Are restaurants overcharging you despite GST rate cut? Here are 3 things you can do

By: | Published: November 24, 2017 1:42 PM

Even though it's been a week since the implementation of the new tax rates, many customers have complained that the restaurants are overcharging them.

GST on restaurant bills(Representational Image, Source: IE)

Earlier this month, the GST Council took a major decision by bringing down the GST rate charged by restaurants to a uniform 5 per cent from the earlier 12 per cent or 18 per cent, depending on whether you ate at an air-conditioned place or a restaurant without one. The council had also decided not to give the benefit of input tax credit, a feature of the new GST under which manufacturers and service providers can deduct the tax previously paid on the goods they purchased. Even though it’s been a week since the implementation of the new tax rates, many customers have complained that the restaurants are overcharging them. It was also reported that some eating outlets have increased their menu prices, thereby not passing on the benefits to the customers.

Now, the question is what do the customers do? Should they continue to pay the hiked prices or should they raise a voice against it? Well, there are different ways available for the consumers to register their complaints against such GST-related frauds. For this, the consumers can approach the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) or the Department of Consumer Affairs. Here are three things you can do if a restaurant is overcharging despite GST cut rate:

1. Complain on CBEC GST Portal

This is the easiest option. All you need to do is visit the official portal at https://cbec-gst.gov.in/, scroll down to CBEC Mitra Helpdesk and select the Raise Web Ticket option. On the new window, you will see an option saying – Tax Fraud/Avoidance. After clicking it, you will be asked to enter details like full name, email address and name and address of the restaurant. You can then submit the complaint.

READ | How removal of ITC is affecting restaurants

2) Write an e-mail

You can send an email with your complaint at cbecmitra.helpdesk@icegate.gov.in. In the email, mention your name, phone number, name of the restaurant, its location, and the nature of the complaint.

3) Call Toll-Free number

Lastly, you can also call the toll-free number of CBEC at 18001200232. You will be connected to the Fraud department where you can tell the complaint.

Remember that the restaurants cannot overcharge you and it’s your right to ask if additional charges have been included in the bill. The GST Council had also said that the restaurants within five-star hotels (room rent above Rs. 7,500) and outdoor catering will continue to attract 18 per cent GST.

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