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Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

GST e-way bill must from April 1

GST e-way bill must from April 1

The GST Council on Saturday could not take a decision on simplification of return filing and chose to continue with the current regime of multiple filings for the next three months. Harishanker Subramaniam, national leader, indirect tax, EY India, said that with GST revenues more or less stagnating, implementation of e-way bill from 1 April for interstate movement of goods is expected to plug leakages and shore up revenues. "After a week of the inter-state implementation, it will also be rolled out for intra-state movement of goods in phased manner with four groups of states", Jaitley said. The Council felt that there should be single return every month, it should be simple, not prone to evasion and (there was a need to discuss) how to simplify it further. Jaitley told reporters that further discussion was felt necessary to ensure that there is no evasion of tax in the hurry to simplify the process.

With states divided on the return filing procedures, the present filing system was extended for another three months.

E-way bill is an electronic way bill for movement of goods which can be generated on the GSTN (common portal). "Will try to implement it in all the states by end of April", Jaitley said. But no concrete decision has been taken on it yet.

Earlier in February, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Bihar, Sushil Modi had suggested that the e-way bill be made mandatory from April 1. "Current system (of filing GSTR3B and GSTR1) will continue for another three months", Jaitley said. State-wise implementation of e-way bill will be done on a weekly basis (after April 7).

"The decision to implement the e-way bill from April for inter-state and to stagger intra-state is a welcome step", Archit Gupta, founder & CEO of ClearTax, said.

However, in October, the Council approved IGST exemption until March 31, 2018 as exporters were grappling with locked tax refunds that were hurting their working capital availability.

The council also announced dates of e-way bill rollout, the other major topic on the meeting's agenda.

Anxious about tax evasion under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), officials are keen that the new returns filing system should ensure that the tax is first paid before the credit is given.

Also, domestic procurement made under Advance Authorisation, EPCG and EOU schemes are being recognised as "deemed exports" with flexibility for either the suppliers or the exporters being able to claim a refund of GST/IGST paid thereon.

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