Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance
The Revenue Department has expressed "serious concern" over delay in migration of excise and service tax assessees to the new GST regime and asked field officers to complete the process by March 31. The Central Board of Excise and Customs, the apex policy making body for indirect taxes, in a communication to the field formations has asked the Zonal Chief Commissioners to submit a weekly progress report beginning March 6. In early January, the CBEC had asked field officers to migrate all existing central excise/service tax assessees to GST portal by January 31, 2017. "It is a matter of serious concern, that while the migration figure is in range of 50 to 90 per cent for majority of States/Union Territories, the migration with respect of central excise/service tax assessees through CBEC is a paltry 2.94 per cent in central excise and 8.22 per cent in service tax," the CBEC said. For central excise taxpayers, the process of migration to GST had started since January 20, while for service tax assessees, it begun on February 9. The CBEC has asked field officers to contact assessees via phone/ email who are yet to activate their provisional GST IDs and encourage them to migrate without further delay. "I would urge all field formations to conduct more seminars and training in local language to encourage taxpayers to migrate early by March 31. Advertisements may also be brought out in local newspapers, TV channels,FM radio channels in vernacular language to ensure greater reach," the CBEC said. The government plans to roll out GST from July 1 and in the run up to the new indirect tax regime, it has started migrating excise, service tax and VAT assessees to the new tax payment portal. As many as 80 lakh such assessees are to be migrated to the GST portal. Permanent Account Number is mandatory for migration to GST.
If an existing excise or service tax asseessee does not have a PAN, then the same has to be obtained from the income tax department. "The progress of migration to GST is being closely monitored at the highest level. I would urge you to bestow your personal attention and ensure speedy and smooth migration of the remaining excise/service tax asseesses without further delay," CBEC said. The CBEC has also started 24X7 help desk to help assessees migrate to the new portal. Once the existing registered taxpayers log in to CBEC's Web Portal www.aces.gov. in, a facility will be given in a secure manner to access the provisional login ID and password given by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN). Thereafter, using the same, they can log on to the GST Portal (www.gst. gov.in) to fill the requisite fields and submit scanned documents. This migration process is for excise or service taxpayers who are not getting migrated through state VAT.
CBEC vs GST: Revamp CBEC to get more out of it, merge with CBDT
Given the GST Council’s decision to split the administration of assessees with the states—90:10 for those with a turnover of less than R1.5 crore and 50:50 for those above—it is not surprising Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) officials should be up in arms. Some of the points made by them in their letter to the prime minister make sense and need to be taken into consideration, some others are clearly self-serving and designed to scare the government, like the claim that the new plan could result in the government losing revenues worth R1.1 lakh crore or the claim that delegation of ‘central indirect tax related assessment function would amount to appointment of State officers indirectly without undergoing through the UPSC selection’. Their claim that Karnataka has a 30% failure rate when it comes to matching of invoices, critical for GST, though, needs to be looked at and solutions found. And, to the extent state tax officials are more control-oriented with emphasis on seizure or attachment of goods, as the CBEC officials point out, some serious reorientation will surely be called for if GST has to proceed smoothly. But, as for their claim that big service tax payers, like airlines and telecom companies, will now need to face 30 different tax administrations, it is easily dealt with—while the taxfiling is electronic, in case of any dispute/clarification, the state and central tax officers can discuss issues and only one of them will deal with the company. While finance minister Arun Jaitley has already assured these officers who claim the new plan will ‘lead to the assessee base of CBEC becoming extremely small bringing into risk very survival of the department”, this is the best time for CBEC to start redeploying officials into new areas, apart from developing new tools to catch evasion in the GST tax base assigned to it—according to a Business Standard report, this is already being planned. One such is focusing on compliance management and dispute resolution and data analysis—the CBEC is also working on setting up of a national targeting centre to intercept consignments and do risk profiling based on pre-identified parameters. Going ahead, the government can also look at integrating the CBEC and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) post-GST, as suggested by the Tax Administration Reform Commission (TARC)—this will not only help in bringing the long-pending synergy between the work of the two boards, but also in handling black money and tax evasion.
CBEC launches mobile app for GST
Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has launched a mobile application on Thursday for Goods and Services Tax (GST) to inform the taxpayers of the latest updates on GST. CBEC said, "In step with the Government’s Digital India initiative, the Central Board of Excise and Customs ( CBEC) has launched a mobile application for Goods and Services Tax." The Mobile Application enables taxpayers to be well informed of the latest updates on GST. Taxpayers can also provide feedback and contact CBEC’s 24x7 helpdesk “CBEC Mitra” through a toll-free number or email, at the touch of a button, it said. The mobile application can be downloaded free of cost on Android platforms and iOS version will be made available shortly, CBEC said. Taxpayers can readily access a host of GST information such as: Migration to GST-Approach and guidelines for migration Draft Law-Model GST Law, IGST Law and GST Compensation Law Draft Rules-Rules related to Registration, Returns, Payment, Refund and Invoice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GST Various resources on GST such a videos, articles etc. Related Website Links Helpdesk/Email Contact
Simple Step for Migration into GST
Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance
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