Plan and Policy

Plan & Policy

Trend of filing nil returns sees steep fall under GST regime

Though the GST collections have come in below expectation, the government can take comfort from the fact that the number of trade and businesses filing nil return has steadily fallen over the past six months in the new indirect tax regime.

Latest finance ministry data shows the number of assessees filing nil tax return has come down to 16.31 lakh in December 2017 from 27.14 lakh in July. This means just 28 per cent GST-registered firms claimed zero return in their monthly filings in December compared to nearly 44 per cent in the inaugural month of the GST.

Govt mulls allowing foreign vessels in coastal waters

The government is considering a proposal to permit foreign vessels to operate in Indian coastal waters with a view to reduce logistics cost, enhance port efficiency and boost domestic shipping industry, an official said. The move would facilitate transportation of cargo between different ports alo­ng the country’s coastline.

Currently, the Cabotage rule, which governs this activity, makes it difficult for foreign flagged vessels to handle cargo between two domestic ports.

GST starts generating good vibes

The construction industry has started witnessing shift towards forma­l­isation of labo­ur force with top GST-compliant companies insisting on engaging with GST-registered contractors and vendors. To secure input tax credit, GST-compliant construction companies have to work with GST-registered contractors, sub-contractors and local vendors supplying labourers for their projects.

GST quirks: No tax on patient’s food but attendant not exempt

The GST continues to throw up awkward anomalies, despite the government claim that it has softened the rough edges in the new tax regime. Take this one, for instance, which pinches people in their most trying moments: the food consumed by a patient admitted in hospital has been exempted from GST. But if the patient’s attendant orders the same meal, GST will be added in the bill.

64% people opine GST disrupted businesses: Survey

Around 64 per cent of Indians surveyed are of the view that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout led to a disruption among the businesses community across the country, says an IFAC survey.

The online survey, with a sample size of 1,200, was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) from October 30 to November 2, 2017. It was done to assess public perception on key issues facing the accounting profession.

EPFO may retain 8.65% interest rate for FY18

Retirement fund body EPFO is expected to keep interest rate unchanged at 8.65 per cent on provident funds for its about 5 crore members for 2017-18 at its trustees’ meet on February 21, 2018, sources said.

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has already sold exchange-traded funds (ETF) worth Rs 2,886 crore earlier this month to bridge the gap to maintain 8.65 per cent for this financial year, they said.

The EPFO had announced 8.65 per cent rate of interest on deposits for 2016-17, a tad lower than 8.8 per cent in 2015- 16.

Govt moves hard on shell firms, removes ITR exemption

Further tightening the screw on shell companies, the government has proposed removing exemption available to firms with tax liability of up to Rs 3,000 from filing income tax (I-T) returns.

The new rule would come in effect from next financial year. The budget has rationalised the I-T Act provision relating to prosecution for failure to furnish returns. Accordingly, the managing director or director in charge of a company during a particular financial year could be liable for prosecution in case of any lapse in filing I-T returns.

Bombay HC pulls up Centre for GST pomp, glitches

Questioning the pomp and show around GST launch last year, the Bombay High Court has said it means nothing if the indirect tax regime is not assessee-friendly and riddled with technical glitches.