The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India has rendered the cascading effect of the previous tax structure obsolete. Since its implementation in 2017, businesses seem to have benefited in a variety of ways.
Clearly defined taxation laws have significantly increased business efficiency for the E-commerce and Logistics sectors in particular. This was not the case under the previous tax regime, which had confusing tax laws that made taxation too cumbersome a process.
If you have registered your business under the GST regime, you can make GST payments online using the online portal. If you are a taxpayer in Maharashtra, be sure to visit MahaGST for the same.
While one might ponder the need for a separate online portal for a state, keep in mind that Maharashtra had announced a settlement scheme to settle the dues under the various Acts administered by Maharashtra Goods and Service Tax Department.
What is MahaGST?
MahaGST is a tax administration and online portal meant to make GST registrations in Maharashtra and GST online payments simple for residents in Maharashtra.
MahaGST has a plethora of services and features to its credit. A few worth mentioning are GST registration, tracking a GSTIN, GST rules & notifications, and up-to-date circulars and news. It also contains forms on VAT and other acts and an FAQ section.
A Deep Dive into MahaGST’s Functions
MahaGST administers acts like The Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002, Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, Profession Tax Act, 1975, The Maharashtra Purchase Tax on Sugarcane Act, 1962, The Maharashtra Tax on the entry of goods into local area Act, 2002
The Maharashtra Value Added Tax, 2002
Under the pre – VAT state tax structure, there were significant issues that included double taxation of commodities and multiplicity of taxes, which resulted in a cascading effect.
For example, inputs would be taxed before a commodity is produced and then again after production. This results in unfair double taxation. With the introduction of VAT, other taxes like turnover tax, surcharge on sales tax, taxes were eradicated.
The VAT structure made for a more straightforward and more transparent system. Its benefits:
- Rationalization of the overall burden
- Fall in prices
- Increase in transparency
- Increase in revenue
Profession Tax Act, 1975
To cater to the weaker sections of the society, the Government introduced a scheme known called the Employment Guarantee Scheme. The plan guaranteed manual work for the unskilled rural labourers with payment as per the quality and quantity of work they performed.
Maharashtra Tax on Entry of Motor Vehicles into local areas Act, 1962
This Act was implemented on 18/12/1987. Before this, numerous motor vehicle manufacturers and distributors opened their depots in Union Territories and states where the tax on sales was known to be significantly low.
As a result, there was a continuous reduction in the revenue of the Maharashtrian state.
This tax was introduced to compensate for the loss of the Sales Tax Revenue.
This entry tax is leviable on the purchase of motor vehicles brought into Maharashtra from other States or Union Territories, for use or for sale in the State of Maharashtra.
This is subject to the condition that the Motor Vehicle brought into the state is liable for registration in Maharashtra under the Motor Vehicles Act.
If you have not registered your business to a GST number (GSTIN), MahaGST allows you to do that. Opting for a GST Registration entails multiple benefits.
- GST registration of your business allows you to become legally recognized as a supplier of goods or services.
- If your business files returns and consistently makes GST payments online, you are highly likely to get noticed and increase your credibility in the eyes of the Government and the stakeholders.
- Your GST number (GSTIN) simplifies the process of the input tax credit. If you consistently make GST payments online, you can avail input tax credit on the tax paid on purchases.
- You must have a GSTIN for your business to make inter-state transactions and broaden your market without being bound by unnecessary restrictions.
Considering the fact that GST registration is now compulsory for vendors and suppliers, it is not surprising that a sizeable portion of them are using fake GST numbers.
These businesses use a fake GST number to evade Government scrutiny. They have been able to get away with it so far by releasing invoices with fake GST numbers that contain a seemingly genuine break up of the tax.
However, keep in mind that the tax collected from customers does not go to the Government. Therefore, you must verify the GSTIN online to ensure the credibility of the business that you wish to associate yourself with.
As mentioned earlier, GSTIN verification allows you to check the authenticity of the vendors and suppliers in question, thereby preventing you from falling victim to fraud.
GST number verification has proven to significantly reduce the incidences of tax manipulation and evasion and hence ensures transparency.
MahaGST allows you to verify the GST number you want. Simply head over to the official MahaGST website, go to the ‘Dealer Services’ tab, and click on ‘Know your GST taxpayer’ and enter the GSTIN.
If you do not have a GSTIN but have a Temporary Identification Number (TIN), click on ‘Know your Taxpayer’, select the TIN option, and enter the TIN.
These are some of the essential services that MahaGST offers. Be sure to sift through their other services and features that include GST updates and notifications, Tax calendar, Tracking Application Reference Number (ARN) and many more.