GST Council finalizes e-way bill
At its 20th meeting held on August 5, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council approved the electronic way (e-way) bill, which mandates pre-registration of goods before transportation.
The e-way bill, which is likely to come into force by October 1, 2017, would be applicable for consignments worth more than US$780 (Rs 50,000) only. The Council has decided that the e-way bill will not apply to the inter-city movement of goods within 10 kilometers distance, as well as on items exempted from the GST.
The introduction of the e-way bill is expected to significantly reduce wait times at checkpoints, and will streamline the transportation process. The bill would be valid for a period between one day and 20 days, depending on the distance to be traveled.
Revised GST rates on services
The GST Council, in its August 5 meeting, revised rates for 19 services and certain goods. Some of the revised rates are given below:
- Job work for the entire value chain of textiles sector, including embroidery and weaving, will be subject to tax at 5 percent instead of 18 percent, to allow a seamless flow of credit;
- Tractor parts will be taxed at a reduced rate of 18 percent instead of 28 percent; and
- The rate for government works contract will be 12 percent with benefits of input tax credit.
Besides, rates on other services, including rent-a-car and job works in newspaper printing, were also reduced.
The next GST Council meeting is expected to be scheduled on September 9, 2017, where the rate of tax on several other items will be discussed and decided.
CBDT issues clarification regarding non-resident tax filing
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a clarification regarding the new provision in the Income Tax Return 2 form (ITR-2) that requires non-residents to disclose their foreign bank account details.
In its statement, the CBDT has clarified that it is not mandatory for non-residents to furnish their foreign bank account details in the ITR-2 form. The provision is only meant for non-residents who do not have a bank account in India and wish to claim income tax refund. Until last year, there was no such provision available for non-residents not having bank accounts in India, to receive refunds in foreign banks accounts.
Non-residents who do not wish to claim tax refunds or those who wish to claim tax refunds but have a bank account in India are not required to disclose their overseas bank account in the ITR-2 form.
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