GST nets a million more taxpayers

New registrations under the GST crossed the 10 lakh mark on Saturday, a milestone that brings cheer to policymakers who have been hoping for an increase in the tax base after the roll-out of the new tax measure.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley had said recently that if tax base expands, the government could consider lowering tax rates.

The GSTN, the IT backbone of the new tax system, has also registered 86 lakh existing business and service providers.

The GSTN network operations have been smooth and adjusted well to the flow of applications. Several businesses which are below the threshold turnover of Rs.20 lakh are also registering to ensure that the input tax credit chain is maintained. GST registration is compulsory for businesses with over Rs.20 lakh annual turnover.

The government expects that it will be able to significantly expand the tax base after the implementation of GST, with some estimates forecasting a 20-25% increase in indirect tax collections.

Tax experts said they would prefer to wait and watch to assess the increase in revenue collections as some businesses might have opted for multiple registrations.

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