Rise in indirect tax mop-up may be attributed to the year-end phenomenon when taxpayers pay arrears
Experts say the higher tax collections signal that the GST regime is getting stabilized
Revenue from goods and services tax (GST) witnessed 10% growth from the year-ago period at ₹1.13 trillion in April, the highest ever since the implementation of the indirect tax system on 1 July 2017, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.
The rise in tax collections in April (for domestic sales in March) can also be partially attributed to the year-end phenomenon, when taxpayers pay their arrears.
“While one reason for the growth could be the year-end adjustments and corrections, the steady growth in the last couple of months and over the last year’s collections for the same month is definitely laudable," said Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY India.
Of the gross GST collection of ₹1.13 trillion, central GST (CGST) was ₹21,163 crore, while state GST (SGST) was ₹28,801 crore. Integrated GST (IGST) collections, levied on inter-state supply of goods and services, and divided between the centre and states, stood at ₹54,733 crore and ₹9,168 crore of cess was collected in April.
As many as 72.13 lakh summary return GSTR 3Bs were filed in March, and up to 30 April, the ministry said.
“The fact that the collections in April 2019 are over 10% higher than April 2018 is encouraging and indicates that the tax base is increasing gradually with GST getting stabilized, measures, such as e-way bills and effective data mining, are working" said Pratik Jain, partner and leader, indirect tax, PwC India.
“Perhaps, one of the reasons for this increase was also a push from businesses to vendors for reporting sales of 2017-18, for which the last date of claiming credit coincides with GST filings for the month of March, 2019. While this level of tax collection may be unrealistic for all future months, the government would hope that average monthly collections for 2019-20 is at least 10% higher than 2018-19," he said.
The government aims to mop up ₹7.61 trillion from GST in 2019-20, an increase of 18% compared to the last fiscal.