India collected Rs 7.41 lakh crore in taxes in the first year of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) with revenues for a good part of four months not being accounted for because of the mid-year rollout and an accounting lag.
The government had last reported a GST collection of Rs 7.17 lakh crore for the first eight months since the new tax regime that subsumed 17 central and state taxes on sale of goods and rendering of services was rolled out in July.
For the period ending March 31, 2018, the GST collection has been put at Rs 7.41 lakh crore, a finance ministry statement said.
The mere Rs 24,000 crore addition shown for March as against an average monthly collection of Rs 89,000 crore in the previous eight months indicated government desire to move to more current accounting methodology. At present, GST collections are accounted for only when returns after filed by the third week of the following month.
From 2018-19 fiscal year that began this month, the government is shifting to a cash basis of accounting where revenues accrued at the completion of a month would be taken on record. Accordingly collection for April is likely to be released on May 1.
“During 2017-18, total revenue collected under GST in the period between August 2017 and March 2018 has been Rs 7.19 lakh crore.
“This includes Rs 1.19 lakh crore of CGST, Rs 1.72 lakh crore of SGST, Rs 3.66 lakh crore of IGST (including Rs 1.73 lakh crore on imports) and Rs 62,021 crore of cess (including Rs 5702 crore on imports),” the statement said.
At the end of March, the Centre has Rs 20,000 crore in its cess pool, which will be utilised to compensate the states for revenue loss, an official said.
Under GST, the tax levied on consumption of goods or rendering of service is split 50:50 between the Centre and the states. Such tax is known as Central-GST or CGST and State-GST or SGST.
On inter-state movement of goods as well as imports, an Integrated-GST or IGST is levied, which accrues to the Centre. A cess is levied on top of these taxes on sin and luxury goods which make up for the compensation kitty used to make good of any revenue shortfall faced by states on implementation of GST.
“While the tax on domestic supplies in a month is collected through the process of returns and gets collected in the next month, IGST and cess on imports gets collected in the same month.
“Therefore, during the current year, GST on domestic supplies has been collected only in eight months from August 2017 to March 2018, IGST and cess on imports has been collected for nine months, from July 2017 to March 2018. Including the collection of July 2017, the total GST collection during the financial year 2017-18 stands provisionally at Rs 7.41 lakh crore,” the statement said.
The SGST collection during the year, including the settlement of IGST has been Rs 2.91 lakh crore.
The total compensation released to the States for a period of eight months during the last financial year was Rs 41,147 crore to ensure that the revenue of the states is protected at the level of 14 per cent over the base year tax collection in 2015-16.
The revenue gap of each state is coming down over last eight months. The average revenue gap of all states for last year is around 17 per cent.
The government has there has been a steady increase in compliance with 62.6 per cent of those required to file returns doing so in March as compared to 57.7 per cent in July 2017.
“Financial Year has reached to an average of 65 per cent from around 55-57 per cent observed during initial months. The cumulative compliance levels (percentage of returns filed till date) for initial months has crossed 90 per cent and for July, 2018, has reached 96 per cent,” it said.
The government has met the revised estimate of indirect tax collection, the official said.