Commissioner of Commercial Taxes Deepak Bandekar Friday said that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) coverage in Goa is nearly complete.
Bandekar said that 70 per cent of the dealers have migrated to the GST network and the remaining 30 per cent do not need to, as they are below the turnover threshold of Rs 20 lakh.
The Commissioner ruled out concerns of poor internet connectivity in many places hampering the GST rollout. He said that Goa’s net coverage is quite adequate for the new tax payment system that is totally online and relies heavily on digital transactions.
“Most traders are paying tax online and they will not find it difficult to shift to the digital system,” said the Commissioner.
To help the dealers make a smooth transition to the new tax, the commercial tax department is setting up facilitation centres in each ward, said Bandekar, speaking at a GST seminar organised by All Goa Tax Practitioners’ Association. He said that in addition to local facilitation cells, there are 150 GST Suvidha Providers across India that will help tax payers in uploading invoices as well as filing of returns by acting as a one-stop shop for GST-related services.
The Commissioner maintained that GST compliance is not too tough. He said that the unified tax will not result in additional workload for tax payers, as it requires online filing of just one form – the GSTN-1. The remaining forms are ancillaries and auto-filled, he said.
In the markets, there are discounts offered on many products, as dealers are jittery on inventory. Dealers are offering discounts ahead of the GST rollout, as they want to cut down inventory on which they stand to lose tax credit. The Commissioner pointed out that manufacturers will not go into loss on account of inventory, as new guidelines have been announced on tax credit on stock.
The GST launch date from July 1 was announced way back in October 2016 but until recently there were doubts on whether the rollout will actually take place on the scheduled date. The Commissioner said that currently there is no looking back on GST and the tax will be implemented on its given date.