GST mobile app to check fleecing

Finance minister Dr T. M. Thomas Isaac has unveiled GST Mobile App to prevent the illegal imposition of GST on the public. The app will check whether a business concern is a regular GST dealer who can charge GST or a small-scale composition dealer who cannot. For this, all dealers who have registered with GST have to display their 15-digit GST Identification Number (GSTIN) prominently in front of their shop or concern.

What’s more, the app will also allow the customer to verify the GST rates applicable for the products sold by a particular concern using the mobile app. “Though only a regular GST dealer can impose GST on consumers, it has been found that even small traders who had opted for the composition scheme, too, are charging GST,” Dr Isaac said during the inauguration of the GST Mobile App launch here on Tuesday. Ignorance of traders also plays a part. Once the GSTIN is typed on the mobile, the app will show whether the shop belongs to a trader who had opted for composition or a regular GST dealer.Composition Scheme is a simple and easy scheme under GST for taxpayers. Small taxpayers can get rid of tedious GST formalities and pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover. This scheme can be opted by any taxpayer whose turnover is less than Rs 1 crore. “If the ceiling for composition is raised to Rs 1.5 crore, the problems of nearly 80 percent of traders who have opted for GST registration will be solved,” Dr Isaac said.

The finance minister said that there were innumerable practical difficulties faced by traders under the GST regime. He said that though 94 percent of traders had submitted their tax returns in July, the first month of GST implementation, the volume decreased to 81 percent and then to 60 percent in the subsequent months. “The union finance minister has waived the late fee for non-submission of tax returns. But we want all other fines to be waived during the transition phase,” the minister said.Isaac also bemoaned the fact that traders were not bringing the prices down.  He said that the Taxes Department had documented the pre- and post-GST prices of 600 commodities whose prices should have gone down, and found that the prices of only 169 items had fallen. “We will invoke the anti-profiteering clause and demand action against traders who had not reduced prices,” Isaac said. Isaac, contrary to the general perception, said that GST had reduced the tax burden on the state.  “If in the pre-GST era the state had paid an annual tax of `2000 crore, now it will come down to `1200 crore.


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