Pune: The Retailers Association of India (RAI) has written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, seeking amendments in the invoicing rules under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“There are some aspects of GST regime which are causing a lot of challenges in B2C (at retail point of sale). We are referring to the prescribed ‘sale invoice’ format for Point of Sale Retail Cash Memo. Almost all sales done at retail stores are for end consumption. Considering that all ‘Retail Rates’ are at MRP inclusive of all taxes, the direction to now print prices with breakup of taxes is confusing the consumers,” RAI members said.
They added, “There is confusion about final prices as customers are being subjected to invoices that contain item level taxes in their Retail Cash Memo, although they only want to verify that they have been charged the MRP, which is inclusive of all taxes. The new format is causing challenges at retail stores, each customer seeking to understand the bills in detail. The break-up makes the numbers difficult for customers to understand.”
They said that due to this there is a perception of paying high taxes among customers. “When these customers are shown a backward calculation of tax, they perceive that taxes are being charged extra. In most cases they think GST has increased prices, even though prices have gone down or remained the same,” they said.
The RAI members said this format is also causing confusion among customers about certain items which have different GST rates. “In some cases, bills contain similar items, which have the same HSN Code, with multiple GST rates (eg. Apparels and Footwear, several FMCG and Packaged products-branded & unbranded). With different tax rates being printed against each item even though they are the same HSN Code, customers are complaining they are charged higher taxes, which is not the case,” they said.
They said that the new format has also caused the cash memo to become nearly three times longer. “Each item requires three to four lines on a POS Roll with the new requirement to show all three taxes break-up as well as the HSN Code. This measure is not environment-friendly as there is a significant increase in paper consumption,” RAI members said.
The members requested Jaitley to allow retailers to issue Retail Cash Memo which has details of all articles sold and Net Price including GST realised for each article. “All prices billed will be inclusive of total GST. The need for individual item tax details and HS codes can be done away with for all intra-state retail sales and this exemption would be required for all retailers without any cap on sales turnover. If required, the total GST collected in the Retail Cash Memo can be shown as a summary. All details of tax collected at item level will be available for GST returns,” the members said.