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GST Update: Threshold Limit, Call Centre and Dual Control

GST Update Call Centre

GST Update: Threshold Limit, Call Centre and Dual Control

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council on Friday arrived at an agreement on 3 important issues – the cut-off for exemption, the draft compensation formula and the matter of dual control. Businesses having an annual turnover of up to Rs. 10 lakhs in the North-East and hill states and Rs. 20 lakhs in all other states will be subject to exemption from GST. A GSTN Call Centre to be created will be expected to manage queries on all these issues, besides other topics such as audit and inspection, refunds, settlement and input tax credit. The article discusses the recent benefits of GST and setting up of a GSTN Call Centre.

Compensation Formula, Threshold and Dual Control

While the correct compensation formula based on the revenue projection will be worked out, Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister mentioned that all cesses will be considered under the compensation from the Centre. States have mentioned that the compensation must be paid on regular – quarterly or bi-monthly intervals. On the matter of dual control, it has been decided that businesses having an annual turnover of up to Rs. 1.5 crore will be determined by the States. For those above the threshold, there will be a factor of dual control and they will be assessed either by the Centre or States based on a method for risk assessment. In the meantime the 11 lakh existing service tax assesses will be assessed by the Centre and State officials after training will start to help assess potential assesses. The next meeting of the GST Council will be on September 30 to discuss the draft guidelines and exemptions.

GST Call Centre

For a smooth transition of over 80 lakh assessees to the new indirect tax regime being put into practice from this July, the Goods and Services Tax Network is creating a call centre to answer. Since GST is a totally new tax system, and will have a novel method and timeline for filing returns, the proposed call centre will answer all technical queries related to taxpayers. The GSTN is by now involved in setting up the IT infrastructure for the novel indirect tax levy, together with a common platform for registration of assessees, filing of returns and payment of taxes. The call centre will be expected to manage queries on all these issues, besides other topics such as audit and scrutiny, refunds, settlement and input tax credit. Questions by means of phone calls as well as those received by email will be addressed. The GSTN has already floated a tender and has encouraged bids from interested entities for a period of 5 years. It aims to create the primary call centre in Delhi NCR along with a secondary or disaster recovery centre in a tier two city namely Pune, Bhopal or Vadodara. GSTN will thereby launch the Primary Call Centre in the first phase and after a period of 3 months’ time it will operate the call centre from minimum two locations as a means to limit operational risk and ensure delivery. The call centre is probable to work seven days a week between 8 am to 12 am daily. In the meantime, with taxpayers expected to sign at least 12 monthly returns and an annual return under GST each, the GSTN is too looking for an e-sign provider. Since all returns must be filed online, the facility of e-signing has to be provided to each taxpayer. The taxpayer will be probable to pay for the service. Moving ahead to put into practice the GST, training of government officials has now reached the last stage. According to data from National Academy of Customs, Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) that is responsible for the training, more than ½ of the targeted 60,000 field officials have been trained. The training of source trainers, master trainers and other trainers has too been completed.