Arun Jait­ley, Min­is­ter of Fi­nance

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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

Launch CEBC Mo­bileapp

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