The Goods and Service Tax Collection for the month of May came in at Rs 1.02 lakh crore, official data by the Finance Ministry showed on June 5. While this was the eighth consecutive month of GST collections being above Rs 1 lakh crore, it was also the lowest collection since September 2020.
The May GST collections were also a 27.6 per cent drop from record sum of Rs 1.41 lakh crore in April, which was the highest monthly collection since the introduction of the nationwide tax.
The gross GST revenue for the month of May, includes a collection of Rs 17,592 crore in form of Central GST, Rs 22,653 crore State GST and Rs 53,199 crore Integrated GST (including Rs 26,002 crore collected on import of goods), said a statement.
“It is good to see that despite the aggressive second COVID wave, the GST collections have remained upward of the 1 lakh crores mark for the eight straight month. Also the dip in comparison to the collections in the previous months was expected as these GST collections are for the supplies made in April, when part of the country was in lockdown,” said Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY.
“It’s noteworthy that the 1.02 lakh crores GST collections for the month of May will further be increased as businesses having less than 5 crore turnover have until 1 week of July to file returns,” Jain said.
The decision to extend the filing date was taken in the last meeting of the all-powerful GST Council meeting on May 28.
"While the taxpayers with turnover above Rs 5 crore had to file their returns by 4th June, which they would have otherwise filed by 20th May, smaller taxpayers with turnover less than Rs 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. The actual revenues for the month of May 2021, thus would be higher and would be known when all the extended dates expire," the government said.
June collections could also be hit
“As expected, May 2021 GST collections have shown a moderation, as was predicted by the sequential slowdown in e-way bills between March 2021 and April 2021. With the extension and widening of restrictions by various states in May 2021, the e-way bills have declined further, which will further dampen the GST collections in the month of June 2021,” said Aditi Nayar, Chief Economist with ICRA Ltd.
The latest GST data adds to the evidence that May was not a good month for the economy, with indicators like manufacturing and services Purchasing Managers Index and toll collections indicating a drop compared to April and March.
The second wave of COVID cases for India peaked on May 6, with 4.14 lakh cases. It has since then come down as sharply as it rose. As on the evening of June 5, India recorded 1.20 lakh new Covid cases and 3,380 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The Finance Ministry said that the May GST figures included collections from domestic transactions till 4th of June since taxpayers were given various relief measures in the form of waiver/reduction in interest on delayed return filing for 15 days for the return filing month of May in the wake of Covid pandemic second wave.
Despite a month-on-month drop, the GST revenue collected in May 2021 is 65 percent higher than the amount collected in the same month last year, which was in the middle of a nationwide lockdown.
"During the month, revenues from import of goods was 56 percent higher and the revenues from domestic transaction (including import of services) are 69 percent higher than the revenues from these sources during the same month last year," the Finance Ministry added.Also Read | Explained: Why has the GST compensation gap widened and what does it mean for consumers