GST FAQs: E- tailers, taxi aggregators need to register

By | September 22, 2016
A day before the GST Councils first meeting, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on Wednesday came out with an extensive clarifications detailing taxability of e- commerce players and taxi aggregators under the new setup. The 268- page frequently asked questions (FAQ) booklet, released by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, answered 500 questions on 24 topics, including registration, valuation and payment, scope and time of supply, refunds, seizure and arrest. It has also clarified that taxi aggregators, including Ola, will have to register under goods and services tax (GST) and there will be no threshold exemption for them. Similarly, e- commerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon will have to seek registration under the GST regime, irrespective of the value of supply made by them. It also clarified that companies, including Titan, which supply watches and jewels through their own websites, will not be considered as ecommerce operators. “A person providing any information or any other services incidental to or in connection with such supply of goods and services through electronic platform would be considered as an operator. A person supplying goods/ services on his own account, however, would not be considered as an operator,” said the FAQs, which are based on the Model GST law. Elaborating on the penal provisions, the FAQ booklet said penalty could extend up to five years of jail with a fine if the tax evaded is more than Rs. 2.5 crore, three years if tax evaded is between Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 2.5 crore, and one year if it is Rs. 25- 50 lakh. It further said all offences where the evasion of tax exceeds Rs. 2.5 crore shall be cognizable and non- bailable. Regarding Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), over which Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament Subramanian Swamy has expressed misgivings, the FAQ said: “ GSTN in its current form was created after taking approval of the empowered committee of state finance ministers and the Union government after due deliberations over a long period of time.” Under the current structure, central and state governments will together hold 49 per cent equity in GSTN while the remaining 51 per cent is held collectively by HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Company (10 per cent each), and LIC Housing Finance (11 per cent). According to Swamy, the equity structure of GSTN is “anti- national”. On role of Infosys in GSTN, it said the IT company has been engaged as a “ single managed service provider” for design development, deployment of GST system, including application software, tools, infrastructure and to maintain it for five years. –[22-09-2016]

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