61 lakh assessees enrol under Goods and Services Tax Network, government to re-open portal in June


61 lakh taxpayers have registered under the Goods and Services Tax Network as of April 30, with 23 lakh taxpayers yet to enrol. With the government looking to implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July, assessees who haven’t yet enrolled in the first phase of enrolment can do so from June 1, with a fifteen day window provided for enrolment.  

Gold and silver will likely attract a 4% charge under the new GST.

According to data provided by the government, there are 84 lakh assessees under GST. With migration of VAT, service tax, and excise tax assessees mandatory for GST to be implemented, the government had planned a phased enrolment plan across the country. The initial deadline was March 31, which was later extended to April 30.

In a bid to ensure smooth transition to GST, the government is conducting a test with 3,200 taxpayers on the new GST System Software. Close to 40,000 officials are currently undergoing training to familiarise themselves with the system, with 24,668 having completed their training.

Additionally, confusion over GST on gold and silver seems to have been resolved, with the government likely to limit it to 4 per cent. Southern Indian states were keen to have a GST of 6 per cent, while those in the west wanted it lowered to 1 per cent.

A number of companies have been lobbying for a change in GST rates, including cigarettes companies. Cigarettes will attract a GST of 28 per cent, in addition to cess, making them a costly affair. Cigarette manufacturers, who failed to convince the government to reduce this tax are now trying to get beedis under the tax structure. Those opposing this move say that beedi manufacturing provides livelihood to thousands, with any tax on them adversely impacting the industry.

Final rates on various products are likely to be finalised when the GST Council meets in Srinagar later next week.

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