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The Most Comprehensive Compilation of GST Issues #India

Latest reports indicate that about 44 lakh businesses have filed GST returns taking revenue collections from GST to about Rs 94,000 crore.

As business owners, entrepreneurs, tax professionals and accountants grapple with various issues, here is an attempt to present a comprehensive compilation of various GST Issues in India – both policy as well as implementation issues.

If we have missed some issues, please email to admin@bizvidya.com to have those issues added to this list.

GST Issues

[A] GST Implementation Issues

  1. Digital Signature Issues:
    1. A seemingly simple but essential aspect of filing returns led to considerable delays. Under GST, all returns have to be signed electronically with a digital signature certificate (DSC). Jigar Doshi (SKP Group) pointed out that many of his clients were unable to attach DSC due to technical issues. Pratik Jain (PWC) said the DSC was not getting accepted for authentication of returns, despite being valid and functioning and it took multiple attempts to authenticate the returns by using DSC (5).
    2. A particular company could not pay tax, as the CFO of the company holding the digital signature had resigned. The new signatory could not be added until the old signatory allowed the use of his digital signature to include new signatory. The situation gets worse in cases where the signatory has expired or has moved out of the country (4).
  2. TRAN 1:
    1. Taxpayers who intend to carry forward transitional credits – from the pre-GST regime – can file form TRAN 1 till September 28. But those who intended to use the transitional credits to offset their tax liability in July had to fill this form by August 28. To fill out this form, the Goods and Services Tax Network had promised an offline utility tool. But the GSTN failed to deliver on its promise (5).
    2. With the August 28 (Monday) deadline looming for filing returns and ensuring GST compliance, corporates are a deeply concerned lot. The offline utility for GST TRAN 1 form — to be used to claim input tax credit for the pre-GST regime — was not available till Sunday, leaving just a day for filing returns and causing a weekend rush (8).
  3. E-cash ledger
    1. An e-cash ledger works like a wallet for GST purposes. It reflects the amount deposited towards GST liability and debits made to pay tax, interest or penalty. In the GSTN system, the cash ledger for all the laws – Central, State and Integrated GST – is maintained separately, Pratik Jain (PWC) said. But there is no facility to transfer funds from one cash ledger to another, he added. The balances in electronic cash ledger belong to the taxpayers and so, transfer of balances between different heads in electronic cash ledger should ideally be allowed, he added.
    2. Besides this, multiple entries are shown in the electronic cash ledger and sometimes credits made available are more or even less than actually claimed in TRAN-1; obviously these are system errors, Jigaar Doshi (SKP Group) pointed out (5).
  4. Handling data errors:
    1. A another aspect that continues to confound taxpayers about TRAN -1 is whether they can submit a revised TRAN-1 before September 28. A few tweets from government handles suggest that TRAN-1 can be revised; however, there is no clarity on this (5).
    2. There have also been cases where companies have deposited cash under the wrong tax head or have submitted the return with wrong information only to realise it later but with no recourse to change it (4).
    3. Jain pointed out that the GSTN did not allow any rectification or modification in the return once it was submitted. In some cases, the tax liability of the assessees increased by crores of rupees, just due to inadvertent punching of an extra digit in the form, he added. Much to the relief of assesses, the government has now addressed this concern and notified that changes in the summary returns can be made through GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 (5).
  5. Invoice Date Issues:
    1. Some taxpayers are facing errors when the invoice date is before the customers’ registration date (1).
    2. “Since this is the first time of filing GST returns taxpayers are struggling with how to report information under different sections of the GSTR-1. Some are confused and are reporting the same invoice under separate sections of GSTR-1. Some taxpayers are seeing errors where invoice date is before the date of registration of the supplier,” says ClearTax, Founder and CEO (2).
  6. Data Required Mismatch with Notified Rules: The additional data and columns that the GSTR-1 has is different from the format which was notified. For example, there is a column which asks the reasons for giving a debit note. It even asks if the debit note is corresponding to pre-GST or post-GST time frame. This is not there in the notified rule, but when you go online to file the return, such additional data gets thrown up. (2)
  7. Auto-Checks: There are times when companies are uploading invoices, but the system automatically says the invoices cannot be from the pre-GST regime. What has stumped many is the auto-checks the system has been built around. Any divergence and the system refuses to take an entry. “Taxpayers are navigating through a complex web of auto checks, which many a time is not allowing valid transactions, keeping them at tenterhooks. For instance, supplies to SEZ has an IGST component, but the system is not allowing IGST if the supplier is in the same state,” says KPMG, Partner, Priyajit Ghosh. (2)

 

[B] GST Policy Issues

  1. Hand Crafted Goods ignored: A note prepared on behalf of the hand-made goods segment and shared with the Prime Minister’s Office draws attention to the fact that the word ‘hand’ (as in, for instance, hand-made or handicraft) is entirely missing from the GST list of items – except for a perfunctory reference to ‘handloom machinery’. This implies that the concepts of ‘handwork’, ‘handicraft’, and ‘hand skills’ have not been acknowledged at all in the GST framework (6).
  2. Small Sellers required to register if selling inter-stateEvery supplier, howsoever small, is required to register under GST when making inter-State supply, which adds to the compliance burden forvery small players like artisans. For example, they may be selling to online portals or those who conduct fairs in various States (6).
  3. Small Exporters:
    1. Small exporters are disadvantaged vis-a-vis big players like those with coveted star trading house tag as they are being asked to furnish bonds and Letter of Undertaking (LUT) to local commissioners unlike the latter (3).
    2. What is more, exporters are running between the offices of customs commissioners and assistant customs commissioners who have been officially delegated powers to accept bonds and LUT but are reluctant to use the new authority for some reason, industry sources said (3).
  4. Credit on Business ExpensesIt is recommended to allow credit on all business expenses rather than restricting some of them. The negative list is still quite big and open to interpretations (4).
  5. Credit linked to Recipient making PaymentIt is recommended that Credit should not be linked to the recipient making payment to the supplier. Business exigencies may require holding back payments or business transactions may require not paying the supplier at all. The government need not walk into the realm of business transactions, especially when online matching ensures that the tax on the underlying transaction is paid (4).
  6. Multiple Tax Slabs for similar items:
    1. The same product can fall under differential tax slabs. For instance, there is no GST on rice sold loose, while branded rice attracts 5% tax.  But because a brand is not recognised legally unless it is registered under the Trade Marks Act, 1999, India Gate, the country’s highest-selling rice brand, will not attract the 5% GST – and will, therefore, have a price advantage over competing registered brands (7).
    2. A similarly curious clause is that yarn blended with more than 50% polyester attracts 18% GST, but yarn with more than 50% wool has a levy of 5% GST. In Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi, famous for its carpets, officials were recently asked by traders what GST rate applied to blended yarn with 50% wool and 50% polyester. They did not have a clue.Some suppliers in Bhadohi say they have already planned to show yarn blended with more than 50% polyester as yarn with more than 50% wool in their records (7).
    3. A textile manufacturer pointed to the irrationality of imposing 18% GST on processing chemicals and 28% GST on finishing chemicals, which are used in two different stages of production. Both chemicals come in black boxes, he said. Remove or switch stickers and government officials cannot tell one from the other. Yet the manufacturer said that there are fears that the officials might accuse manufacturers of playing this game even if they have not – and demand money (7).
    4. A fully constructed apartment bought by making a one-time payment will incur zero GST after undergoing verification from a regulating committee. By contrast, all construction-linked payments for flats will incur 18% GST. An apartment costing Rs 1 crore under such a plan will attract Rs 18 lakh as tax, an undeniably huge sum. One realtor said that he could foresee what will happen. He said to save on GST, Person X will book a flat in the name of Y, who is his dummy. The instalments Y pays will actually be X’s money. When the last instalment is due, Y will notify the builder that he does not want to buy the flat, said the realtor. The builder will tell the regulating committee that Y has backed out, but he is fortunate to have a new purchaser in X. The builder will refund Rs 80 lakh to Y, whose money it wasn’t anyway. X will then buy the now completed flat for Rs 1 crore and not pay GST, said the realtor.Such a method will raise issues of income disclosures, but the narrative underscores that multiple, high tax rates are already driving people to think of dodging GST (7).
    5. The state is asking to be cheated by hotels where multiple GST rates also apply. Rooms priced between Rs 1,000 and Rs 2,500 attract 12% GST, but those between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500 will have 18% GST. It is possible that hotels with low occupancy will woo customers by making them stay in the more expensive rooms, but bill them for those priced lower. The state will lose 6% tax (7).
    6. Many low-priced items such as needles, kites, carnival toys and broomsticks are now taxed. Mahesh Krishnamurthy, founder of Craftisan, an e-commerce platform for hand-crafted products, says that under the earlier tax regime, in Delhi, VAT was 0 to 5 per cent for handlooms and handicrafts, but now the tax range is from 3 per cent to 18 per cent. “The retail price for consumers will have to increase, which may potentially cause reduced absorption,” he says. Also, certain products and raw materials that are hand-made by the most disadvantaged groups are under punitive GST rates (6).

Sources:

  1. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/gst-return-filing-woes-remain-117090600032_1.html
  2. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/policy-trends/gst-return-filing-stumps-millions-of-taxpayers-filing-portal-keeps-throwing-tantrums/articleshow/60372889.cms
  3. https://thewire.in/173540/india-exports-gst-slump/  
  4. http://www.forbesindia.com/article/special/gst-heres-what-would-help-its-smooth-implementation/48033/1
  5. https://www.bloombergquint.com/gst/2017/09/04/the-pain-behind-rs-92283-crore-gst-collection
  6. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/gst-watch-hands-that-craft-have-gone-missing/article9837072.ece
  7. https://scroll.in/article/843861/how-multiple-tax-slabs-provide-small-manufacturers-suppliers-service-sector-a-reason-to-dodge-gst
  8. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/companies-fear-losing-credit-over-gst-filing-errors/articleshow/60249529.cms
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Exciting Inaugural Launch of PEERSTART

Thanks to all the amazing entrepreneurs who made sure the event was a rocking success!
PeerStrat May 17 2014 Delhi
PeerStrat May 17 2014 Delhi

It was all about rich, in-depth and frank sharing of business challenges, opportunities, solutions and collaboration! A unique engaging rigorous Business Strategy Workout with cross-fertilization of ideas…

…and rich sharing of business referrals & leads!

Next meetup is on June 21, 2014 (3rd Saturday of each month)!

Thanks to #IndiaWowChat.com for covering our event, posting photos and sharing encouraging feedback about us on their Facebook Wall here:
Interesting new groups keep popping up in Delhi – the freshest is Peerstrat initiated by Omnizient Labs. This group is designed for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Participants review each other’s businesses and explore ways to grow faster and be the best in your industry. Lively insightful interaction!

To know more about the structure of PEERSTRAT see this presentation here.

We are getting a huge response on our Facebook post here. Bookmark http://facebook.com/peerstrat to stay tuned for more news and events.

PeerStrat Photo By IndiaWowChat
PeerStrat Photo By IndiaWowChat
PeerStrat on May 17 2014 New Delhi
PeerStrat Strategy Workout on May 17 2014 New Delhi

Invitation to PEERSTRAT at High Tea on Saturday May 17, 2014, New Delhi

Business Strategy: Peer-Review workout session for entrepreneurs and business professionals

Click here to book your seat at Meraevents

Invitation to PEERSTRAT: Peer Strategy Review workout at High Tea on Saturday May 17, 2014, New Delhi
Invitation to PEERSTRAT

Dear Business Folks,

We are delighted to extend an invitation to you for a Peer Strategy Review workout (PEERSTRAT) session conducted by Omnizient Labs:

Date: Saturday, 17th May, 2014
Timings: 3:30 to 6:30
Location: Samavar, B-36A, Pamposh Enclave, GK-1, New Delhi – 110048

The PEERSTRAT sessions enable you explore ways to make your business get bigger, grow faster and be the very best in your industry.

All participants are invited to share the challenges and opportunities they are facing in their business as per following Five Step PEERSTRAT Agenda:

#1 Build Unique Business – Eliminate Competition!
#2 Recreate Brand – Tell a Compelling Story!
#3 Maximize Revenues – Penetrate Newer Markets!
#4 Maximize Profits – Transform Business Processes with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)!
#5 Track Success – Identify Critical Success Measures – What Gets Measured Gets Done!

Who will benefit from this event

Independent Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Senior Business Managers, Business Heads, CXOs, Directors @ Companies, Partners of family owned business, Proprietors, Middle Management

Participation

Participation fees are nominal INR 1000 to cover basic cost of the event. Tea and Snacks would be served during the session. Please confirm your participation by marking an email to raj @ bizvidya.com.

Click here to book your seat at Meraevents

Contact Details:
Raju Moza: raj @ Bizvidya.com,  +91-9818-662-001

OneTree Guide: Secrets of Branding ROI

Praveer Shukla is an advertising and marketing professional with 35 years’ experience in India, Hong Kong, the US, and Oman. His clients have included Dupont, ITC WelcomGroup, ITC Golf, Uncle Chipps’, DCM,Escorts, Star TV, Rajasthan Tourism, Kashmir Tourism, The Oberoi, Milkfood, HM The Sultan of Oman, HH Mahesh Maharishi Yogi, among others.

He is sharing some of his “secrets” here and introducing his company, Onetree Content.

There’s a practical reason why we exist at OneTree Content. But before that, some quick facts from the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship:

  • 85 million businesses start up annually.
  • 64 million small firm deaths in 4 years.
  • 16 million shut down in the very first year.
  • Sad truth – most entrepreneurs will never get to see their dreams come true.
  • In fact, in the next 10 minutes, as you read this, 1,522 new businesses will have downed their shutters for the last time. Talk about love’s labour lost.

Here’s my personal take on the business of entrepreneurship, as I’ve seen it over 40 years.

1. Its a winner-takes-all-world – so listen up.

Especially, if you’re a start up, an entrepreneur, or an SME, listen to experienced people, whether it’s professional groups or forums, your investors, mentors, or coaches. That way you won’t have to re-invent the wheel. And, when you fail – make no mistake about that, you will, at different stages – the people you listen to can be the difference between being stuck with failure and moving on to the next level in your enterprise. And, most importantly, you’ll cover the distance between Idea to Revenue in a much shorter time!

2. Money doesn’t buy products or services. People do.

Know your customers. At OneTree Content, we perform due diligence to know your service and your products cold. We get to know your customers like we know our own parents. We also get to know your product’s positioning in relation to your competitors—without repeated explanation from you which burns up your time and budget.

3. ROI

You’re thinking ROI = Return On Investment, right? Our take on this as specialists in market communications, is different. Unlike earlier times, today, a brand is not recognized by its trademark, mission statement, logo or slogan. That kind of branding went out of the window around the time that electricity was discovered.

Our kind of branding is recognized by the kind of conversations or content that our specialists create about your company, its products, its world, the people who use it, and also, the people who do not use it.

These are conversations that enliven, delight, and empower users. They’re created with authenticity, to communicate the uniqueness of a product or service. By participating and engaging in these conversations, customers are created and references are freely provided by them to other potential customers.

At OneTree Content, our version of ROI is this: Return On Imagination.

Talk with us. You’ll enjoy the conversation! That’s why we created the company!

– Praveer Shukla, Co-founder, One Tree Content

Mentoring Clinics from Mentor Edge, CIIE

Mentor Edge is an initiaitive from CIIE (Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entreprenuership), which was set-up in IIM Ahemdabad and is supported by Government of Gujarat and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.

Each participating city has a dedicated “City Coordinator”  to link Start-ups with a pre-selected groups of Mentors from a variety of domains and verticals.

So far, successful events have been conducted at Ahemdabad, Bangalore & Mumbai.  Upcoming events are listed below:

Earlier this month on May 15th, Aditi Gupta (in photo below) & Vineesh Kumar launched the Delhi Chapter by organizing a meeting of Mentors at IIT Delhi.

Mentors present included:

  • Amrish Sahgal [First Left in photo below]
  • Dr. CK Taneja
  • Kris Nair
  • Rahul Agarwal
  • Rahul Verghese
  • Ravi Kikan
  • Sanjay Gupta
  • Suhail Kassim [Centre in photo below]
  • Amarendra Srivastava
Mentor Edge Meeting at Delhi
Mentor Edge Meeting at Delhi

We had a good discussion on the ‘screening’ process for entrepreneurs: basic policy is “no rejections” but due diligence is taken in terms of helping applicant entrepreneurs to be well-prepared.

There was a longer discussion on ‘criteria & process’  to ‘match’ entrepreneurs & mentors. Ravi Kikan with a ‘backing’ of about 50,000 members in his Linkedin Group ‘Startup Specialists’ was keen to make it more democratic for entrepreneurs. The debate was too long to reproduce here. Suffice it to say that this initiative is from Mentors to empower entrepreneurs and facilitate an access to world class mentoring, long-term partnerships and ‘timely’ funds.

Last Day for applying for Delhi Clinic is June 5 2010. Apply Here: http://mentoredge.com/mentee/for-mentees.

Franchise India– Entrepreneurship Summit 2009– F & B

Franchise 2009 Food, Beverage and Hospitality
Franchise 2009 Food, Beverage and Hospitality

Thursday, November 26, 2009. Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi. Day 1 of Franchise India 2009. Continued from Franchise India – Entrepreneurship Summit 2009 – Specialty Retail.

Another interesting session was “Business Opportunities in Food & Beverage Sector”. The speakers were:

  • Mahmood Khan, Hospitality Expert Virginia Tech, USA
  • Pavan Gandhok, CEO, Litebite Foods
  • Gary Moore, MD,The Pizza Co., Thailand
  • Rakhee Nagpal, MD & Chairperson of DVS (Moderator)
  • Luis Daniel, General Manager, KRR International
  • Ankur Sharma, General Manager Business Development , Yo China

Mahmood Khan shared how more than 200 fast food franchise brands have been in developed in USA – a critical factor being ubiquitous Highways (necessitating “quick bites”). He claimed that F&B is a recession-proof business because people will NOT stop eating. His another observation was that today’s customer does not have patience. Technology plays a big role in dealing with customer’s “instant needs”. So, you need to know “real needs of the customer” and continually watch “where the technology is going”.

Pavan Gandhok, CEO, Litebite Foods, opined that the challenge is to present local cuisines in an interesting manner – these items (like vada paav, paav bhaaji, samosa) account for 70-80% of the market and whosoever cracks this code is likely to make lot of money.

Gary Moore, MD, The Pizza Co., was excited about India and said that India is the biggest potential market we have seen in a long time. He emphasized on having “systems in place”. He said, “Brand is a promise of consistency” and successful entrepreneurs achieve that by engineering opportunities for the long-term. Apart from adequate capital, an entrepreneur needs to ask him/herself:

  • What have I developed?
  • What have I grown?
  • What is my passion?

Luis Daniel, General Manager, KRR International, (who started his career as a McDonald crew 25 years ago) shared that after about 3-5 years when operational systems of a business have been set (facilitating smooth expansion), an entrepreneur can “work less and make more”.

Ankur Sharma, General Manager Business Development , Yo China shared that capital needs of a franchise business range from Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 1.5 crores. At the smallest level, Kiosk models can yield 100% ROI in one year. A full-fledged restaurant model  can yield 30-35% ROI in one year.

franchise restaurant services market size
franchise restaurant services market size

Franchise India – Entrepreneurship Summit 2009 – Specialty Retail

Franchise India 2009
Franchise India 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009. Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi. Day 1 of Franchise India 2009 saw scores of enthusiastic entrepreneurs eagerly evaluating various franchise opportunities (300 brands) in India.

Billed as “Asia’s Biggest Franchise Show”, the event came alive in various sections – Brand License 2009, Entrepreneurship Summit ’09, Food & Beverage, Fashion franchising, Knowledge Series, Licensing and Retail.

What aroused our curiosity was the “Entrepreneurship Summit 2009” conference series. Some of the speakers at “Business Opportunities : Specialty Retail” session were:

  • Aloke Banerjee, CEO, Rosebys
  • Vivek Bali, Group President, Spice Hotspot
  • S.Ravikant, COO, Titan Eyewear
  • N.P. Singh, Director, Samsonite
  • Rajiv Agarwal, The Mobile Store
  • Naveen Rakhecha, CEO, Cartridge World

S. Ravikant, COO, Titan Eyewear  was representing Titan, India’s “Largest Specialty Retailer” with turnover of Rs. 3000 Crores. He talked about his franchise offer, “Multi-Brand” Eye+ Retail Stores, as “World Class Optical Stores”. What makes this an attractive opportunity is the fact that most consumers in this space are clueless about quality parameters, concerned about accuracy of lenses and confused about lack of transparency in pricing.

N.P. Singh, shared how Samsonite’s innovations (from 1910) have made it a global leader with 34% of global luggage market share. He presented his Rs. 25+ lakhs franchise opportunity (3 year payback) with a unique offering – “obsolescence replacement”.

A recurring theme was “World Class” – world class products, world class operations, world class systems, world class training, world class technology and so on.

Rajiv Agarwal showcased “The Mobile Store” as a world class shopping experience for the existing fragmented mobile market with a chaotic shopping experience.

Naveen Rakhecha, CEO, Cartridge World shared his gyan, “Look beyond traditional franchise opportunities (Education, F&B, etc). Go for distinguished offering. Unique ideas are likely to give better returns”.

NEXT BUSINESS CAPSULE: Opportunities in Food & Beverage segment.