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December 25, 2015
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After decades of positive deliberation, India has finally accepted the idea of a common indirect tax regime- Goods and Services Tax (GST). Battered with multiplicity of Indirect taxes in the current regime, India Inc has more than welcomed the GST as it brings within its ambit the flavor of ‘ease of doing business’ in India, seamless credit flow and a vision of common market across India. The draft Indian Model GST Law[1] (‘Model GST Law’) which was made public on 3rd December 2015, underlines an overview of the Final GST Act. In this article, we have outlined the key compliance proposed in the Model GST Law and ascertain the ground reality of GST’s claim on considerable ease in doing business in India.

Returns in GST regime

Every registered assessee will be required to file returns (including NIL returns). It is pertinent to note that there could be as many as 8 returns as under:

Type of Return as per return report


Due date of filing2


Outward supplies made by taxpayer

10th of the succeeding month


Inward supplies made by taxpayer

15th of the succeeding month


Monthly return (inward supplies + outward supplies)

20th of the succeeding month


Quarterly return for compounding Taxpayer

18th of next month from end of quarter


Periodic Return by Non-Resident Taxpayer

Last day of registration


Return for Input Service Distributor (ISD)

15th of succeeding month


Return for Tax Deducted at Source

10th of succeeding month


Annual Return

By 31st December of next FY

The return (including NIL return) filing formalities may increase by manifolds as far as periodicity, number of forms and multiplicity of compliances are concerned. Compliance requirement may further become cumbersome as invoice level details are expected to be provided in the returns. For example, a service taxpayer, covered by the Central Service Tax legislation, is currently required to file half yearly return and within the GST regime, same Service Tax assessee might be required to file as many as 61 returns (5 returns per month i.e. GSTR 1, 2,3,6,7 and GSTR 8 annual return).

Rectification of Errors in return

Rectification of errors for any omission or incorrect particulars (other than as a result of audit, inspection or enforcement activity by the tax authorities) would be allowed in the return period in which such omission/incorrect particulars to specific restriction such as rectification / omission may not be allowed after filing of the return for the month of November following the end of the FY etc.

Given the aforesaid restrictions, it would be advisable that the taxpayers would need to have a robust mechanism to capture correctly the details of invoices, revenue, input invoices and other data in the original return itself. Thus, the taxpayers will have to strengthen their reporting processes and controls.

Registration in GST regime

GST law on registration provides that a taxable person in the GST regime will be required to take State specific registration. Further, multiple registrations in a State for business verticals would also be permitted.

As per Schedule III of the GST law, every person who is registered or holds a license under an earlier law (i.e. current indirect tax regime) would be liable to be registered under GST regime. For new assessee (who is not registered under current indirect tax regime) a threshold (to be calculated on all India basis) of Turnover (as per section 2 (73) of the model GST law) including exports and exempted supplies below which any person engaged in supply of Goods or Services or both will not be required to take registration. Given this, there could be an ambiguity if a person already registered under earlier law if falls under threshold of turnover under GST then whether he is liable for registration under GST law?

As regards registrations, one can also apply voluntarily for GST registration. However, in case of person engaged in inter-state supplies, casual taxable persons or a person liable to GST under reverse charge, irrespective of turnover, registration would be compulsory.

Payments in GST regime

GST law provides that the taxable person will be required to make payment of tax (i.e. CGST, SGST, IGST and Additional Tax) including interest, penalty or fee through electronic cash/credit ledger.

It is worthwhile to know that cross utilisation of electronic cash/credit under IGST for CGST and SGST payment, electronic cash/credit under CGST for IGST payment and electronic cash/credit under SGST for IGST payment will be allowed. However, cross utilisation of cash/credit under CGST for payment of SGST and vice versa will not be allowed.

Further, as per section 47(6) of the Model GST law, where the amount available in the electronic cash or the credit ledger falls short of aggregate of tax, interest, penalty fee or any other amount due the said amount would be liable to be debited in following order:

  1. Interest liability related to returns of previous tax periods

  2. Tax liability related to returns of previous tax periods

  3. Tax liability of current tax periods

  4. Any other amount

Tax deduction at source

The Central or State government may mandate Central or State government department, Local authority, Governmental Agency, any category of entities as may be notified by the Central or a State government to deduct tax at the rate of 1% from the payment made or credited to the supplier of taxable goods and / or services as notified by the Central or a State government, where total value of such supply, under the contract, exceeds ₹ 10 lacs. The value of supply for TDS would be excluding the tax indicated on the invoice.

The tax deducted would be paid by the deductor within 10 days after the end of the month in which such deduction is made in the manner prescribed. The deductor would be furnish a certificate to the deductee within 5 days from crediting such tax at source to the appropriate government and default in furnishing of such certificate would be liable to late fee as prescribed under the Act.

Every deductor would be liable to take registration within specified period as prescribed and furnish the return in the form within due date as prescribed, failing which he would be liable to pay late fee of as prescribed under the Act.


Although the compliances under multiple indirect tax levies such as Excise, VAT etc would cease and grant a relief to the taxpayer (especially manufacturer), the main pain point of reduction in compliances and achieving the objective of “Ease of doing business in India” does not appear to fully achieved given the manifold increase in compliances.

Thus given the drastic change and increase in number of compliances, it is advisable to work towards analysing the impact of the GST on business operations to ascertain the impact on tax, finance, working capital, contracts, operations and compliances to anticipate the changes in advance and gear up accordingly.

The Report of Sub-Committee released in the public domain outlines the various facets of the Model GST Law. Though recently the Ministry of Finance confirmed that the said report is not the Draft GST law and Draft GST law may take one more month before it is released on public domain. The said report acts as a base document from which a cue can be taken about ideology of the Indian Government in formulation of the framework of the GST Law. Considering the same we have expressed views in this article on the report / draft available on public domain.)

[1] Based on documents available in the public domain on 4 December 2015 which were circulated by an official government website and thereafter by some private tax portals.

2 As specified in Report on Returns (released in October 2015)

(Authored by Ankita Gala– Manager, Anuradha Mantri– Executive at SKP Business Consulting LLP)


By: SKP IDT - December 25, 2015


Discussions to this article


Written in a lucid language, easy to understand. Thanks

By: Ganeshan Kalyani
Dated: 26/12/2015


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