Centre may have held over the monthly GST collection figures for April, but data released by the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGA) suggests that GST collections have seen a precipitous drop of up to 70 per cent in April.
Data released by the Comptroller General of Accounts (CGA) for April 2020 shows that the Centre's share of GST collection during the month was a paltry Rs 16,707 crore compared to Rs Rs 55,329 crore in the previous year, a drop of 70 per cent. Usually, the GST numbers announced by the government comprise collection by both the Centre and states. However, CGA's data only shows the Centre's share of the GST collection.
In April 2019, total GST collection - state and Centre included - was Rs 113,865 crore. Extrapolating from the Centre's GST numbers (Rs 16,707 crore) for April, 2020 the total GST collection - Centre and State - could be around Rs 34,300 crore.
The sharp drop in the GST collection in April 2020 could partly be because of lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak. However, it is to be noted that April GST collections are for March transactions, and the lockdown started only from 25 March.
Therefore, the poor collection in April could be mostly due to extension of return filing dates. On March 24, the government announced several measures to ease the compliance burden on taxpayers given the outbreak of Coronavirus.
As per the announcements, for registered GST taxpayers with aggregate annual turnover less than Rs 5 crore, the last date for filing GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020 by the last week of June 2020. For such taxpayers, no interest, late fee, and penalty were to be charged.
For those whose turnover is Rs 5 crore or more, could file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020 but the same would attract reduced rate of interest at 9 per cent per annum from due date (current interest rate is 18 per cent per annum). No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till June 30, 2020.