One of the most impactful tax reforms in the country is the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This was implemented in July 2017. GST follows a multi-stage process and replaces the numerous indirect taxes that were previously in place. This Act follows the slogan of ‘One Nation, One Tax.’ The government has eradicated the various indirect taxes and introduced a single indirect tax for the entire country.
If you are a business owner, you are required to register under the GST system if your business crosses an annual turnover of Rs. 20 to 40 Lakh according to your location. Registration can be done online by visiting the GST portal (gst.gov.in). However, if you are a resident of Maharashtra, you can make GST payments using the MahaGST portal (mahagst.gov.in)
What is MahaGST?
The reason why the MahaGST portal exists is that the state of Maharashtra has declared a scheme for the settlement of dues under various tax acts. The main reasons it was created for are listed below.
- To make GST registrations and payments simpler and at a faster rate in the state of Maharashtra. The state government has made an online portal called MahaGST.
- There are plenty of features and services offered on this website. Some of them include getting registered under GST, obtaining a Goods and Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN), list of GST regulations and policies to be followed, the latest GST news and updates, a dedicated section for frequently asked questions, etc.
What are the Main Functions of the MahaGST Portal?
The administration of MahaGST is similar to the Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002, the Maharashtra Purchase Tax on Sugarcane Act, 1962, the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, the Profession Tax Act, 1975 and the Maharashtra Tax on the entry of goods into local areas Act, 2002.
The Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002:
Under the implementation of the Value added tax structure, there were certain issues that prevailed which charged double tax for certain commodities, goods and services. This is known as the cascading effect.
For example, if a commodity has been produced, there would be tax credited to that commodity before and after its production. This results in producing a double taxation effect. After the introduction of the Value Added Tax, the other taxes like a surcharge on sales tax, turnover tax, etc. were eradicated.
The Value Added Tax Structure was a success at making the taxation system more transparent. Some of its benefits include the following:
- Fall in prices.
- Increase in transparency.
- Rationalization of the overall burden.
- Increase in revenue.
Profession Tax Act, 1975:
The Employment Guarantee Scheme was introduced by the government for catering to the weaker sections of the society. This scheme guaranteed the payment of rural laborers for the amount of work they have done.
What are the Services Offered by the MahaGST Portal?
Online GST Registration
If you do not have a registered GST number for your business, MahaGST allows you to register and gives you additional benefits which include:
- You can be legally recognized as a supplier of goods and services if you register your business under GST.
- If you are a consistent taxpayer on the MahaGST portal, you can avail the Input Tax Credit (ITC) on purchases you have made.
- The GST registration is necessary for broadening the market and to make inter-state transactions.
Verification of the GSTIN
It is mandatory for suppliers and vendors to verify their GST registration to avoid people from using fake GST numbers.
- Fraudulent GST users evade the government by issuing fake GST numbers and submitting fake invoice transactions.
- The verification prevents you from being a victim of fraud as it checks the authenticity of suppliers and vendors.
- Verification of GST Registration has reduced the number of incidents of tax manipulations; hence, it ensures transparency of the taxation system.
These are some essential features that the MahaGST Portal offers. Be sure to visit the website for all the latest news and updates about GST in Maharashtra and its features.
What is the Impact of GST on the Indian Economy?
The impact of GST on the Indian economy has both advantages and drawbacks for the taxpayers of the GST system. Some of them include:
A Simplified Tax Code
The pre-GST taxation system was very complex. There were multiple taxes levied on the taxpayer at both, Central and State levels. The taxes at the state-level were Value Added Tax (VAT) and at the central level, Excise Duty tax and additional surcharges had to be accounted for. These taxes made the price of the goods comparatively higher than the original price at which they were bought.
As per the previous regime, a cascading effect was produced on the goods being sold. The tax was applied to an already existing tax and the consumer had to pay the whole amount. GST has simplified the previous structure and now consumers can also claim for Input Tax Credit (ITC) as well.
Increasing the Government’s Tax Collection
Running a massive taxation system requires a lot of resources and manpower. With the implementation of GST, there has been a potential increase in the government’s tax collection.
More Consumer Benefits
GST provides greater transparency for the consumer. Pre-GST, dining out was too expensive as taxes applied were very high. Now with the implementation of GST, the tax has reduced to 5% of the total bill amount that needs to be paid.
GST does have certain challenges to face such as policy changes, taxation brackets, etc. However, GST has successfully implemented the notion of one single indirect taxation system for the country.