India's new e-Way bill starts April 1

GST Council fails to come up with simplified way of filing returns extends present system

Briefing reporters after the GST Council meeting here, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said electronic way or e-way bill for movement of goods between states will be implemented from April 1. Intra-state e-way bill, on the other hand, will be rolled out from April 15 in a staggered manner and the entire country will be covered by June 1, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying. As GST return filing is taking time to stabilise, EWB can help detect and reduce tax evasion. Jaitley added that along with GST return filing, tax exemptions to exporters have also been extended by six months to September.

Deloitte India's Senior Advisor YG Parande said the current dispensation for returns for further three months was inevitable and expected.

But member-states failed to agree on how to make it simpler for businesses to file tax returns in the new goods and services tax (GST) regime. "In the first phase, only the inter-state movement of goods will be mandatorily required to take e-way bill and after a couple of weeks, the roll-out of intra-state movement of goods through e-way bill system will start", Modi had said.

With businesses complaining of difficulty in invoice matching while filing final returns as well as complications in GSTN systems, the GST Council in November past year extended GSTR-3B filing requirement till the end of March 2018 and did away with the filing of purchase return GSTR-2 and final return 3.

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However, every state has to come on board for the intra-state implementation latest by June 1.

Pratik Jain, Partner and Leader Indirect Tax, PwC, says the GST council took some important decisions, largely on expected lines though. GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017, and based on the feedback received from stakeholders the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, has made a host of changes in GST norms and procedures.

"From April 1, when the new financial year of 2018 - 2019 starts, (GoM) made a decision to start the inter-state movement of e-way bill system". The council also suspended till June 30 the provision for deduction of TDS and collection of TCS, as well as implementation of the reverse charge mechanism.

Accordingly, merchant exporters can pay a tax at the rate of 0.1 per cent on goods procured for export purposes and obtain a refund for the same.

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