April 2020 GST Collections took a Sharp Decline as Expected
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The business activities came to a virtual standstill mode during April 2020 due to the lockdown led by COVID-19 pandemic. The same can be seen as a reflection in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections. Even though no official announcement made by the authorities till date, few sources informed that the GST collections for April 2020, recorded in May 2020, stood approximately at Rs 43,000 crore.

The GST collections for April 2020 till 04 June 2020, stand at around Rs 43,000 crore. The GST filing due date has been extended by 15 days (for the taxpayers having more than five crores turnover) due to the pandemic hardships, so the actual collections are recorded until 05 June 2020. The primary reason for the decline was complete lockdown in April 2020, and only essential services were working during this month.

The collections for April 2020 has also seen a decline compared with those for March 2020. The GST collections were in Rs 61,543 crore for the business activity in March 2020, recorded until 05 May 2020. There is more than 50% decline till now for April 2020 when compared to the April 2019 GST collections. The GST collections for business activities were at Rs 1,00,289 crore in April 2019, as reported in May 2019. 

Also Read: COVID-19: Sharp Decline Expected in April & May 2020 GST Collections

When asked how the trends between the GST collections of the Center and the collections made by states looked, sources shared that states fared better and saw a slight recovery in collections compared to the Central GST collections.

Revenue decline, ranging from 60% to 85% across India over April and May 2020, makes it difficult for states to survive on an annual comparison. The states are still struggling as the biggest challenge they face today is a revenue shortfall. As the states faced two challenges at a time of GST revenue and rising spending, many states are eagerly waiting for the Finance Ministry to clear its pending dues.

On the other hand, the government has not officially released the GST collections data after March 2020, which were related to the business activities in February 2020. The government is likely to wait till the extended due dates of March and April 2020 which are in the last week of June 2020 to announce the actual GST collections.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at dvsr.anjaneyulu@cleartax.in

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