Goods and services tax (GST) receipts rose in December 2017, reversing the decline seen in the previous two months. The government expects collections to improve in the coming months as measures to raise compliance have begun to show results, officials said.
The total collections for December rose to Rs 86,703 crore, as on January 24, the finance ministry said in a post on microblogging site Twitter on Thursday. GST receipts had slipped to Rs 80,808 crore in November from more than Rs 83,000 crore in October and over Rs 92,000 crore in September.
There is a slight improvement seen in collections,” a government official told ET. “The government expects collections to improve further after the introduction of the interstate e-way bill system from February 1.”
Under the fully integrated nationwide e-way bill system, interstate movement of all taxable goods will be closely monitored. The receipts rose in December despite the cut in tax rates on 178 goods from 28% as also restaurants to 5% in November, indicating greater compliance.
The economic recovery in the past few months could also have contributed to higher GST receipts, analysts said. Fastmoving consumer goods maker Hindustan Unilever reported 11% volume growth in the October-December quarter from a year ago. Auto sales have also been strong.
The increase in GST collections for December compared to November is a welcome sign given that it was the first full month after the rate cuts on several products,” said MS Mani, senior director, Deloitte India. “It appears that GST collections have started entering the stabilisation phase and are now expected to improve in the coming months.”
17.11Lakh Under Composition Scheme
The ministry further said that one crore taxpayers have been registered under GST till January 24, of which 17.11lakh are composition dealers who are required to file returns every quarter. As many as 56.30 lakh GSTR 3B returns have been filed for December, it said.
For composition dealers, the last date of filing GSTR 4 return for the July-September quarter was December 24, and they filed a total of 8.10 lakh returns amounting to Rs 335.86 cr, the ministry said. For the October-December quarter, the last date for filing GSTR 4 return was January 18 and 9.25 lakh returns were filed by composition dealers who paid a total sum of .`421.35 cr, it said. Composition scheme allows dealers to pay GST at a concessional ratewith easy compliance sans any audit.