GST Collections For May At Rs 99,939 Crore, Lowest In Four Months
Indian two thousand rupee banknotes are arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

GST Collections For May At Rs 99,939 Crore, Lowest In Four Months

The goods and services tax collections fell below the Rs 1 lakh-crore mark after three months.

The mop-up for May (collected in June) stood at Rs 99,939 crore against Rs 1,00,289 crore in April, according to a statement by the Ministry of Finance. That’s a decline of 0.3 percent over April and an increase of nearly 4.5 percent over the year-ago period.

Break-up of tax collected under various heads for May:

  • Central GST: Rs 18,366 crore.
  • State GST: Rs 25,343 crore
  • Integrated GST: Rs 47,772 crore (including Rs 21,980 crore collected on imports)
  • Cess: Rs 8,457 crore (including Rs 876 crore collected on imports).

GST collections have almost touched Rs 1 lakh crore, the general trend over the last few months, Pratik Jain, partner at PwC, said in an emailed statement. But it’s only 1.86 percent higher than the monthly average of 2018-19 compared to an 8 percent jump in the previous fiscal, he said, adding that it would certainly fall short of the government’s expectations, particularly given the ambitious collection target for 2019-20.

The government pegged the target at Rs 13.71 lakh crore for FY20 in the interim budget presented in February. But it failed to meet the original target in the previous fiscal and eventually mopped up Rs 11.77 lakh crore in 2018-19.

A potential shortfall in FY20 may accelerate the audits and scrutiny over next few months, the guidelines for which were issued recently, according to Jain. “It will be interesting to see if the government revises the projected GST collection for 2019-20 downwards, when the Union Budget is presented later this week.”

Compliance has improved though. The number of GST returns filed during the month improved over the previous month. The total number of GSTR-3B returns filed for May by June 30 were 74.38 lakh compared with 72.45 lakh filed for April, and 72.13 lakh for March.

The government has a targeted approach for dealing with ‘risky’ taxpayers, and the new system of e-invoicing will help in improving compliance and tax collections, Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Chairman PK Das told BloombergQuint in an interview.

Abhishek Jain, an indirect tax partner at EY India, expects that to work. The government’s focus on curbing tax evasion by implementing e-invoicing system, new return filing system, and upgrading the e-way bill platform will help in improving their tax collections.

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