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Article Dated 30th January, 2024

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape: Insights into Recent GST Advisories


CA Kushagra Mathur

The ever-evolving landscape of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Act, 2017, is marked by continuous updates and advisories from the government, aimed at streamlining processes and ensuring compliance. In this article, we delve into three pivotal advisories that carry significant implications for businesses and taxpayers navigating the intricate web of GST regulations.

1. Blocking the generation of E-Way Bill without e-Invoice/IRN details for B2B and B2E transactions for e-invoice enabled tax payers :

The GST Department released an advisory on January 5, 2024, which has caused a great deal of anxiety and misunderstanding among business owners.

As per the advisory, E-way bill generation is blocked without E-invoice details. So in the current scenario, businesses used to generate the e-way bill while supplying goods if the conditions for the generation of the e-way bill were met. But at the same time, e-invoice was not being generated simultaneously. Another problem was that because these two documents were not generated simultaneously, there were mismatches in the invoice details in the two documents, which made tracking difficult for the department. Thus emerged the requirement for blocking the E-way bill without E-Invoice/IRN details for B2B and B2E transactions for E-Invoice-enabled tax payers.

The detailed advisory is as follows:

"e-Invoice has been operationalised since October 2020 for the taxpayers with Annual Aggregate Turn Over (AATO) above Rs. 500 Crores and eventually in a phased manner, e-Invoice generation is made mandatory for taxpayers with AATO above Rs. 5 Crores. From day-one, E-Invoice is seamlessly integrated with e-Way bill system and accordingly e-Way bills are generated along with e-Invoice. That is, during e-Invoice generation, if the transportation details are sent, the e-Waybill is automatically generated. Most of the tax payers are generating the e-invoice along with the e-way bill.

However, on analysis it is found that some of the taxpayers, who are eligible for e-Invoicing, are generating e-Waybills without linking with e-Invoice for B2B and B2E transactions. In some of these cases, the invoice details entered separately under e-Waybill and e-Invoice are not matching with respect to the certain parameters. This is leading in mismatch in the eWaybill and e-Invoice statements.

Hence, to avoid such situations, e-Waybill generation will not be allowed without e-Invoice details from 1st March 2024. This is applicable for einvoice enabled tax payers and for the transactions related to Supplies under B2B and Exports. However, EWBs for other transactions such as B2C and non-supplies will function as usual without any change.

Check and Balances

e-Waybill generation process will be incorporated with appropriate checks for taxpayers (Suppliers) eligible for e-Invoicing. In case of B2B and B2E (Exports), direct e-Waybill generation without e-Invoice will not be allowed for Suppliers eligible for e-Invoicing. This applies to the E-Waybill categories of Supply/Exports/SKD/CKD/Lots.

However, e-Waybill generation for transactions related to B2C and other non-Supplies will be allowed as usual. Similarly, for the E-Way Bills generated by transporter, similar check would be enforced on the Supplier GSTIN. Other operations such as Part-B updating, transporter Id updating, etc. will continue as usual without any change.

All taxpayers and transporters are requested to make necessary changes in their system so that they can adapt to the changes from 1st March 2024."

2. Advisory for furnishing bank account details by registered taxpayers under Rule 10A of the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017.

Rule 10A of Central Goods & Service Tax Rules, 2017 talks about the requirement for furnishing of bank account details. As per the rule after a certificate of registration in FORM GST REG-06 has been made available on the Common portal and a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number has been assigned, the Registered person, except those who have been granted registration under rule 12 or, as the case may be rule 16, shall within a period of thirty days (amended vide notification [no.38/2023-Central Tax] earlier it was forty five days) from the date of grant of registration, or before furnishing the details of outward supplies of goods or services or both under section 37 in FORM GSTR-1 or using invoice furnishing facility, whichever is earlier, furnish information with respect to details of bank account on the Common portal. As per the advisory, which was issued on January 23, 2024, taxpayers are therefore advised to promptly furnish their bank account details, who have not provided it so far if 30 Days period is shortly going to expire to avoid disruption in business activities and the subsequent suspension of GSTIN.

Now the reason for the quotation of such upfront remarks as "avoid disruption in business activities and the subsequent suspension of GSTIN" is there are severe consequences on failure to furnish the bank account in the stipulated time, which are as follows-

a) Taxpayer Registration would get suspended after 30 days and intimation in FORM REG-31 will be issued to the Taxpayer.

b) Get the Taxpayer debarred from filing any further GSTR-1/IFF.

Revocation of Suspension: If the taxpayer updates their bank account details in response to the intimation in FORM REG-31, the suspension will be automatically revoked.

Cancellation of Registration: If the bank account details are not updated even after 30 days of issuance of FORM REG-31, the registration after suspension may also be taken up for cancellation process by the Officer.

A key point to be noted in the above advisory is that the suspension and revocation of the suspension of taxpayer registration will happen automatically from now on, which was not the case earlier. Earlier, the department had the power to suspend registration if they found any such case, and likewise, the revocation of suspension was done only by giving proper justification to the department for compliance with the rule. With the application of this advisory, all taxpayers failing to comply with the rule will have their registration suspended automatically, and upon furnishing the bank account details, the suspension will be revoked automatically.However, the officer alone has the authority to start the registration cancellation process.

3. Advisory on Payment through Credit Card (CC)/Debit Card (DC) and Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

To facilitate the taxpayer registered under GST with more methods of payment, two new facilities of payment have now been provided under e-payment in addition to net-banking. The two new methods are Cards and Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Cards facility includes Credit Card (CC) and Debit Card (DC) namely Mastercard, Visa, RuPay, Diners(CC only) issued by any Indian bank. Payment through CC/DC/UPI can be made through Kotak Mahindra Bank irrespective of CC/DC issued by any Indian bank. Other banks are in the process of integration. At present the facility is available in 10 states and remaining states are expected to join soon. UPI payments can be done through the following apps namely Paytm, phonepe, Google pay, Amazon pay, CRED, BHIM etc. 10 States & Union territories in which this facility is available are Assam, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Odisha.

Earlier, net banking was the only mode for making GST payments, which led to many problems as many registered taxpayers were not using net banking. But with the inclusion of UPI and card payments, it is a step taken towards the ease of doing business.

By dissecting these advisories, we aim to unravel the nuances and implications for businesses, shedding light on the path towards enhanced GST compliance and efficient financial management.

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