Traders’ body CAIT suggests measures to broaden GST

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Traders’ body CAIT on Wednesday suggested a host of measures, like technical audits and waiver of late fees, to broaden the GST base and make the taxation system simple. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has made the suggestions to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime completes three years of implementation. “The debut of GST in 2017 was a big reform. It was introduced/ implemented with an aim of one nation one tax and with a view of removing the cascading effect of taxes and providing seamless input tax credit. Government of all states are working hand in hand with each other and with the Centre in order to make this law more assessee friendly,” said CAIT in a communication to Sitharaman.

The traders’ body congratulated the government on completion of three years of GST implementation and also appreciated it for bringing gradual changes as and when suggested by the trade. “We are of the view that the country requires two more years to make GST a stable taxation system provided the GST Council takes stakeholders into confidence and draw ways and means to simplify the system, remove technical glitches, avoid penal actions except on wilful avoidance of tax and make attempts to encourage more and more people to embrace GST taxation system,” it said. It also stressed that “the fear of GST cobweb is needed to be removed” as it suggested measures to broaden the tax base.

The CAIT said the first and most important issue to be addressed is the technical glitches which a trader faces on a regular basis. “At present because of technical issues, law is being changed. For example initially three GSTR Forms were introduced however, due to technical issues till date, those forms never became a reality and a new Form GSTR-3B had to be introduced,” it added. So, technical audits should be done at regular intervals and the technical team should be given proper training about the law to make the system glitch free, the industry body said. CAIT said the trader is facing business challenges due to various reasons, therefore, late fees and any type of penalties with regard to procedural compliances should be waived at least for another two years.

Other suggestions include, implementation of recommendations given by various committees set up by GST Council and setting up of a National Advance Ruling Tribunal at earliest. CAIT also suggested that the date of challan should be treated as the date of payment instead of date of filing Form GSTR-3B and the date of payment received should be treated as time of supply for 2020-21 and input tax credit (ITC) should be unconditional.

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