Revenue from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for April 2018 has finally crossed the ₹1 lakh crore threshold, coming in at ₹1,03,458 crore, according to official data released on Tuesday.
“The total Gross GST revenue collected in the month of April 2018 is ₹1,03,458 crore of which CGST is ₹ 18,652 crore, SGST is ₹25,704 crore, IGST is ₹50,548 crore (including ₹21,246 crore collected on imports) and cess is ₹8,554 crore (including ₹702 crore collected on imports),” the government said in a release.
‘Reforms yield results’
“GST collections in April exceeding ₹1 lakh crore is a landmark achievement and a confirmation of increased economic activity as brought out by other reports,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted after the data was released. “With the improved economic climate, introduction of e-way bill and improved GST compliance, GST collections would continue to show a positive trend.”
”The GST revenue collections in April have shown a phenomenal buoyancy as compared to the collections in previous months, which is very encouraging,” Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner at EY India said in a note. “With anti-evasion measures like e-waybill already introduced and others like TDS, TCS and credit matching which may get introduced in the coming months, the Government could be hopeful of very good GST collections in the current fiscal year, that is, 2018-19.”
“This represents a tipping point in the GST collections in India and indicates that the tax collections are stabilising,” M.S. Mani, Partner at Deloitte India said.
“It is now essential to allow the reform to stabilise and not keep making constant changes as simplification and stability are essential attributes of increased tax compliance.”
The government was, however, cautious about declaring April’s collections as a trend for the future.
“The buoyancy in the tax revenue of GST reflects the upswing in the economy and better compliance,” the release said. “However, it is usually noticed that in the last month of the financial year, people also try to pay arrears of some of the previous months also and, therefore, this month’s revenue cannot be taken as trend for the future.”
Compliance, however, still remains a problem as shown by the fact that 60.47 lakh GSTR 3B returns were filed for March up to April 30, out of 87.12 lakh who were eligible to file, which is a compliance rate of just 69.5%.
“April was also the month for filing of quarterly return for composition dealers,” the release added. “Out of 19.31 lakh composition dealers, 11.47 lakh have filed their quarterly return (GSTR 4) which is 59.40% and have paid total tax of ₹579 crores, which is included in the above figure of ₹1.03 lakh crore of total GST collection.”
“While the filing of 3B returns have improved and touched almost 70%, for composition dealers this continues to be less than 60%,” Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader, Indirect Tax, at PwC said. “With only Rs 579 crores coming from these dealers, Government might want to investigate it in detail.”
The GST Council will meet next via teleconference on May 4, when it is expected to unveil a new and simplified return filing format, which is hoped to increase compliance.