GST collection at Rs 1.13 lakh cr in April, highest ever
New Delhi: GST revenue mop-up scaled a monthly record high of over Rs 1.13 lakh crore in April, an increase of 10 per cent over the collection in the year-ago period, on the back of anti-evasion steps taken by tax officers.
Total number of summary sales return GSTR-3B filed for the month of March up to April 30 stood at 72.13 lakh.
April 2019 is the second consecutive month when Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection exceeded Rs 1 lakh crore. In March, the mop-up was Rs 1.06 lakh crore.
"The total gross GST revenue collected in April 2019 is Rs 1,13,865 crore. The revenue in April 2018 was Rs 1,03,459 crore and the revenue during April 2019 is a growth of 10.05 per cent over the revenue in the same month last year," a finance ministry statement said.
The government has settled Rs 20,370 crore to Central GST and Rs 15,975 crore to State GST from Integrated GST as regular settlement.
Further, Rs 12,000 crore has been settled from the balance IGST available with the Centre on provisional basis in the ratio of 50:50 between Centre and States.
"The total revenue earned by the central government and state governments after regular and provisional settlement in April 2019 is Rs 47,533 crore for CGST and Rs 50,776 crore for SGST," the statement added.
Also, collection in April 2019, which is the first month of the current fiscal, has been the highest since introduction of GST on July 1, 2017.
Year-on-year comparison of tax collection data gives a better picture of economic activity.
When GST was introduced in July 2017, the monthly collection data was released in the third week of the subsequent month.
However, the government streamlined the process beginning 2018-19 fiscal, following which GST collection for a month is released on the first day of the subsequent month.
AMRG & Associates Partner Rajat Mohan said the steep rise in tax collections could be assigned to multiple reasons.
These include tightening of tax compliance using the mechanism of e-way bills, change in taxation for real estate sector which pushed numerous companies to reverse ineligible ITC in April to save on interest cost, and higher spending decisions taken by the government ahead of general elections.
The GST Council in March gave the option to real estate companies to either opt for old rates of 12 per cent (for residential) and 8 per cent (affordable housing) with input tax credit (ITC) benefits.
Or, they could opt for new tax rates of 5 per cent for residential units and 1 per cent for affordable housing without the benefit of adjusting the credit on inputs used during construction.
The CBIC had then asked the realtors that will be migrating to the new rates to prepare their books of accounts with regard to ITC and repay the over-used credit, if any, to the government in 24 instalments.
PwC India Partner and Leader (Indirect Tax) Pratik Jain said increase in tax collection indicates that tax base is increasing gradually with GST getting stabilized, measures such as e-way bills and effective data mining.
"One of the reasons for this increase was a push from businesses to their vendors for reporting sales of 2017-18, for which the last date of claiming credit coincides with GST filings for March," Jain said.
For 2019-20, the government proposes to collect Rs 6.10 lakh crore from CGST and Rs 1.01 lakh crore as compensation cess. The IGST balance has been pegged at Rs 50,000 crore.
The CGST collection in 2018-19 was Rs 4.25 lakh crore, while compensation cess was over Rs 97,000 crore.
The GST mop-up last month is 16.05 per cent higher than the monthly average of Rs 98,114 crore GST revenue in 2018-19.
Deloitte India Partner M S Mani said if this trend in tax collection continues then the GST targets for 2019-20 would be achieved without resorting to other measures.
"The collections reported relate to transactions in March, which would typically be higher being the last month of the fiscal where all businesses would be keen to achieve sales targets for the year," he added.
EY India Tax Partner Abhishek Jain said "one reason for the growth could be the year-end adjustments".