Registering the highest level of collections since its rollout in July 2017, gross Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections rose to Rs 1.68 lakh crore in April, for sales in March, according to data released by the Union Finance Ministry on Sunday.
This marks a 20 per cent increase from the April 2021 level on the back of improved compliance, enforcement action against tax evaders and pick-up in economic activity.
During April 2022, 1.06 crore of the monthly summary GSTR-3B (self-declared) returns were filed, of which 97 lakh pertained to March, as against 92 lakh filed during April 2021. Also, 1.05 crore statements of invoices issued in GSTR-1 (outward supplies returns) were filed, the Ministry said.
“This shows clear improvement in the compliance behaviour, which has been a result of various measures taken by the tax administration to nudge taxpayers to file returns timely, to make compliance easier and smoother and strict enforcement action taken against errant taxpayers identified based on data analytics and artificial intelligence,” the Ministry said.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlighted the role of states in the highest-ever GST collections. “Sincerely recognise and appreciate the efforts made by each and every state in improving #GST revenue collection. India’s economic recovery is sure to be on a sustained path due to all our efforts,” she posted on Twitter.
Gross GST collection in April, which includes revenue of Centre and states, is at an all-time high and Rs 25,000 crore more than the previous high of Rs 1.42 lakh crore collected in March. In April last year, GST collections stood at Rs 1.40 lakh crore.
Experts said the rise could also be attributed to year-end activity, higher inflation rate, input tax credit being allowed only on timely compliance by vendors and high value of imports.
Revenues from import of goods were 30 per cent higher and from domestic transactions (including import of services) 17 per cent more than in the same month last year.
“While the GST collections in respect of March have always been high, the record collections of Rs 1.68 lakh crore reported are on account of multiple favourable factors, including the recent changes on permitting input tax credits only upon timely compliance by vendors,” M S Mani, Partner, Deloitte India, said.
“The impact of the continuing focus on ensuring timely compliance by all GST registrants by restricting the input tax credits of the buyers together with enhanced analytics to detect evasion has also contributed significantly to the all-time high collections reported,” he said.
The total number of e-way bills generated in March 2022 was 7.7 crore, which is 13 per cent higher than 6.8 crore in February 2022, reflecting the recovery of business activity at a faster pace, the Ministry said.
In April 2022, 84.7 per cent of registered businesses paid taxes by filing GSTR-3B, compared to 78.3 per cent in the year-ago period. Also, 83.11 per cent of GST registered businesses have filed supply or sales return GSTR-1, compared to 73.9 per cent a year ago.
The highest ever tax collection in a single day also happened on April 20, and Rs 57,847 crore was paid as GST through 9.58 lakh transactions.
There was divergence seen amongst states for the GST collections raised, ranging between a contraction of 33 per cent in Manipur and 2 per cent in Bihar to growth of 90 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, 33 per cent in Uttarakhand, 32 per cent in Nagaland, 28 per cent in Odisha and 25 per cent in Maharashtra.
These state-wise figures do not include GST on import of goods and pertain to the GST revenues collected in the states, which later gets distributed based on the place of consumption in the transactions.
Out of gross GST revenue of Rs 1,67,540 crore, CGST — the tax levied on intra-state supplies of goods and services by the Centre — is Rs 33,159 crore and SGST — the tax levied on intra-state supplies of goods and services by the states — is Rs 41,793 crore, the Ministry said.
IGST — tax levied on all inter-state supplies of goods and services — is Rs 81,939 crore (including Rs 36,705 crore collected on import of goods) and cess Rs 10,649 crore (including Rs 857 crore collected on import of goods), it said.
The Government has settled Rs 33,423 crore to CGST and Rs 26,962 crore to SGST from IGST. The total revenue of Centre and the states in April after regular settlement is Rs 66,582 crore for CGST and Rs 68,755 crore for SGST, the Ministry said.