Shops, restaurants cheating in the name of GST

The GST registration is mandatory for shops with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh or those firms which have inter-state businesses.

Have you been paying GST without taking note of the GST number on the invoice? Many consumers have been uploading pictures of their bills on the social media, showing how they were charged Central and state GSTs by shops which do not have a valid GST number.  This seems to be a novel way to extort money from hapless consumers.

In one incident, a consumer, chartered accountant by profession, refused to cave in and demanded the GST number which the eatery could not furnish.

Officials from the state commercial tax department categorically stated only registered firms under the GST regime can add the tax to the bill.

The GST registration is mandatory for shops with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh or those firms which have inter-state businesses. Minor eateries and firms are left out of the GST ambit.

The authorities said they have not received any complaint from consumers so far. They, however, did not rule out the possibility of cheating.

“Minor hotels are yet to come under GST. But in future, they also may be included. Right now, our focus is on major companies and dealers,” said Mr Somesh Kumar C., secretary, state commercial tax department.

Chartered accountants add that if eateries charge more they would come under the GST radar of the  soon. “Consumers must look for the GSTIN number in the bill,” said chartered accountant P. K. Singh, who has authored a book on GST.

Many shops with an annual turnover of Rs 20 lakh are yet to comply with the new tax regime in the state.

The officials added that of the 2.16 lakh VAT dealers in Telangana, around 1.96 lakh have registered for GST, leaving 20,000 dealers out of the purview of the new tax.

Source: Deccan Chronicle.

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