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

Tax Risk Management - Part 3

What Kind of Tax Risks Affect Tax Authorities ? How do they deal with it?

By Saifuddin Takulla

If you thought tax risks are faced only by tax payers, then you must think again. I can say from experience that even the Governments, revenue authorities and tax officials face tax risks all the time. From tax evaders.  However, the difference is, tax officers have the might of the law with all the enabling powers to compel compliance. But still, risks exist.

For instance, Cenvat credit is allowed to manufacturers and service providers on capital goods, inputs and input services. The quantum of credit availed at the national level is significant. There are risks involved here.  The risks are mainly because there is no counter-check of the credit availed with the tax authorities at the supplier’s end to confirm if tax was actually paid against invoices on which credit is taken.  It should be noted that there is no IT system to do this internal verification as it is done in direct taxes to confirm TDS payments. So credit is allowed against lakhs of excise and service tax invoices and other prescribed documents but the check is only a physical one. That too it is  done by the audit department much after the credit is availed. In most cases, it would be sample checks only and not of all documents.
Further, the fact there is only a single debit entry is made by the supplier at the end of the month/quarter against possibly innumerable invoices issued during the month/ quarter makes things more difficult to verify.  For instance, earlier credit on cement was rare as it was generally not eligible for credit since it was not an input for the manufacture of the goods. This has changed now. So what is being suggested here is that to prevent fraudulent documents or credit, the actual payment should be cross-verified with the authorities at the supplier’s end. At least for the invoices which carry a higher credit amount.

The other point relating to tax risks the revenue faces is the huge number of cases which get dropped by APPELLATE AUTHORITY/ CESTAT/ COURTS.  This indicates that the orders are flawed. If consistently wrong orders are passed, then this behaviour become questionable. Why does this happen? Whether it is negligence on the part of the officers who belong to Class I cadre who issue the Show Cause Notices. There must be greater accountability of particularly senior officers in Class I who issue notices. While delegating the work to subordinate officers, they should also apply their mind and ensure that the notices are correctly issued and no gaps are left for escape.

If notices issued are consistently dropped by higher authorities, then either the  notice should not have been issued at all or the notices are wrongly issued with shortcomings. This may be because of over-delegation to subordinate officers who formulate the SCNs. Even if this is done, proper application of mind by the officer can ensure that the Department does not cut a sorry figure by losing so many cases.

Senior officers in Class I are expected to have a better and wider perspective and knowledge and this should be used when settling the draft notices pointing out flaws, guiding and coaching  the subordinates. They are also expected to be aware of the legal precedents in similar cases to ensure loose ends in investigation or evidences etc. are properly included when making out cases against tax evaders. In fact there are some cases of even CLANDESTINE CLEARANCES which get dropped because of faulty SCNs, incorrect or incomplete investigations and inadequate evidences to support. Mostly this happen because it didn’t receive the right attention for the senior officers when issuing the notice. 

There should be a clear accountability for the success or failure of the investigation and the outcome of the case. This should be fixed on the senior officer Class I officer who has jurisdiction. The accountability for the success rate of adjudication and appeals should be fixed and guidelines issued by the Board. This is not just for SCNs any issues which if dealt with properly by the right person has the potential to lead to a scams.

If these issues are high lighted and given wide coverage the functioning of Government Department will improve.

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