July 20, 2017:
The Retailers’ Association of India (RAI) has appealed to the Finance Minister to simplify the prescribed sale invoice format for cash bills rendered to customers claiming it is “confusing“.
“There are some aspects of the GST regime, which are causing a lot of challenges in business to consumer (B2C) at the retail point of sale,” RAI said in a letter to the FM.
“The GST rules define that it is mandatory to mention GST rates and HS code for each article sold and provide tax details for each line item,” the letter explained.
RAI is requesting that retailers be allowed to issue a retail cash memo which has details of all articles sold and net price, including GST realised for each article.
“The need for individual item tax details and HS codes can be done away with for all intra-state retail sales (B2C), this exemption would be required for all retailers without any cap on sales turnover,” RAI added.
The retailers lobby claims that this would simplify the billing process, and also address the confusion faced by consumers.
“Considering that all retail rates are at maximum retail price (MRP) inclusive of all taxes, the direction to now print prices with breakup of taxes is confusing the consumers,” it said.
The retailer lobby is suggesting that the GST format follow the globally retail cash memos, which are presented at prices inclusive of all taxes and tax breakups are not shown.
They also raised the fact that customers perceive they are being charged higher prices when they are shown a backward calculation of tax.
Further, the overall retail cash memo has now become three times the length of the earlier retail memo, due to the inclusion of tax breakup, RAI said.
“This measure is not environment friendly as there is a significant increase in paper consumption. Also the compliance costs will go up three times,” the letter said.
Another issue causing confusion in some cases are bills contain similar items, with multiple GST rates.
With different tax rates being printed against each item even though they are the same HSN Code (for classification of goods under GST), customers are complaining they are charged higher taxes, which is not the case, RAI said.
RAI also suggested that since retail bills are computer generated, there need not be a requirement to sign every bill .
“We would be willing to work with the government to ensure compliance without sacrificing customer convenience,” it added.
(This article was published on July 20, 2017)
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