More stern steps for GST compliance

Hyderabad Zone sees returns filings at 85 per cent during July 2017-March 2018

By Author  |  Published: 2nd Jul 2018  12:02 amUpdated: 2nd Jul 2018  9:42 pm

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Zone which has topped the nation in terms of GST refunds is now keen to improve the GST filing returns compliance. Bankey Behari Agrawal, Chief Commissioner, GST & Customs, Hyderabad Zone, told Telangana Today, “While the GST filing returns average across the nation stood at an average of 87 per cent, with certain zones witnessing 94 per cent compliance, Hyderabad Zone has experienced the returns filings at 85 per cent, during July 2017-March 2018 period.”

“We are telling the taxpayers if they have a problem, they should come to us. We are making a strong request to them to file their returns. People skipping filing returns as they were doing in the past, will not happen now. They should also realise that GST is an IT-based tax. If they don’t file returns, they will lose their buyers, particularly in B2B. They will have to leave their old habits. From the government side, adequate facilities are provided for filing returns. There is no excuse for these 15 per cent to file returns.” he added.

Central GST team is stepping up stern measures to improve GST returns filing, including transit verifications, and is booking cases based on intelligence. If the trend continues, harsh measures will be taken against those who are not filing returns, even if they have nil returns, he warned.

Agrawal said, “There needs to be an improvement in the overall compliance in terms of filing GST returns and the department is stepping up enforcement measures. We have already dealt with 23 cases involving Rs 41 crore dues, and have recovered Rs 22 crore. All the assessees are being reached and any deficiencies are being followed up. Beyond a point, if we have to arrest, we will arrest.”

Hyderabad Zone has about 3.25 lakh taxpayers (one crore across India) and of them there are 60,000 composition dealers. Of the 3.25 lakh taxpayers, Centre has over 1 lakh and State has over 2 lakh.

GST collections so far had been at Rs 24,000 crore from July 2017-March 2018 period, with an average of Rs 2,700 crore on a monthly basis. The zone (covering entire State of Telangana) has topped the national charts in terms of the GST refund achieving 85 per cent in terms of number of applications for which the sanction order (provisional or final) has been issued. The city is followed by Mumbai. These refunds relate to input credit that is due or surplus deposit made by the taxpayer or deposits were made under the wrong head.

The department over the last year has made efforts to solve payment gateway and legacy issues. It has also disposed 700 appeal cases.

Stressing that Telangana has been carrying out outreach programmes to sensitise all the stakeholders on GST compliance, he informed, over 3,000 outreach programmes had been conducted so far, almost accounting for one-third of what is conducted in India. In the 36 GST kendras, over 13,000 people had visited in the last one year. It has obtained a 4.82 rating from all its stakeholders visiting these kendras. The GST Seva Rath (van) has helped clear queries of 1,200 people so far. There is also a toll-free number created to help taxpayersit.

A new app has been developed by the department that will help consumers report violations by GST-registered traders in the billing. Delhi has also developed a similar app.

Agrawal who presided over the GST Day celebrations conducted to commemorate the first anniversary of GST rollout at FTAPCCI presented awards to officers for their exemplary contribution.

Gowra Srinivas, president, FTAPCCI, said, GST had been implemented by holding consultative meetings with industry bodies across the country including theirs. FTAPCCI had earlier made 64 suggestions towards GST which had been incorporated.