GST Implication on Advances received for the Future Supplies:

Advance received for any supply, time of supply is fixed at the point when advance is received, irrespective of the fact whether the supply is made or not. Accordingly, GST needs to be paid with reference to the time at which advance is received, if any, and this requires compliances with a few procedures, documentation and reconciliation of taxes paid on the advances and supply made.

Time of supply determines when the taxpayer is required to discharge tax on particular supply. Time of supply provisions are governed by Section 12 to 14 of the CGST Act, 2017. As per the said provisions, the time of supply is determined with reference to the time when the supplier receives payment with respect to the supply as well as a few other references like issue of invoice, receipt of goods etc. In general, the time of supply is earliest of issuance of invoice or receipt of payment.

As per the explanation 1 to Section 12 of the CGST Act, 2017 a “supply” shall be deemed to have been made to the extent it is covered by the invoice or, as the case may be, the payment. For instance, an advance of Rs. 10 lacs is received for a supply worth Rs. 1 crore to be made in future. The time of supply to the extent of advance received i.e. Rs.10 lacs shall be at the time of receipt of advance and for the balance amount of Rs. 90 lacs, it shall be determined with reference to date of issue of invoice and other parameters.

Notification no. 66/2017 dated 15.11.2017:

It happens many a times that supply is cancelled after paying advances. In such cases, depending on agreements, the advances received may be refunded, forfeited, or adjusted for later supplies. All this may require different tax treatments.

Recognizing the fact that small businessmen may be burdened with compliance issues with regard to GST on advances, the Government has come out with Notification no. 66/2017 dated 15.11.2017, whereby all suppliers of goods who have not opted for composition scheme, have been exempted from the burden of paying GST on Advances received. For such categories of taxpayers, time of supply would arise only at the time of issue of invoice and they need to discharge GST liability accordingly. But the supplier of services are required to pay GST at the time of receipt of advances.

Many of the goods which were in the highest tax bracket of 28% have been brought down to the 5/12/18% bracket after the decision of the GST Council in its meeting held on 10.11.2017. Notification no. 41/2017-Central Tax (Rate) dated 14.11.2017 has also been issued giving effect to the revised rates. It may so happen that advances were given when the rate was 28% and the supplier has paid tax on it. Subsequently the rate has been reduced to say 18%. Now, assuming supply happened after the change in tax rate and the invoice for the same was also issued after the change in tax rate, the time of supply, according to section 14 of the CGST Act, is the date of issue of invoice. Therefore, 10% additional tax paid can either be adjusted against the balance payment of tax against that particular supply or claimed back as refund.

Section 31 (3) (d) of the CGST Act, 2017:

As per Section 31 (3) (d) of the CGST Act, 2017, a registered person shall, on receipt of advance payment with respect to any supply of goods or services or both, issue a receipt voucher or any other document, containing:

  • name, address and Goods and Services Tax Identification Number of the supplier;

  • a consecutive serial number not exceeding sixteen characters, in one or multiple series, containing alphabets or numerals or special characters hyphen or dash and slash symbolized as “-” and “/” respectively, and any combination thereof, unique for a financial year;

  • date of its issue;

  • name, address and Goods and Services Tax Identification Number or Unique Identity Number, if registered, of the recipient;

  • description of goods or services;

  • amount of advance taken;

  • rate of tax (central tax, State tax, integrated tax, Union territory tax or cess);

  • amount of tax charged in respect of taxable goods or services (central tax, State tax, integrated tax, Union territory tax or cess);

  • place of supply along with the name of State and its code, in case of a supply in the course of inter-State trade or commerce;

  • whether the tax is payable on reverse charge basis; and

  • signature or digital signature of the supplier or his authorised representative.

Rule 56(3) of CGST Rules, 2017:

As per Rule 56(3) of the Rules, every registered person shall keep and maintain a separate account of advances received, paid and adjustments made thereto.

Table 11A of FORM GSTR-1 captures information related to advances received, rate-wise, in the tax period and tax to be paid thereon along with the respective place of supply (POS). Table 11B captures adjustment of tax paid on advance received and reported in earlier tax periods against invoices issued in the current tax period. The details of information relating to advances would be submitted in Table 11A only if the invoice has not been issued in the same tax period in which the advance was received. Whereas adjustments made in respect of advances received during the earlier tax period, but invoices issued in the current tax period would be reflected in Table 11B.

Advances received by a Composition Dealer:

The composition dealer will not have to pay any tax on advances received, if such advances pertain to his outward supplies.

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