST refunds. Currently GST refunds are a bottleneck for smooth processing of export consignments and are delayed for months, causing business interruptions. Exporters say they are moving in circles as GST authorities claim their export consignments are not cleared by the customs department, while the latter are citing irregularities in paperwork. A nodal officer will be able to coordinate with both the GST and customs departments for processing GST refunds in time.  

Hacking GST database can now lead to 10 year imprisonment 
The Government has declared the Goods and Services Tax Network Database as a protected system and therefore hacking into the database will be considered a federal offence earning the guilty party up to 10 years of imprisonment.  Under the IT Act, protected systems are a part of critical information infrastructure and their destruction can have a debilitating impact on national security, economy, public health or safety. This means that access to the GSTN database will now be limited to authorised  GSTN employees, designated tax officers of the Central, State and Union Territory Government, and authorised audit and accounting agencies only. 

GST taxpayers flooded with notices
With tighter measures being taken to curb tax evasion and consequent revenue leakage, taxpayers are receiving a hoard of notices and advisories from the indirect tax department. These notices are being issued for a variety of reasons including a sudden spike in input tax credit (ITC) claim, lower GST payment over the previous year and a mismatch in return forms. The large number of notices being issued is mainly because the notices are system generated and does not involve human intervention. The system selects cases by comparing the input tax credit reflecting in the returns in two years and if there are irregularities, it sends a notice to the taxpayer. These notices seem to be quite a pain point for taxpayers as they are sending explanations to the tax department but there is no communication in return marking the issue as resolved.

A bill with GST paid could now be a 1 crore lottery ticket
In a bid to encourage citizens to insist on bills while making a purchase, the Centre for Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) has announced the introduction of a lottery scheme under which taxpayers stand a chance to win between Rs.10 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. As per this lottery scheme, taxpayers will be required to upload the purchase bill to a portal and an automated system will randomly draw a winner. 

For more updates on GST and GST Compliance, stay tuned to www.avalara.com  

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