Gearing up for likely rollout of GST from April next year, CBEC today came out with an extensive FAQs detailing taxability of e-commerce players and taxi aggregators under the new set-up. The 268-page frequently asked questions (FAQ) booklet, released by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, answered over 500 questions on 24 topics, including registration, valuation and payment, scope and time of supply, refunds, seizure and arrest. It has also clarified that taxi aggregators, including Ola, will have to register under GST and also, there will be no threshold exemption for them. Similarly, e-commerce players such as Flipkart and Amazon will have to seek registration under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime irrespective of the value of supply made by them. It also clarified that companies, including Titan, which supply watches and jewels through their own websites will not be considered as e-commerce operators.
“A person providing any information or any other services incidental to or in connection with such supply of goods and services through electronic platform would be considered as an operator. A person supplying goods/services on his own account, however, would not be considered as an operator,” said the FAQs, which are based on the Model GST law.
Elaborating on the penal provisions, the FAQ booklet said penalty could extend up to five years of jail with a fine if the tax evaded is more than Rs 2.5 crore, three years if tax evaded is between Rs 50 lakh and 2.5 crore and one year if it is between Rs 25-50 lakh.
It further said all offences where the evasion of tax exceeds Rs 2.5 crore shall be cognisable and non-bailable.
Regarding GSTN, over which BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has expressed misgivings, the FAQ said: “GSTN in its current form was created after taking approval of the empowered committee of state finance ministers and the Union government after due deliberations over a long period of time.”
Under the current structure, central and state governments will together hold 49 per cent equity in GSTN while the remaining 51 per cent is held collectively by HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, NSE Strategic Investment Company (10 per cent each) and LIC Housing Finance (11 per cent).
According to Swamy, the equity structure of GSTN is “anti-national”.
On role of Infosys in GSTN, it said the IT company has been engaged as a “single managed service provider” for design development, deployment of GST system, including application software, tools, infrastructure and maintain it for five years.