32nd GST Council Meeting – All updates and important decisions taken

32nd GST Council Meeting

The GST Council meeting was held on 10th January 2019 in New Delhi to bring some benefits to medium and small-scale enterprises (MSMEs) with regards to GST exemption and permitted 6 % composition scheme for the services sector.

Addressing a press conference after the 32nd GST Council meet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared that the services sector will now be eligible for benefits under the composition scheme, which was only applicable to manufacturers and traders earlier.

In the meeting, GST council has broadly taken below mentioned decisions –

The limit for the suppliers of goods i.e. Rs. 40 lakhs and Rs. 20 lakhs for exemption from registration and payment of GST. States would be given an option to decide about one of the limits within a weeks’ time. However, the threshold for registration for service providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in the case of Special category States Rs 10 lakh.

A composition scheme will be made available for suppliers of services with a tax rate of 6% (3% CGST + 3% SGST) whose annual turnover in preceding financial year up to Rs 50 lakhs. The said scheme shall also be applicable to both service providers as well as suppliers of goods and services, who are not eligible for the presently available composition scheme for goods.

The limit of annual turnover in the preceding financial year for availing composition scheme for goods will be increased to Rs 1.5 crore. Special category States will have to decide within one week about the composition limit in their respective States.

Those who come under the composition scheme or want to avail it will have to pay tax on a quarterly basis as only one return has to be filed during a year.

Meanwhile, the Council is yet to take a call on the real estate sector. Jaitley said that a 7-member GoM has been constituted to discuss ways to tackle issues in the ailing sector.

GST Council also approved the levy of cess on the inter-State supply of goods and services within the State of Kerala at a rate not exceeding 1% for a period not exceeding 2 years.

Similarly, if any state faces a natural disaster may approach the GST Council to demand a similar solution.

When asked whether there will be further rationalization of GST slabs or tax rates, Jaitley said further rate cuts can be discussed only when there is a rise in revenue collection.

Taxpayers under composition scheme will now need to file one annual return but payment of taxes would remain quarterly (along with a simple declaration)

Following matters were referred by the Group of Ministers

  • Proposal for giving a composition scheme to boost the residential segment of the real estate sector.
  • GST rate structure on lotteries.

All the changes made by CGST (Amendment) Act,2018, IGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, UTGST (Amendment) Act, 2018 and GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Act, 2018 along with amendments in CGST Rules, Circulars and notifications issued earlier and the corresponding changes in SGST Acts would be alert w.e.f. 01.02.2019.

Top 5 Best Billing & Invoicing Software Vendors in India

gst billing invoices india
Sometimes it is impossible to make your customers enjoy paying their bills, but you can always make the payment process quick and simple for them. You can offer customers new payment channels like electronic payment channels and mobile payment networks. There are a number of products available to help you get a better handle on your billing and invoicing operations.

This software can track your sales or services rendered such as who was billed, the fees or charges applied, and when payment was received (or when it was supposed to be received but wasn’t). It also provides you with a data path to record all of that data in your other accounting and bookkeeping systems. In accounting terms, this workflow is an element of Accounts Receivable. There are smaller businesses which still maintains these kinds of records and prepare invoices using a spreadsheet or word processing application while some use specialized software apps that perform the task quicker, more easily, and with much less effort and the best part is, many of them are inexpensive or even free to use.

Zoho Invoice

Pros:

  • The Free version is available.
  • It has Robust billing functionality. zoho
  • You can use Project tracking features for hourly billing.
  • It has Strong documentation.

Cons:

  • It Lacks Zoho Inventory integration.

Bottom Line: It has a solid billing platform for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). It also integrates with much of the Zoho ecosystem making it even better.

FreshBooks

Pros:

  • It has an Exceptional user experience. 
  • It provides new team collaboration tools, estimates, and projects.
  • It can handle multiple businesses.
  • It has also got context-sensitive settings.Cons:
  • It does not record products.
  • Lacks in inventory tracking.
  • It does not consist of expansive customer records.

Bottom Line: The new FreshBooks is a refined, intuitive online accounting system. For freelancers and sole proprietors, it is the best choice. Though, it still lacks inventory tracking and a few other features from the preceding version.

QuickBooks

Pros:

  • It has an exceptional user interface and navigation. 
  • It can easily track expenses and income.
  • Has automatic mileage tracking.
  • You can assign business transactions to Schedule C categories.
  • It can also Estimate quarterly income taxes and OCR capability.

Cons:

  • Lacks direct integration with e-commerce sites.
  • It does not record data, time tracking, project tracking, or recurring transactions.
  • Invoices not customizable or thorough.
  • No estimates or sales tax.

Bottom Line: QuickBooks is a Self-Employed tool to make it a good fit for some freelancers and independent contractors, but others will miss standard features like time tracking, project tracking, and estimates.

Xero

Pros:

  • You can get detailed records and transaction forms. 
  • It can track inventory.
  • You can customize reports.
  • It has online Quotes.
  • A better smart list.
  • An exceptional online support.

Cons:

  • Payroll tax management is not available for all states.
  • It does not have a dedicated time tracking or project management.
  • Lacks in phone or chat support.

Bottom Line: Xero is an exceptionally great double-entry accounting app that excels at many of the basics a small business might need, such as records and transactions which support sales and purchases, payroll processing, and inventory management.

Easy GST

Pros:

  • Perfect for any business type like a start-up or, restaurants, NGO, or creative studios.
  • Leverages a white label solution on the cloud Easy GST
  • You can easily customize invoices, billings or reports
  • It Includes multi-currency feature
  • You can make a detailed contract or proposal.
  • Is GST enabled
  • You can find local accountants near-by easily

Cons:

  • The trial version is only for 30 days
  • UI/UX is little complicated
  • The Mobile app has limited feature constraints

Bottom Line: And Co is a solid invoicing tool aimed primarily at freelancers. It’s good for its target market, though it’ll have some inflexible limitations for those who need more features from their billing system.

Billing and invoicing software can manage your finance process easily. Businesses can use it to improve different financial processes to make them more efficient.

GST Billing And Accounting Software In India

GST-Software

Today, every business needs a new billing management system, which should work according to the new tax regime of India. For this, many companies like ClearTax, Tally, and Marg Accounting has introduced their new billing software, which has been developed completely based upon the new Goods and Service Tax guidelines.

A billing and invoicing software help businesses perform automated calculations, keeping taxes in mind. Additionally, they are also useful for bookkeeping and record-keeping purposes.

To help businesses choose, here’s a list of the top 10 billing and invoicing solution available in India:

How To Find The Best GST Software?

Like every person, every firm is different and has its own expectations from any accounting software. Based on your business, you should check the following points:

1) Software should include all requirements relating to payroll.

2) The system should be able to track available stock, work in progress, orders, jobs, and other task management requirements

3) There should be a provision which can handle more than one bank account.

4) Whether the software handles foreign exchange.

5) There should be a system to keep records of each business or various departments under one business unit.

6) Check whether the Software provides you with an online platform for different activities such as online payments, verifying records,

7) Whether the system can manage different records on what do customers buy, how much they buy, a tax charged on it, etc

Features:

1) According to the business, it should customize the look and generate GST invoices.

2) Different categories. Should be there for different expenses.

3) By importing the bank transactions it should generate the Reconciliation Statement (BRS).

4) Inventory purchases and purchase orders (PO) will be recorded.

5) Record-Journal Voucher entries.

6) Managing database of customer and vendors.

7) Updated information about accounts payable and accounts receivables so that the user is well aware.

8) Help in generating Balance Sheet, Trial balance reports, and Profit and Loss statements as for and when needed.

9) Give platform for different users to use it in a business unit at the same point in time as at times there are different users in one business unit.

To help businesses choose, here’s a list of the top 5 billing and invoicing solution available in India:

Zoho Invoice

zoho

Zoho Invoice is a hassle-free invoicing & billing software that helps businesses send automated payment reminders to their customers and get paid faster online. This web-based solution empowers businesses with the best-automated tools, to smoothen and simplify invoicing operations. With Zoho, users can create invoices, perform faster payments and manage projects on the fly.

QuickBooks

quickbooks

Quickbooks is a reliable and scalable invoicing and billing software for businesses of any scale. Using Quickbooks, users can manage their business and stay organized anytime, anywhere on their computer, mobile or tablet. Create customized and professional invoices, sales receipts and estimates that can be sent in minutes, using QuickBooks.

Sleek Bill

sleekbill

Sleekbill is a simple and efficient billing software which has been specially designed for the Indian market. The software assists in making your invoicing operations efficient. It is a fast and highly scalable solution which can also be used to generate quick and detailed reports, backup/restore data, print/e-mail invoices, and perform GST calculations.

HyperDrive HDPOS Smart

HDPOS Smart is a retail POS billing software, designed to automate retail billing. It is efficient at handling inventory, financial accounting, and billing. HDPOS Smart can be employed at all types of business setups, ranging from stores to hypermarkets. It has additional modules for inventory management, franchise management, accounting, customer management, etc.

MargERP 9+

margERP

MargERP 9+ is an ERP solution that can also be used for invoicing purposes. From automating various ERP components to ensuring complete management of inventory, sales, distribution, procurement and, accounting, MargERP is a complete invoicing and billing software. Simple and easy to use, MargERP 9+ enables users to attain high performance and improved productivity for various domains.

Conclusion

If you own medium-sized business, all these tasks can cause a huge headache. A billing and invoicing solution will not only help businesses ease their payment processes but also get a better grasp of their finances. In turn, businesses can use this data to improve their different financial processes to make them more effective. Which one is your favourite GST software?

All you need to know about the proposed changes in the Single Return Forms under GST

A recent GST Council meeting was all about discussions on providing a more simplified set of return forms. The new layouts for GST Return Forms have now been approved by the Central Government and by the GST Council. From FY 2019 these new set of GST return forms will be applicable.

GST Return

Here are some of the key changes that will be the part of the new GST Return Forms:

  • Single, Simpler and Time Saving

Unlike the previous ones, now the new forms will be less prone to human error and also a simpler form structure comprising of at max 5 to 6 tables. 80% of the form will be auto-populated and this will include sections such as details of supply and purchase/input details. Further, the information will be auto-populated based on the invoices uploaded by the taxpayers. Moreover, most of the data will be auto fetched and dealers will be required to fill the remaining 20% details only.

  • Less Taxing

Across the country taxpayer and trader, the community has a common complaint that the tax filing procedure in itself taxing. To fill returns it required an internet connection and also a desktop or laptop system which ultimately increases the expenditures for traders and taxpayers of buying system, electricity, internet connection and maybe manpower (if needed). But not any longer now A welcome change is seen in a new return filing method through SMS and will the facility to allow taxpayers to file their GST returns through SMS will begin.

  • One Nation One Return Form

The good news is that from next FY onwards the Central Government will do away with the existing multiple returns with a single return filing. Currently, the list of mandatory return file forms under GST include the likes of GSTR-1, GSTR-3B, GSTR-2A (for reconciliation purpose), etc. All these will be replaced with one. While earlier India’s PPP makes it difficult to implement a true one nation One Tax structure, a lot of hue and cry was directed towards the excessive compliance burden the GST framework imposed on the taxpayers (especially honest taxpayers and medium to small-scale traders).

  • Amendments

Unlike the current forms, the new single form will also enable amendments. The maximum number of amendments/changes that can be made will be limited to two though. Additionally, taxpayers will also be able to report negative balance or liability.

  • Profile Based Return Filing

The new FY 2019 will also see profile-based dealer’s filing of returns. The profile could be selected based on the questionnaire filled by the dealer post which returns can be files
“upload – lock – pay” System

Experts call the new returns as a three-step procedure for easy hassle free cost effective return filing. These include:

  • Invoice Uploading by Suppliers (Provide return details)
  • Approval/Acceptance by Recipients of goods or service.
  • GST Payment post return locks by Recipients

sugam sahaj gst return filing

The GST will also make room for new provisions like the Sahaj and Sugam schemes for dealer along with new return forms. Currently, dealers with an annual turnover of fewer than 5 crores file quarterly returns and such dealers can either continue with quarterly returns or they can opt for a simpler two return system which is Sahaj return and another one is Sugam return.

Sajah return is for B2C suppliers. With less number of fields and easy to file it has become much simpler. It will be filed monthly. For those who are involved in both B2B and B2C supplies, they can opt for Sugam. Rest of the process is the same. The Sajah and Sugam are only available to dealers with less than 5 crore turnover.

Use Business Accounting Software To Manage Your Finance

Over the years there have been many changes in the field of accounting. It has shifted from leather-bound journals to spreadsheets and now we are in the era of accounting software for every business.

You can make data-driven decisions by using these systems to improve your effectiveness by allowing you anytime and anywhere access to the business data.

Watch Your Cash Flow

The web-based accounting software for small business helps in better management of its cash flow. You can instantly review your debtors using it and decide about the collection or credit extension. Their use increases the productivity as there is no paperwork to generate and file. A few of these systems allow you to sift through the business data to reveal trends in the market which can lead to new opportunities.

Foreign Transactions Made Easy

Are you planning to take expand your business overseas negotiating a tie-up with a foreign supplier? If yes then you will need web-based accounting software for SME that will handle all your foreign currencies easily. Such a tool will allow you to manage currency exchange rate, set single or multiple currencies to your customers’ accounts, or set base currency to view the value of these transactions in your preferred currency.

Business Accounting Software

Manage Accounting of Unlimited Companies

If you own multiple companies, it is obvious that you would like to use single accounting software for small business to do their books and keep the things simple. It translates to finding software that allows the creation of multiple or unlimited companies. Todays, online accounting systems make the task even simpler. They allow you options like an accounting firm, a manufacturing firm, or a construction firm to base your business on. These systems even create the default accounts based on the business and industry-type selected. It is accounting at its ease.

Opt For Best Accounting Software

Locating the best accounting software for small business is a not easy as the businesses vary in their needs. Business software that is a snug fit for one may not be the right solution for another. Your best bet is to go for the accounting software for SMEs in your business niche. You should aim for a tool that is both, affordable and easy to use.

Charts to Improve Efficiency of Your Business

These tools allow you to closely monitor and scrutinize your cash flow. The best accounting software for small business shows charts depicting cash in & out of the company over the period of last six months, invoices owed to the company, bills owed by the company, and the user activities. They also come with time-saving features like automated entries, email invoicing, and accounts reconciliation.

Today, accounting is not as it was 20 years ago. There are hardly any businesses relying on paper-pencil-based accounting. The small businesses do use spreadsheets for their planning and budgeting to some extent. But, it is not long. They eventually grow and needs a proper system to take care of their business’ financial transaction and data. The accounting software for business works great to make business decisions with the flexibility and strength of On-the-Go accounting.

Waking up to the new GST era and its influence on top 6 sectors

The implementation of one of the biggest tax reform in the country “GST” is likely to revolutionize the way India does business, setting organizations on a path to work in the worlds most evolved and business-friendly countries.  The introduction of the GST system will metamorphose the country’s economy which was for long disrupted by complex taxation and ambiguities. It will make the system more transparent, paperless and welcome more foreign investments.

GST has received an equal share of praise and criticism since its inception. While the majority of the companies got in line with GST almost within 45 days of the application, there are many enterprises in every industry vertical still gearing up for the implementation.

While adding a significant edge to the economy by reducing costs for customers, applying one nation – one tax rule to bring equality, integrating taxes correctly, as well as reducing business transaction costs, GST, on the other hand, is also increasing business operational costs and the burden of compliance. There are pros and cons of everything and GST has both positive and negative influence on all the industry verticals. Let’s take a look GST influence on different sectors:

GST era

  • FMCG

The FMCG sector is one of the biggest contributors to the Indian economy and is expected to benefit the most from the new tax reform system. The sector could notice some significant savings in the in logistics and distribution costs as GST would eliminate the need for multiple sales depots. The sector comes under the slab of 18% to 20% which will be beneficial to the business holders, manufacturers and consumers directly.

  • Hospitality and Tourism

Hospitality and tourism sector is one of the highest tax generating sectors. The implementation of GST has helped to eliminate the tax-on-tax structure and streamline the complexity of tax procedures while making it transparent for consumers. But due to GST, the sector faces lack of competitiveness with other Asian countries as well as the business operational cost has increased due to investment in technology to calculate complex tax procedures.

  • Manufactures/ Distributors/ Retailers

GST is expected to accelerate the competitiveness and performance in the manufacturing domain. Few concerns like declining exports, high infrastructure cost, multiple indirect taxes as well as an increase in the administrative costs were faced by manufacturers and retailers before GST. With the implementation of this game-changer Goods and Service tax, the compliance burden is likely to ease down with the sector growing stronger.

  • BFSI

18% GST is levied on banking services and financial sector which in comparison to the earlier tax rate 15% is costly. The fund based, fee-based, as well as insurance services, will see major shifts owing to the nature and volume of operations as GST compliance will be quite difficult to implement in these verticals.

  • Start-ups

Start-ups in India is still a nascent industry, which expected to grow in the coming years. Earlier start-ups with a Pan-India presence, especially in the EComm sector had to face different VAT laws in different states, which will get eliminated under GST implementation along with the reduction in the excise limit. A win-win for start-ups.

  • IT

All the companies under IT industry, as well as freelancers, are levied under 18% tax slab under GST. Overall this under has witnessed a positive impact with a reduction in the operational cost, removal of cascading effect and an increase in the profitability and change in the business process.

While various sectors have welcomed the most ambitious and significant reform and have taken relevant steps to move into the new regime with great enthusiasm, there are yet many verticals yet to cash in on the burgeoning advent. However, the long-term impact is yet to be seen by the country and only time will tell how GST accelerates growth.

Unearth the best way to financial freedom in the 21st Century

The world is rapidly changing and it’s time for the financial planning advice to catch up with the pace. In this fast-paced life, most of us aim for achieving financial freedom and live a debt-free happy life. If you are planning to have one, you must work towards managing your finances well and clearing your loans.

We all have been in a situation where a panic sets into our stomach when we see the bill for unexpected car repairs. We all get apprehensive about paying our dues? But what if that car repair was just unnecessary, and instead of worrying about our other vital expenses, we pay the bill without thinking twice. That’s how little-unexpected expenses affect our daily financial situations. They are not an emergency, but barely a hiccup!

The path to financial independence isn’t easy, but once we learn to manage our expenses well, it brings new opportunities to build wealth, diversify our income streams, and invest for future security while gaining control over our finances. This may sound too good to be true, but you can achieve this! Here’s how you can begin your own journey to financial freedom:

Financial Freedom

Set your Life Goals

This step will require you to assess where you want to be in 10 and 20 years from now such as where you want to live in retirement and when you want to stop working. Write down how much you should have in your bank account by one particular age. The more specific your goals, the higher the likelihood of achieving them. Write it all down precisely, and place the goal sheet at the very beginning of your financial binder.

Set a Budget

Make a monthly household budget and stick to it, it is considered to be one of the best ways to ensure that all your bills are paid and savings are going on. It will also help you achieve your monthly goal and it’s a stress-free practice.

Limit the use of a Credit card

One of the basic habits is that we use our credit card thoughtlessly. Think twice before you spend money. It is important to get a credit report at regular intervals to make sure there are no erroneous black marks ruining your good name.

Investment in your Future

Take investment positively, as paying for your future. With today’s number of options investing has become easier than ever anyone can do it. Invest money in a different separate bucket such as Retirement Fund, House Fund, Real Estate Investment Fund, College savings, Taxable Investments, etc. starting investing today even if that means 1% of your income. Your future self will thank you.

Minimize your expenses

Minimalism is the key towards financial freedom. By clearing the clutter from our lives we will be able to focus on eliminating debt. Changing our habits and going for better decisions with fewer resources. Make small adjustments by sorting out the things you need rather than things you want is a financially helpful and healthy habit to put into practice.

The fun really starts when you realize you can meet the needs of others. Imagine being able to bless a struggling family by paying for their car repair! It’s not just about you anymore; it’s about leaving a legacy! If you live like no one else, later you can live and give like no one else. It’s worth all the hard work it takes to get there. You’ve got this!

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