GST relief: No levy on tax collected at source

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Updated: March 9, 2019 7:18:50 AM

This has come as a relief to the industries that come under TCS ambit, especially mineral firms and automakers.

The TCS levied under the Income Tax Act has the express purpose of keeping a trail on certain high-value transactions.

The Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) on Friday clarified that the goods and services tax (GST) will be levied on the value of supply excluding the tax collected at source (TCS), overturning a circular issued on December 31 last year. This has come as a relief to the industries that come under TCS ambit, especially mineral firms and automakers as the tax-inclusive price to the consumer could now be lower.

The TCS levied under the Income Tax Act has the express purpose of keeping a trail on certain high-value transactions; for example, a consumer buying a vehicle worth over Rs 10 lakh is required to pay a 1% TCS on the ex-showroom price. The consumer can offset the TCS as he pays the income tax.

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Abhishek Jain, tax partner, EY India, said, “This clarification comes as quite a relief for businesses specifically the automotive sector,”

Jain added: “While most industry players already believed that GST should not be leviable on the Income tax TCS component… Given the (earlier) clarification by the government, they were quite apprehensive of litigation on this aspect”.

Separately, on Thursday, CBIC brought clarity on the dispute-prone issue of GST levy on ‘buy one get one free’ and ‘buy more, save more’ type promotional schemes offered primarily by FMCG companies, saying that the tax would be paid on the price recovered from the customer. Also, the taxpayer would be liable for full input tax credit, which has so far been denied.

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The CBIC said that while such schemes gave an impression that one item was being supplied free of cost or without consideration, they can be best treated as supply of two goods for the price of one.

With regard to free samples and gifts, like in the pharmaceutical industry to provide drug samples to their stockists, dealers and medical practitioners without any consideration, the CBIC said this would not be treated as supply under GST and hence will not be liable to tax. Consequently, the ITC would not be available for supplier on the inputs, input services and capital goods.

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