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Govt's first masterclass on GST: Key takeaways

The government on Thursday conducted the first GST "masterclass" for all stakeholders including citizens. These "masterclasses" are in the form of hour-long programs and will be held for six days. Here are key takeaways from Thursday's GST masterclass: 1) Registration on GST portal: The government clarified that it is mandatory for the traders and dealers to complete the Part-B of their GST registration within the period of 90 days. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia urged traders to complete the registration well before time to avoid last minute confusion. He also said that if an individual is not hands-on with online registration, then she/he can visit any excise, VAT or Service Tax office of state and central government where officials will get the job done. He stressed that there is no charge involved in this process. Responding to a query on problems regarding registration of names bearing special characters (eg. D'Souza or L&T), the government said that the software of the GST portal has been fixed to overcome the hiccup. 2) Updating details after registration: The GST masterclass also discussed the updation of details of a business in the GST portal. The government said that for minor details like bank account number, phone number, e-mail ID, updation can be done by the trader herself/ himself by visiting the GST registration portal. However, modification like change in legal name of business, address of place of business, addition or deletion of partners or directors etc. can be done only by tax officials. 3) Exemption on turnover of Rs 20 lakh: Trader class by now are well-versed with the fact that they are exempt from GST registration if their annual turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh. However, the GST Council officials clarified that if a business involves inter-state supply, then GST registration is mandatory even if the turnover is below the threshold. However, it was pointed out that if a business has a turnover below Rs 20 lakh currently and happens to cross the threshold over time, then it needs to get itself registered within 30 days of it. 4) Items outside GST purview: The Revenue Secretary on Wednesday reiterated the items which are outside the ambit of GST. Following is the list of such products and the competent authority which can charge tax on them:

  • 5 petroleum commodities- VAT can be levied by state government while excise duty by the centre government

  • Stamp duty and registration charges- By state government

  • Vehicle Tax- By state government

  • Electricity Duty- By state government

  • Potable alcohol- By state government

  • Entertainment Tax- By state government in order to benefit local bodies

5) Miscellaneous: Apart from these major clarifications, Adhia and his team also briefed on a range of other issues. Following are some of them:

  • The provisional ID number received at the time of registration will be the same as the ID number received at the completion of registration.

  • All registered dealers will have to furnish their GSTN registration numbers on signboards.

  • In case, a dealer is facing problems in uploading Digital Signature Certificate (DSC), he/she can also opt to authenticate using an OTP (One Time Password) sent to his/her mobile number and e-mail ID.

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