GST Rate to be reviewed by GST Council

The GST Council is scheduled to meet on 18th December to review GST rates.

This is necessitated by the consistent fall in both the GST and Compensation Cess collections.

Also the States, particularly opposition ruled States have been applying pressure on the Centre to release GST payments immediately as Rs 50,000 cr cess lies unutilised.

This GST review more specifically covers exempted items, items with inverted rates, compensation cess rate. This may lead to GST rates on certain items being raised. 


Central Excise & Service tax Amnesty Scheme

  1. 1. Chapter V of the FA 2019 (full text of SVLDR Scheme)
  2. 2. SVLDR Rules
  3. 3. SVLDR Notification No 4/2019
  4. 4. CBIC Circulars dated 28.08.2019 and 25.09.2019
  5. 5. FAQs on SVLDR
  6. 6. SVLDR Departmental presentation
GST Optimisation Part 2

This is the 2nd Part of the set of videos on “GST Optimisation”. It explains how indirect tax cascading still continues in India even after implementing GST. The video covers specific situations in which tax cascading happens. This video is meant for the general public and not exactly the tax experts. So the language is simpler devoid of sections, rules, technical expressions and tax jargon.

GST Optimisation Part 1

This is the first part of a three part video set on Tax Optimisation, more specifically GST Optimisation. Its created for those who are not too familiar with taxation and yet keen to understand and benefit by optimising on taxes. This can be useful for people handling indirect taxation too as the aim of these videos is to conceptually clarify the subject.

"The Indian GST Story" by Anthony Fernandes - Founder of Tax Quotient

1st June 2019




Recent Court / Tribunal Judgements

 CESTAT Decisions


18th October, 2018 : CESTAT Mum : UPS Jetair Express Private Limited   Vs Commissioner of CGST, Mumbai East 

Revenue denied CENVAT credit only on the ground invoices didn't mention the registration number of the service provider. No other allegations were made regarding receipt of input services, eligibility etc.

Held : This is merely a procedural lapse. It is settled that CENVAT credit can't be denied on mere technicalities or procedural lapses.

CENVAT credit allowed, extended period of limitation not applicable.

Ed's comment : Isnt it surprising that a Senior Officer like Prin. ADG, DGPM, WRU, still needs to catch up with decades old case law regarding Modvat and Cenvat? It's repeatedly held procedural lapses aren't reason enough to deny credit. How will the dept reduce litigation? Should Tribunal for fairness?

18th October, 2018 : CESTAT Ahd : M/s Auto Care Lubricant Vs C.C.E. & S.T.-Vapi
The Tribunal relying on an earlier decision in Castrol India Ltd, held :
“The authorities under the Standards of Weights and Measures Act are the best judge to decide as to whether a product is required to be affixed with a MRP under the said Act or not. If said authority has clarified that 210 ltr. barrel are not required to be affixed with MRP, it was obligatory on the part of the Excise authority to accept such decision of Controller of Legal Metrology authority….., it was not open to the Excise authority to doubt the decision of the authority under Standards of Weights and Measures Act and to proceed independently ….”

18th October 2018 : CESTAT Ahd : M/s Javiya Finance Services, Javiya Marketing Vs C.C.E.& S.T.- Surat-I
The appellant were providing service of identifying customers for car loans and receiving commission from ICICI Bank. This was to be taxed under Business Auxiliary Services (BAS).  

The appellants admitted taxability but argued they were under bonafide belief the services are not taxable and so extended period of limitation should not be invoked.
Held : "The definition of Business  Auxiliary  Services  is  very  clear  and  there  is  no  scope  of interpretation. The definition specifically includes the service of promotion or marketing of any service of the client within its ambit." Appeals dismissed.


 12th Oct : CESTAT Mum : Tahnee Heights CHS Ltd. Vs Commissioner of CGST, Mumbai South : Held : "The appellant also do not provide any service to its members, who pay the amount towards their share of contribution, for occupation of the units ....the explanation furnished under clause 3(a) in Section 65B of the Act will not designate the appellant as an entity, separate from its members....the case of the appellant is not confirming to the requirement of 'service', as per the definition contained in Section 65B(44) of the Act."

10th Oct : CESTAT Ahd :  L & T Ltd. etc Vs C.C.E. Ahd Appellants argued the law and IS specifications had changed for their product "concrete mix" made at site. It was eligible for the exemption making the earlier Supreme Court judgement in their own case irrelevant.

Tribunal ruled that there is no change in the  C.Ex Tariff Heading description as far as ready mix concrete is concerned. There is no mention of any IS Specification anywhere in the SC judgement. So changes in IS Specifications cannot be used to distinguish the decision of Hon’ble Apex Court. Demand beyond the period of limitation set aside. Personal penalty quashed as this is a case of interretation.

11th Oct : CESTAT Chennai : M/s. Pepsico India HPL Vs Commr of GST & CE, Chennai Outer : The appellants had paid excess central excise duty for which they utilised the CENVAT credit. On realizing this they suo moto took re-credit of the excess amount debited from the Cenvat account.

Held:  Following the said decisions of the High Courts, The impugned order and demand was set aside.

High Court Judgements


2nd July, 2018  : Allahabad High Court : Hamdard (Wakf) Labs Vs Commr Of Commercial Taxes : The High Court upholds the Tribunal order and holds that "Sharbat "Rooh Afza" is not unclassifiable under Schedule-V of the Act and liable to tax @ 12.5%. It is neither fruit juice nor fruit drink nor processed fruit.

 2nd July, 2018 :  Delhi High Court : JOYCE KAROUNG Vs NARCOTICS CONTROL BUREAU : Relying on the SC judgment in Babua v. State of Orissa, (2001) 2 SCC 566 the High Court concluded the petitioner is not prima facie not guilty. Also, liberty of a citizen must be balanced with the interest of the society especially where narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances are involved. It is alleged that this is not the first offence.

Click for earlier Judgements in 2018

Our Services

Supporting clients to represent before Senior Government authorities

Often businesses may need some representation and advocacy to articulate the genuineness of their application of claim. It could be a licence, a special permission, a classification issue holding up customs clearance or a consent for an exemption etc.  Such delays can lead to delay in executing the project and ultimately increase costs.

  • Tax Quotient with its expertise and experience can support and guide you to articulate the your business plans with justification for the government concurrence. We could also conduct research to identify precedents of a similar nature if any to provide the necessary assurance to the Government authorities.

Business structuring and tax planning

Setting up a new business, expanding an existing business, mergers or de-mergers of entities invariably creates significant indirect tax implications. If done right, tax inefficiencies due to inappropriate structuring can be minimized.  In Indian taxes, especially in indirect taxes, we encounter overlapping Central and State tax levies which may lead to double taxation, loss of credit or a higher tax rate.  Business structuring can be planned to ensure tax efficiency within the legal framework without violating or breaking any law. The aim is always to comply 100% yet adopt the most efficient tax route available within the framework of the tax laws.
Tax Quotient will essentially provide the following services:

  • Analyses of the proposed transactions taking into account tax levies at central, state and local levels. Including stamp duties and EXIM implications under the Foreign Trade Policy.
  • Bringing  tax efficiency in terms of the one time taxes payable on the transaction and  future recurring taxes payable paid and credits availed/available. Carrying out legal research to identify similar if not identical situations both nationally and internationally to either rule out or adopt tax position.
  • Vetting/reviewing business transfer agreements or other such agreements for proposed transactions to ensure there are no latent / hidden tax risks due to loosely worded agreements.

Health checks and end-to-end business processes reviews for indirect taxes 

Indirect tax laws in India are complex, dynamic and administered by an aggressive tax administration.  Since indirect taxes apply on transactions they apply on innumerable transactions in business operations. Usually the tax computation is embedded as a part of the accounting system. The accounting system to accurately compute taxes should be configured with the right value, tax rates etc. Sometimes tax law changes don’t get incorporated into the tax computing system/engine creating potential tax risks.  Regular (annual or bi-annual) end-to-end reviews of  business processes including ‘order-to-cash’ and ‘purchase-to-pay’ and tax and FTP benefits claimed will minimize risks and ensure that opportunities are not missed.

Tax Quotient undertakes to review the following checks and reviews covering the following:

  • Review taxability, rate of taxation and taxes paid for goods and services and identify inaccuracies and inefficiencies.
  • Review eligibility to indirect tax credits (VAT and CENVAT) and FTP benefits  for exports.
  • Identify indirect tax risks and evaluate them.
  • Provide advice on introducing tax controls and reports for future monitoring


Strategy to prevent litigation, representations and litigation support  

Indirect taxation in India is prone to disputes and litigation. This means most Companies receive notices to explain their tax positions claiming a lower tax rate, an exemption or some benefit.  Litigation in India is usually long drawn and often gets settled satisfactorily only in the Tribunal or Courts.  However, in the meanwhile to purpose appeals under many indirect tax laws, one is called upon to make a pre-deposit of the tax amount upfront.  This adds to the stress on cash flow for companies. There are situations where an “advance ruling” can be sought upfront from tax authorities before proceeding with a major transaction or business proposal.  Tax Quotient can help the tax payers to handling and early closure of such matters.

Our services cover the following:

  • Drafting replies to notices and appeals against orders before adjudicating and appellate authorities and advising on other legal proceedings including summons, investigations etc.
  • Making applications before Advance Ruling Authority
  • Determining the strategy to represent/escalate issues and make representations before senior officials of the Finance Ministry including the Commissioners, Chief Commissioner and the Central Board of Excise & Customs
  • Draft the applications to Settlement Commission for settlement of cases


Tax compliance and tax control framework  

Since indirect taxes are transaction taxes, business processes need to be robust to ensure correct taxes are paid and at the right time. This requires a robust system in operation and adequate processes to monitor and provides information from time to time on the status of compliance across geographies within India. Often such processes end up as bureaucratic form filling or certifications with no capability to prevent tax risks. Real risk prevention would need a framework with few but critical controls at appropriate levels together with a risk proofing mindset in management.  The risks are enormous in terms of financial, operational and reputational risks.

Our services and report would broadly cover the following:

  • Studying and mapping the business processes, identifying critical processes and control points  to set off alerts and exceptions
  • Designing a control report which is minimal yet focused on critical aspects of the tax processes to provide a dashboard for the Senior Management periodically. 

Tax Risk Management Part 1

An Introduction


Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing. 
- Warren Buffet

Read the Article


Tax Risk Management Part 2

Tax Risks as Black Swan Events!

If you were asked "What 'tax risks' you perceive in your business?" What would be your answer?

Read the Article



Indirect Tax Risk Management

Indirect Risk Tax Management




Economic Survey of India 2017-18