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Narendra Modi proposes GST registration for small traders

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged tax officers to design a goods and service tax (GST) registration system for traders with less than Rs20 lakh of sales a year who might want to avail of the benefits of the new indirect tax system, although it is not a statutory requirement for them.

Even though it is not a compliance requirement, small businesses stand a better chance of getting large corporate customers for various goods and services as the technology-driven indirect tax system encourages businesses to source supplies from registered entities.

“The prime minister said that in order to enable all traders to take maximum benefit of GST, we should work towards ensuring that all traders, including even relatively smaller traders with a turnover below Rs20 lakh, should register with the GST system,” said an official statement after Modi addressed direct and indirect tax officials at their annual conference , called “gyan sangam”.

Both direct as well as indirect tax authorities are now relying on technology for not just quick processing of tax returns and to render services to taxpayers, but also to track down tax evaders in a non-intrusive manner.

Modi urged the officers to use data analytical tools to track undeclared income of individuals. Asking officials to improve their work culture and adopt a sense of urgency and measurability in their performance, Modi said officers must fix clear targets to improve the tax administration by 2022, the 75th anniversary of Independence.

The prime minister said human interface must be minimized in the tax administration’s dealings. Modi also suggested that e-assessment and anonymity of proceedings using technology should be promoted so that vested interests do not impede the course of law.

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