Tax forms and a calculator. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

GST Collections Fall In February After Stabilising For Two Months

The government revenue from the Goods and Services Tax declined in February after remaining stable for the previous two months.

Tax collections for the month fell to Rs 85,174 crore as on March 26, the Finance Ministry said in a statement. That compares with Rs 86,318 crore collected in January and Rs 88,929 crore in December. Collections for December were revised upwards by the government from Rs 86,703 crore.

GST Collections Fall In February After Stabilising For Two Months

The government will now look forward to the implementation of e-way bill mechanism to boost revenue, Abhishek Jain, partner-indirect tax at EY India told BloombergQuint. The mechanism will be rolled out from next month.

But collections will only stabilise in the next six months once the e-way is rolled out for both inter and intra-state movement of goods by June 18. , according to Priyajit Ghosh, partner at KPMG.

The break-up of tax collected in February is as follows:

  • Central Goods and Services Tax: Rs 14,945 crore.
  • State Goods and Services Tax: Rs 20,456 crore.
  • Integrated Goods and Services Tax: Rs 42,456 crore.
  • Compensation Cess: Rs 7,317 crore.

After settlement of IGST between states and the centre, CGST collected was Rs 27,085 crore while SGST was Rs 33,880 crore. That’s because of the utilisation of IGST credit for paying GST on inter-state business-to-consumer transactions where the consuming state gets its share in the IGST.

The actual tax collections are about 2 percent less than the provisional figures so far, and assessees are also facing the burden of direct tax payments in the form of advance tax and TDS (tax deductible at source), said Abhishek Rastogi, partner at Khaitan & Co in an emailed statement.

The collections are expected to increase in March 2018 after composition dealers file quarterly returns. Besides, the low collections can also be attributed to sluggish business performance over the past few months and increase in outflow of IGST refunds.
Abhishek Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co

Returns Filed

About 59.51 lakh GSTR-3B returns were filed as on March 26, as compared with 57.78 lakh GSTR-3B returns filed in January as on Feb. 25.

Only 69 percent of the 86.3 lakh eligible taxpayers filed GSTR-3B for February. As on March 25, total taxpayers registered under GST are 1.05 crore, which includes 18.17 assessees who have availed the composition scheme, a scheme that levies a marginal rate of tax but with no input tax credit

The shortfall icould indicate that tax deposits have not been made on a timely basis, Saloni Roy, senior director at Deloitte told BloombergQuint.