The indirect tax department has identified evasions of a whopping 112.51 billion rupees under the goods and services tax regime in the previous financial year, the government said. In a reply to the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that these cases of evasions involved fake invoices, which were generated to claim a higher input tax credit under the GST.
RETURN FILING WOBBLY: Two years after the landmark goods and services tax amalgamated 17 different central and state levies, returns filing under the new indirect tax regime continues to be wobbly with filings showing spikes every three months but less than desired, data analysis showed.
The data showed that while a little over 1 crore businesses were eligible to file GSTR-1 as of March 2019, only a little over 65 lakh have actually filed it. Similarly for December 2018, while about 1 crore businesses were required to file GSTR-1, about 75 lakh have filed it till June 23, 2019.
In the current financial year, while around 55 lakh businesses were eligible to file GSTR-1, about 25 lakh and 20 lakh businesses have filed the return in April and May, respectively.
2-RATE TAX, EVENTUALLY: Former Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday hinted at the Goods and Services Tax effectively becoming a 2-rate tax, once the government revenue enhances. This will be feasible with the possible merger of 12% and 18% slab into one rate, he said, while stressing 28% slab has almost been phased out, except on luxury and sin goods, and zero and 5% slabs will always remain.
In a lengthy write-up on the GST which completed two years on July 1, Jaitley ruled out a single slab GST, asserting that it is possible only in extremely affluent countries where there are no poor people.
“It would be inequitable to apply a single rate in countries where there are a large number of people below the poverty line. The direct tax is a progressive tax – the more you earn, the more you pay. An indirect tax is a regressive tax.