President Ram Nath Kovind while addressing probationers of the 67th (2015) batch of the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) having called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan quoting Chanakya rightly desired smooth tax-collection. Central government should follow the advice by simplifying procedures for Goods and Service Tax (GST) by reviving single return to be filed every three months but with GST being deposited on monthly basis without any loss to the exchequer. Present system of filing three or four GST-returns every month is very torturing with service-providers and others left at mercy of GST-consultants and auditors charging heavy fees multifold before GST-regime was forced on the country.
Pinching 18-percent GST on service-providers is too much when it was just 5-percent service-tax when service-tax was first time introduced in the country. Tax-rate should be so reasonable that tax-payers may voluntary file returns without any tears. If GST for service-providers be fixed at ten-percent with all service-providers and those availing services with turn-over of rupees five lacs required to be covered under GST, then it can increase tax-net apart from fetching much more revenue than through such an abnormally high rate of 18-percent. Revenue-earning can be further increased and made less risky if GST may be deposited by those availing service rather than their paying to service-providers for further deposit with public-exchequer. Those availing service can then issue tax-deposit-certificates to service-providers who may than pay GST only on service for which such tax-deposit-certificates may not be available with them. Complicated provision of GST drawback may also then be withdrawn giving a further boost to compensate for suggested lower GST at 10-percent uniformly for all service-providers.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)