EDITIONS

How to really view GST e-way bill: As an opportunity or a burden it's up to you

Salman Noorani
23rd Mar 2018
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GST E-Way bill which came into effect after a lot of efforts put in by GST Council from the date since GST was rolled out, turned an idea of transparency into reality and it made a statement that the government is serious about reviving the old, inefficient tax laws and it is ready to take any bigger decisions such as this. And as a result E-Way bill was rolled out for inter-state transactions from 1st of February 2018 but owing to technical difficulties faced on the day of 1st February, the Eway bill was postponed till further instructions as the government was reworking with its NYC partner to prepare the E-Way bill system fit and fine for roll out.

What is an E-Way Bill?

A GST E-Way bill is a compulsory document for all the coordinations exchanges with value more than INR 50,000 while transportation by street and air (inside India). The bill must be accompanied with Details filed in by the supplier in Part A of Eway bill generation Form and supplemented by details filed in by mover of the goods either be supplier himself or the transporter. 

There is a considerable measure of demanding situations that are to be faced even as imposing the newly incorporated E-Way bill arrangement the country over since the uniform E-Way bill to be made applicable for all inter and intra-State transactions are still under trial process. And it would be difficult whenever something new is introduced in the tax structure which itself is newer to us. 

But likely the e-way bill would help to eradicate the tax smuggling that’s been revolving around since from the erstwhile taxation laws to toll date.

In this article, I have tried to recreate some of the early preparation steps which can be needed to be looked after with the aid of enterprise units and transporters at the same time as enforcing the E-Way Bill.

A pocket guide for your reference

• No need to fear: First of all one has to let go the fear that E-Way bill would increase their burden as it will demand a lot of compliances once it is made compulsory. This fear is totally a phobia which actually doesn’t exist in reality. In real E-Way bill would cut short all of your compliances and provide you with the clean picture of GST. 

How, then you are forgetting that the Part A of the E-Way bill which government is requiring you to fill in the data which is forming part of your GSTR1 Return (Return for Outward supplies made by you) and here E-Way bill is helping you by not requiring to fill data in GSTR1 Return Sheet again as it will transport the data into GSTN then onto your GSTR1 Return. 

So it’s only reducing your burden and paperwork. And furthermore the transporters also are not required to get panicked as E-Way Bill would ensure faster movement of goods as after its introduction, the Check post inspector Raj would end.

• Good News for New Entrants: The E-Way bill would be a market opener for a lot of startups and new entrants and players who want to carry business in a regulated manner. The competition from rivals competitors by a current in the price of product/service with help of tax evasion techniques would come to stand still as every movement of goods would be under the scanner and could be easily tracked anytime and anywhere. 

Further, once the entry is recorded in Eway bill then the same gets into the queue of returns automatically thus a supplier or recipient will not have any chance of evading taxes. This will help the new entrants who have come into the business of providing goods or rendering services after GST a real opener of markets for them, as GST E-Way bill forces unification of prices in the open market.

• On Compliance Part: The first government which we have seen which has boldly put forward the taxation structure which has transparency, clarity, zero ambiguities and a ground level well worked tax structure which has the potential to re-enhance the down sliding economy such as ours, the decision of E-Way bill roll out was like a statement to all taxpayers who help in generating wealth of the country that it’s a time to shift the paradigm of tax structure to something which is just transparent from every angle. And to mean that the government would be stricter in imposing such a taxation law would be totally wrong to have been said. Right from the development phase of E-Way bill, the government was clear in bringing the trial version of E-Way bill to enable taxpayers to get well versed with the taxation law. 

So the compliances in respect to E-Way bill are liberal from the beginning itself and a taxpayer may prepare E-Way bills even though it’s not compulsory and can also commit mistakes while preparing e way bills and rectify it. There are no fine and penalties for wrong preparation of E-Way bill. 

Here one has to remember that but the government as the lawmaker and you as the taxpayer are at the same level when it comes to understanding the difficulties associated with understanding GST Eway bills and its implementation. So who will punish who in these circumstances, is a question you should ask yourself.

• As a taxpayer what should be your responsibility in streamlining e-way bill into the mainstream operation in your business: Bush government and taxpayers have the definitive role to play in GST. A taxpayer here has to undergo a thought process and this involves discussions and bringing in advises from trade groups and business charters so that it would help in streamlining the E-Way bill mechanism into the business structure. 

For Example, a business unit could take suggestions from the states and where E-Way bill has already been introduced on a mandatory basis to get an idea about the overview of E-Way bills and its implementation strategies. All this would help a business entity to grow in newly changed tax structure “GST “.

• Businesses should come together and share knowledge: The reality is that government could not save an already sluggish economy in reviving itself by all efforts of its own self. GST is not just a taxation law its something more beyond that. It’s a volcanic eruption which is a mixed result of corruption and money laundering and black money that has eaten up the best potential that our country has got. 

Here the responsibility for a taxpayer doubles and he should also organise and take part in seminars that would share the ideas behind implementation of Eway bill and help the fellow businesses associated with him in sharing the knowledge he knows and beside he himself should get gain knowledge from social media sources such as Twitter, community forums like Tally.ERP 9 open Forum for Chartered accountants and users at large which shares information on topics related to GST and every new entry in GST desks such as E-Way bills and more.

• Fill up your GST E-Way Bill Concisely and Error-free: As now, the third party software such as ERP have joined the workforce to make the E-Way generation easier for you. And besides the convergence of GST relies on technology and every new entry added to it also requires technical support. And this could be easily achieved by interlocking the business needs with ERP Systems that are GST ready. 

One such promising ERP system is the popular Tally ERP 9 Software which has recently updated even on the Eway bill mechanism for generation of E-Way bills from the software and uploading it on the E-Way bill portal in the JSON supported file format.

Conclusion

The introduction of E-way bill under the recently introduced GST regime has given impetus to the transport department. The E-way bill is generated for the movement of goods above Rs 50,000. This would help the transport authorities to correlate the transported goods mentioned in the papers with the transported goods mentioned in the E-way bill. This would make sure that the transport companies pay what has to be paid to the government as taxes and the filing of the bill online is Eco-friendly. Moreover, the generation of bills online reduces human error and thus it is free of discrepancies.

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