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GST masterclass: What your bills should look like

On Friday, the government held its second "masterclass" with the aim of clarifying queries and confusions regarding GST+ (Goods and Services Tax). These "masterclasses" are in the form of hour-long programs and will be held for six days. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia's team clarified that there is no prescribed proforma that businessmen need to follow while raising an invoice in the GST regime+ . However, the government enlisted the details that need to be included in the invoice, which include the GSTIN (GST Identification Number) of the trader and the amount of the bill- with the CGST (Central GST) and SGST (State GST) demarcated clearly. It would be a matter of relief for traders that there is no compulsion on issuing a digitised bill, as a manual invoice will also hold good, provided it carries the necessary details. In another major announcement+ , the government said that issuing an invoice is not necessary if the transaction is of below Rs 200. However, the trader needs to furnish an invoice in case the consumer insists on it or the transaction is B2B (Business to Business). A common concern among the traders has been regarding applying stickers on products for modified MRP under the GST regime. The revenue secretary said that in case of large number of such goods, the traders should at least notify the modified price in newspaper advertisements. Earlier in the day, Consumer Affairs Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan had taken a tougher stance on this. He had warned of a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, including a jail term, if new, post-GST rates are not printed on the inventory in the interest of consumers. The team reiterated that if GSTIN is not yet available, then a businessman can use her/his Provisional ID to generate invoices. Briefing about a new feature, Adhia said that a 'Search' box has been added in the official GST website where traders can look up for the HSN (Harmonised System Nomenclature) code and the applicable GST rate for a good or service.

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