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In this blog, we will understand who is liable to pay the tax on GTA service: the GTA or the service recipient. For this, the first step is to identify who is the recipient of the transportation service provided by a GTA.
In case of transportation of goods, identifying the person who receives the service from the GTA can be confusing- Is it the person sending the goods (consignor) or the person receiving the goods (consignee)?
In this case, the recipient of service will be the person who makes the payment of freight charges. Hence, if the consignor pays the freight charges to the GTA, the consignor becomes the recipient of service and if the consignee pays the freight charges to the GTA, the consignee becomes the recipient of the service.
Example: A dealer takes the services of a GTA to deliver goods to his customer. The freight for the consignment is paid by the supplier. In this case, the dealer is considered as the person who has availed the transportation service from the GTA and hence, is the recipient of the service. Similarly, another consignment which the dealer sends through the GTA is a ‘to-pay’ consignment, where the customer will pay the freight charges to the GTA. In this case, the customer becomes the recipient of service from the GTA.
Once the recipient of the service has been identified, we can answer the important question of whether the GTA or the service recipient has to pay the tax liability.
This is based on the following 2 scenarios:
When a GTA, whether registered or unregistered, provides taxable transportation or related services to any of the specified persons, the recipient of the service is liable to pay tax on reverse charge basis. These specified persons are:
Note: All the persons specified above are mandatorily required to register under GST, irrespective of their turnover, as they are liable to pay tax on reverse charge basis.
Example: Raj Logistics, a GTA, provides transport service to Manish Apparels, a registered dealer. On 15th October, ’17, Raj Logistics transports a batch of apparel on behalf of Manish Apparels to an unregistered person. The apparel is transported in a single vehicle and Raj Transports charges Rs. 8,000 as freight for this, which is paid by Manish Apparels.
Here, the transportation service provided by Raj Logistics is taxable @ 5% because the freight paid for a single vehicle exceeds Rs. 1,500. This freight is paid by Manish Apparels and hence, Manish Apparels is the recipient of service. Since Manish Apparels is a registered person, that is, a specified person, Manish Apparels is liable to pay tax @ 5% on this service.
Any person in the above list of specified persons who pays tax on reverse charge basis on transportation service received from a GTA, is eligible for full input credit of the tax paid.
In the list of specified persons who are liable to pay tax on GTA service on reverse charge, certain persons have not been included. These are:
When a GTA provides transportation service to any of these persons, it is exempt from GST.
Example: Mohan Transports, a registered GTA, provides transportation service to an unregistered sole proprietor, Mr. Rakesh, for a batch of electronic goods. The goods are delivered to a dealer, Lakshmi Electronics, in 3 vehicles. Mohan Transports charges Rs. 4,000 as freight for this, which is paid by Mr. Rakesh.
Here, the transportation service provided by Mohan Transports is exempt from GST, as it is provided to a non-specified person.
As input tax credit cannot be availed on exempt supplies, a registered GTA cannot avail input tax credit on supplies used to provide the exempt service.
In this blog, we have learnt that when a GTA provides taxable transportation service to a specified person, the recipient is liable to pay tax on reverse charge. When a GTA provides taxable transportation service to a person other than the specified persons, it is exempt under GST. In our next blog, we will understand the impact on registration for a GTA and the recipient of GTA service.
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