Goods and Services Tax

June 2021

The 44th meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council was held on 12 June 2021.  The Council has decided to reduce GST rates on the following items being used in Covid-19 relief and management. The said reduction shall remain in force till 30 September 2021. Please access the relevant notification here.

ParticularsEarlier rateRevised rate
Tocilizumab and Amphotericin B5%Nil
Anti-Coagulants like Heparin and Remdesivir12%5%
Any other drug recommended by Ministry of Health and
Family Welfare and Dept. of Pharma for Covid treatment
Applicable rate5%
Oxygen, Oxygen generation equipment and related medical devices12%5%
Testing Kits and Machines12%5%
Pulse Oximeters, incl personal imports thereof12%5%
Hand Sanitizer, Temperature check equipment, Gas/Electric/other furnaces
for crematorium, including their installation, etc.
18%5%
Ambulances28%12%
43rd GST Council meeting under chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman which took place on May 28th 2021 after a gap of nearly 7 months, announces measures for reduction of compliance burden on small and medium taxpayers, extends due dates for various compliances and proposes changes in GST rates on goods and services; The key decisions are as follows:
  • Full exemption of IGST on specified COVID related goods even if imported on payment basis, for donating to the Government or on recommendation of state authority to any relief agency.
  • Reduction in interest rate and waiver of late fee for delayed filing of return for the months March, April and May 2021.
  • Due dates for filing various returns including GSTR-1 and GSTR-4 have been extended.
  • Time limit for completion of various actions, falling between 15 April 2021 to 29 June 2021, is extended up to 30 June 2021, subject to certain exceptions. However, where the timelines for actions have been extended by the Supreme Court, the same would apply.
  • Taxpayer’s self-certification of the reconciliation statement in GSTR-9C will apply to annual return for FY 2020-21.
  • Late fee for delayed filing of returns has been rationalized. Further, amnesty scheme to be rolled out for providing relief to taxpayers regarding late fee for pending returns.
Please access the press release here.

May 2021

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has amending rules pertaining to refund, registration and e-way bill under GST. Please refer to the rules here.
The Central Board of Direct tax has extended the timelines for various compliances under the Income-tax law in order to provide relief to tax payers in view of the current pandemic situation. Please access the circular here .
CBIC releases Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on IGST exemption given to import of specified COVID-19 relief material vide Adhoc Exemption Order. It clarifies that, any ‘relief agency’ authorised by a State can make free distribution of goods so imported anywhere in India however, in case any corporate buys it and even gives it for free, such exemption will not be available. Forum is working with CBIC to request for expanding the scope of this exemption and to also ensure that its available when imported for a cost by companies/ NGOs. Please refer to the FAQs here.

April 2021

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has extended the basic customs duty and integrated goods and service tax exemptions for export oriented units, by a year till March 31, 2022. The Board also made it mandatory for a GST taxpayer having turnover of more than Rs 5 crore in the preceding financial year,to furnish 6 digits HSN Code on invoices issued for supplies. Please refer to the notification here

March 2021

On the basis of feedback received from our members, USISPF had last week requested the GOI to defer implementation of Dynamic Quick Response (QR) Code on B2C invoices and compliance of Notification No. 14/2020- C.T. dated March 21, 2020. We are glad that our recommendations are accepted and CBIC has notified a waiver of penalty for non-compliance of capturing QR code till June 30.

Please access the notification here.

Further to industry request, Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs has issued ‘Clarification on various refund related issues’. The summary of the clarifications issued has been provided in the below:

  • Clarification in respect of refund claim by recipient of Deemed Export Supplies
  • Extension of relaxation for filing refund claim in cases where zero-rated supplies has been wrongly declared in Table 3.1(a)
  • The manner of calculation of Adjusted Total Turnover under sub-rule (4) of Rule 89 of CGST Rules, 2017

Please refer to the circular here ..

The Indian Finance Minister presented the Union Budget 2021 on February 1 2021. Key tax announcements made in the Budget which include some clarifications with respect to the equalization levy or the digital service tax and various other procedural changes. Most of the tax proposals will be applicable from April 1, 2021 unless otherwise specified. Please access the updates (here) and (here). On the basis of feedback received from our members, USISPF shared detailed submission as a post budget feedback to the Government on tax amendments.
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has notified requirements for issuance of e-invoice w.e.f. April 01, 2021, making it applicable to registered persons whose turnover exceeds Rs. 50 crore in respect of supply or exports of goods or services or both. Please refer to the notification here

February 2021

The Central Board of Indirect taxes & customs has notified that the requirement of Aadhar Authentication for GST registration shall not apply to 6 categories of person viz. (a) not a citizen of: India, (b) a Department or establishment of the Central Government or State Government (c ) a local authority (d ) a statutory body (e ) a Public Sector Undertaking and (f ) any specialized agency of the United Nations Organization or any Multilateral Financial Institution and Organization notified under the United Nations (Privileges and Immunities) Act, 1947, Consulate or Embassy of foreign countries; Supersedes Notification No. 17/2020- Central Tax dated March 23, 2020. Please read the notification here.

Last week forum had requested CBIC to extend the due date for filing GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C on grounds of business situations due to COVID 19. Further to the industry request, CBIC has now extended the due date for filing filing GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C for the Financial Year 2019-2020 to March 31, 2021. Please refer to the notification here.

Owing to the impact of COVID-19 which has resulted in business disruption and ability of the workforce to perform their tasks as well as difficulty for professionals in accessing data and interacting with the relevant stakeholders, USISPF has on behalf of its members requested CBIC for further relaxations on the compliance deadlines approaching by February.

CBIC has issued FAQs regarding services by way of Transport and Logistics, which clarifies various issues under GST and explains that a single truck owner-operator plying truck mostly between States, carrying the goods booked for truck by an agent or renting it to a major player, who provides GTA service is not required to take registration. Please refer to the FAQs here .
CBIC has issued FAQs regarding services by way of Transport and Logistics, which clarifies various issues under GST and explains that a single truck owner-operator plying truck mostly between States, carrying the goods booked for truck by an agent or renting it to a major player, who provides GTA service is not required to take registration. Please refer to the FAQs here .
CBIC has further extended an interim solution to verify IGST payment on account of mismatch between GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B considering the fact that records were not been transmitted to ICEGATE due to such mismatch. Refer to the circular here .
CBIC has notified Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for implementation of the provision of suspension of registrations under sub-rule (2A) of Rule 21A of the CGST Rules, 2017. Please refer to the circular here.

January 2021

GSTN has notified Auto-population of e-invoice details into GSTR-1 as certain notified taxpayers with aggregate turnover above Rs.100 Crores started issuing e-invoices from January 01, 2021.
Ministry of Finance has through a recent Press Release released a “Liberalised MSME AEO Package” scheme for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The package is likely to benefit the MSME sector which is significantly impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the relaxations provided may increase coverage of MSMEs under AEO scheme and facilitate ease of doing business. The success of the liberalised scheme may however depend on its effective implementation and execution. Please refer to the press release here.

December 2020

On December 30 2020, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has issued a press release addressing various concerns of taxpayers and stakeholders in relation to the compliances under the Income Tax Laws. Amongst others, the Press Release includes extension in due dates for filing tax returns, tax audit report, transfer pricing report etc. for tax year 2019-2020 for various taxpayers. Additionally, the sunset date for filing declaration under The Direct Tax Vivad Se Vishwas Act, 2020 (VSV) has been extended to 31 January 2021. On 31 December 2020 further notifications were released to formalize the various announcements made in the Press Release. Please access the press release here and notifications here.

On 25 December 2020 Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) released a facility of ‘communication between taxpayers’ on the GST portal. This facility enables the taxpayer, both recipient and supplier to communicate with each other by sending a notification regarding missing documents, any shortcomings in the documents or any other related issue. The facility is available to all registered persons, except those registered as person liable to deduct or collect tax at source and non-resident taxable person. The manner of using the facility and sending notification has been detailed in the GSTN communication. User manual and frequently asked questions (FAQs) have also been issued in this regard. Please access the facility here.

The government has notified several changes in the GST law and has also put into effect several amendments brought in vide the Finance Act, 2020. Key changes brought in Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2017 through Notification No. 94/2020-Central Tax dated 22 December 2020 are with regards to the following:

  • Restriction on the utilization of ITC available to the extent of 99% of the outward tax liability [w.e.f 1 January 2021]
  • Revised procedure for verification at the time of new GST registration
  • Cancellation/Suspension of GST registration in certain cases
  • Blocking of GSTR-1 due to non-filing of GSTR-3B
  • Other amendments

Please refer to the notification here .

CBIC has issued clarification on waiver from recording of UIN on the invoices issued by the retailers/suppliers, pertaining to the refund claims from April 2020 to March 2021. Please refer to the circular here.

The Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 provide time limits for the examination of anti-profiteering applications by the Standing committee, completion of investigation by the Director General of Anti-profiteering and passing of order by the National Anti-profiteering Authority. In a recent notification Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has extended the time limit for completing anti-profiteering related actions by the Authority constituted under GST. As per the Notification, where the time limit for completion or compliance of any anti-profiteering related action by any Authority, falls during the period 20 March 2020 to 30 March 2021, the same shall be extended till 31 March 2021. Refer to the notification here.

For further details please reach us here

Facility to file annual return in Form GSTR-9 for FY 2019-20 is now available on GSTN portal. The Form is enabled for taxpayers whose table 8A computation has been completed.

In response to the industry request and further to Forum’s engagement with customs officials, Advisory No: 46/2020 dated 09.12.2020 has been issued by CBIC with enhancements which have been enabled in ICES w.e.f. 10.12.2020.
The dynamic QR code in case of B2C supplies was proposed to be implemented from December 1, 2020.  On the basis of feedback received from our members forum organised several consultations and submitted detailed concerns and ambiguities. The CBIC has now  waived the amount of penalty leviable under section 125 of Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, for not providing dynamic QR code on B2C invoices during the period December 2020 to March 2021.  However, such waiver is subject to the condition that the taxpayer complies with the provisions of the Notification no. 14/2020-CT from 1 April 2021 onwards.  We are glad that our recommendations are considered by the GOI. Please access the notification here.

November 2020

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs and the Goods and service Tax network have released updated FAQs on GST E-invoicing bringing in important updates. Please refer to the FAQs here.

In a recent notification and circular issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the board has notified that with effect from 1 January 2021, e-invoicing will be applicable to taxpayers having aggregate turnover exceeding INR100 crores in the preceding financial years.   The notification further provides that the amendment in section 39 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act) to enable quarterly filing of return by a certain class of taxpayers, has been notified w.e.f. 10 November 2020.  Please refer to the relevant notification here.
In a recent announcement, CBIC has amended the requirement for issuance of e-invoice w.e.f. January 1, 2021 making it applicable to registered persons whose turnover in any preceding financial year from 2017-18 onwards exceeds Rs. 100 crore in respect of supply of goods or services or both or exports. The board has also extended the time-limit for furnishing the details of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 for each of the tax periods w.e.f. January 1, 2021 till the 11th of month succeeding each tax-period. Refer to the relevant notifications here and here.

October 2020

The 42nd GST Council meeting concluded on October 5 2020 under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance& States/ UTs. Please access the press release here.
GST e-invoicing mechanism is mandatory w.e.f. 01.10.2020 for all tax payers having turnover in a financial year exceeding Rs 500 crore. Basis USISPF’s survey on the preparedness of Industry we had requested GST council to consider postponing the date of mandatory implementation. CBIC has in a recent press release considered our request and has waived the penal provisions w.r.t. mandatory e-invoicing prescribed for taxpayers having aggregate turnover of Rs. 500 Cr. and above for the month of October 2020. In a press release issued CBIC has clarified that invoices issued by such taxpayers during October 2020 without following the manner prescribed under rule 48(4), shall be deemed to be valid and the penalty leviable u/s 122 for such non-adherence to provisions, shall stand waived if Invoice Reference Number (IRN) for such invoices is obtained from the Invoice Reference Portal (IRP) within 30 days of date of invoice. We are glad that our recommendations are considered. We will continue to work with the Government to get the required clarifications. Please refer to the press release here.
In a recent Circular CBIC has clarified that the compliance with Rule 36(4) for the months of February 2020 to August 2020 should be done cumulatively and reported in September 2020 returns, ie, 110% of matched credit are to be availed and any excess to be reversed. Please access the circular here.

September 2020

CBIC defers implementation of requirement of Dynamic QR code in B2C invoices to December 01, 2020. Given that the requirement to a Dynamic QR code USISPF had requested the GST council secretariate to allow industry some more time to get the systems ready for generating such a QR code. Unlike e-invoicing where the QR code is pre-generated by IRP and sent to a taxpayer, here the taxpayer would need to self-generate the QR code. With a limited time of a week for 01 October 2020, there was an urgent need to defer this requirement of incorporating B2C QR code. We are glad our recommendations are considered. Please refer to the notification here.

Owing the impact of COVID-19 which has resulted in business disruption and ability of work force to perform their tasks as well as difficulty for professionals in accessing data and interacting with the relevant stakeholders, USISPF had on behalf of its members requested CBIC for further relaxations on the compliance deadlines approaching by September 2020. We are glad our recommendations are considered.

In a recent instruction issued by Principal Commissioner, dated September 18, 2020, tax authorities have been advised that for the period July 01, 2017 to August 31, 2020 only interest needs to be recovered on the net cash tax liability (i.e. the portion of the tax that has been paid by debiting the electronic cash ledger or is payable through cash ledger. Further it has been clarified that wherever SCN have been issued on gross tax payable, the same may be kept in Call book till the retrospective amendment in section 50 of CGST Act is  carried out.

August 2020

Facility to view, file and download returns of period July 2017 has been restored on GSTN portal

July 2020

Central Government further extended due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-4 (composition dealer) till August 31, 2020. Refer to the release here.

June 2020

The 40th GST Council meeting was held on 12 June 2020 through video conferencing. Given the COVID 19 situation the Council discussed a number of issues such as reducing compliance costs of taxpayers, inverted duty structure in the textile industry, and the shortage of funds to pay compensation cess to the States. Please refer to the press release here.
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has extended the time limit for issuing refund order and validity of e-way bill under Goods and Services Tax (GST).  Please refer to the notification here.
CBIC has further extended the facility of accepting undertaking in lieu of bond for the period till June 15, 2020 and date for submission of proper bond in lieu of which the undertaking is being temporarily accepted till June 30, 2020. Please access the Circular here.
For further details please reach us here

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes & Customs and the Goods and service Tax network have released updated FAQs on GST E-invoicing bringing in important updates. Please refer to the FAQs here. For further details please reach out to @Shweta Kathuria 

In a recent notification and circular issued by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the board has notified that with effect from 1 January 2021, e-invoicing will be applicable to taxpayers having aggregate turnover exceeding INR100 crores in the preceding financial years.   The notification further provides that the amendment in section 39 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act) to enable quarterly filing of return by certain class of taxpayers, has been notified w.e.f. 10 November 2020.  Please refer to the relevant notification hereFor further details please reach out to @Shweta Kathuria 

In a recent announcement, CBIC has amended the requirement for issuance of e-invoice w.e.f. January 1, 2021 making it applicable to registered persons whose turnover in any preceding financial year from 2017-18 onwards exceeds Rs. 100 crore in respect of supply of goods or services or both or exports. The board has also extended the time-limit for furnishing the details of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 for each of the tax periods w.e.f. January 1, 2021 till the 11th of month succeeding each tax-period. Refer to the relevant notifications here and here. For further queries, please write to @Shweta Kathuria

The 42nd GST Council meeting concluded on October 5 2020 under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman through video conferencing. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance& States/ UTs. Please access the press release here.

GST e-invoicing mechanism is mandatory w.e.f. 01.10.2020 for all tax payers having turnover in a financial year exceeding Rs 500 crore. Basis USISPF’s survey on the preparedness of Industry we had requested GST council to consider postponing the date of mandatory implementation. CBIC has in a recent press release considered our request and has waived the penal provisions w.r.t. mandatory e-invoicing prescribed for taxpayers having aggregate turnover of Rs. 500 Cr. and above for the month of October 2020. In a press release issued CBIC has clarified that invoices issued by such taxpayers during October 2020 without following the manner prescribed under rule 48(4), shall be deemed to be valid and the penalty leviable u/s 122 for such non-adherence to provisions, shall stand waived if Invoice Reference Number (IRN) for such invoices is obtained from the Invoice Reference Portal (IRP) within 30 days of date of invoice. We are glad that our recommendations are considered. We will continue to work with the Government to get the required clarifications. Please refer to the press release here.

In a recent Circular CBIC has clarified that the compliance with Rule 36(4) for the months of February 2020 to August 2020 should be done cumulatively and reported in September 2020 returns, ie, 110% of matched credit are to be availed and any excess to be reversed. Please access the circular here.

CBIC defers implementation of requirement of Dynamic QR code in B2C invoices to December 01, 2020. Given that the requirement to a Dynamic QR code USISPF had requested the GST council secretariate to allow industry some more time to get the systems ready for generating such a QR code. Unlike e-invoicing where the QR code is pre-generated by IRP and sent to a taxpayer, here the taxpayer would need to self-generate the QR code. With a limited time of a week for 01 October 2020, there was an urgent need to defer this requirement of incorporating B2C QR code. We are glad our recommendations are considered. Please refer to the notification here.

Owing the impact of COVID-19 which has resulted in business disruption and ability of work force to perform their tasks as well as difficulty for professionals in accessing data and interacting with the relevant stakeholders, USISPF had on behalf of its members requested CBIC for further relaxations on the compliance deadlines approaching by September 2020. We are glad our recommendations are considered.

In a recent instruction issued by Principal Commissioner, dated September 18, 2020, tax authorities have been advised that for the period July 01, 2017 to August 31, 2020 only interest needs to be recovered on the net cash tax liability (i.e. the portion of the tax that has been paid by debiting the electronic cash ledger or is payable through cash ledger. Further it has been clarified that wherever SCN have been issued on gross tax payable, the same may be kept in Call book till the retrospective amendment in section 50 of CGST Act is  carried out.

Facility to view, file and download returns of period July 2017 has been restored on GSTN portal

Central Government further extended due date of furnishing FORM GSTR-4 (composition dealer) till August 31, 2020. Refer to the release here.

The 40th GST Council meeting was held on 12 June 2020 through video conferencing. Given the COVID 19 situation the Council discussed a number of issues such as reducing compliance costs of taxpayers, inverted duty structure in the textile industry, and the shortage of funds to pay compensation cess to the States. Please refer to the press release here

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) has extended the time limit for issuing refund order and validity of e-way bill under Goods and Services Tax (GST).  Please refer to the notification here.

CBIC has further extended the facility of accepting undertaking in lieu of bond for the period till June 15, 2020 and date for submission of proper bond in lieu of which the undertaking is being temporarily accepted till June 30, 2020. Please access the Circular here

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