GST collections in May drop to lowest level since September 2020

The ₹1,02,709 crore collected as GST in May includes revenues from domestic transactions till June 4.

India’s Gross GST revenue in May fell to ₹1.02 lakh crore in May 2021, from a record ₹1.41 lakh crore in April, but the number is likely to be revised upwards, the government said on Saturday.

The May 2021 GST collections are the lowest since September 2020, which had recorded a revenue of ₹95,480 crore, and are in step with declines recorded in several economic indicators in May due to the second COVID-19 wave and mobility restrictions.

The Finance Ministry said this is the eighth month in a row that GST revenues have crossed ₹1 lakh crore mark ‘despite the fact that most of the States have been under strict lockdown due to the pandemic’.

The ₹1,02,709 crore collected as GST in May includes revenues from domestic transactions till June 4. This is 65% higher than May 2020, when just ₹62,151 crore was received amid the national lockdown that began in late March 2020.

“The actual revenues for the month of May 2021 would be higher and would be known when all the extended (compliance) dates expire,” the ministry said, citing the relaxations given to taxpayers in filing returns in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19.

“…While the taxpayers with turnover above ₹5 crore had to file their returns by June 4, which they would have otherwise filed by May 20, smaller taxpayers with turnover less than ₹5 crore still have time till first week of July to file the returns without any late fee and interest and the revenue from these taxpayers is deferred till then,” it explained.

GST Collections over ₹1 lakh crore, pertaining to transactions in the month of April, indicates that the economic impact of the lockdowns has been much lower than expected, said M.S. Mani, senior director at Deloitte India. “A close watch is required on the next month’s collections to determine the extent of the impact on GST collections for 2021-22,” he said.

Integrated GST accounted for over half of May’s collections at ₹53,199 crore, with ₹26,002 crore collected on import of goods. Compensation Cess, used to pay States their compensation, added another ₹9,265 crore, which included ₹868 crore on import of goods.

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