Adv. Govind Patwardhan


Background : Reverse charge or TDs provisions are not compatible to the system of forward charge Value added taxation. The system is based on input tax credit mechanism. However there are certain dominant sections of society who resist being subjected to tax and to overcome it the reverse charge is used. Though it puts compliance burden on honest tax payers, to some extent provisions of Sec 9(3) are justifiable.

What is the aim of this additional reverse charge provision : We understand that the intention behind this provision is to catch those who avoid paying taxes by remaining unregistered, such as sand suppliers, petty contractors etc.

Difficulties for MSME sector : Reverse Charge provision U/S 9(4) will hit hard the micro, small and medium enterprises (traders, work shops, job workers, processors, small contractors). The small or petty contractors who are not liable for registration because of smallness of turnover (less than 20 lakhs) may loose business or will be forced to take registration. Registered MSME units do not have in house expertise to know the rates of various inputs. They can not afford the services of qualified consultants. Most of them rely on accountants or part time tax consultants, even quacks. Therefore this provision will not only increase compliance cost for them, but they are likely to make mistakes which make them vulnerable to penal provisions. There will be no significant gain to the revenue but lot of pain to MSME tax payers.

Every month tax payer will have additional tax liability. It will also be drain on cash flow. The exercise is futile considering the cost of compliances as compared to revenue gain.

Concession of Rs. 5,000 every day makes no real difference. Auditors as well as assessing officers will have to go through inward supplies of every day and calculate whether it exceeds the limit.

It is causing and will cause lot of difficulties to honest small and medium scale tax payers. In addition artisans who are from weaker section of society will get lesser amount for their work on the pretext that their customers have to pay tax. No system can monitor this.

Exempt supplies will become costly : Hospitals, educational institutes who are exempted from being priority sector. However they invariably have to take services of unregistered persons due to smallness of business. Example : outside faculty, lecturer. For these institutes this reverse charge tax is cost which will ultimately fall on students and patients. Similar will be the fate of housing societies and many other such organizations.

Suggestion :

Section 9(4) may be deleted fully

Other alternatives to bring into tax net those who try to avoid.

1) Use provisions of sec 9(3) and TDs more effectively to bring in tax net those who have taxable turnover but avoid paying tax.

2) It may be provided that in case of input supplies from any one person during a month is more than Rs. 20,000 or during a year is more than Rs. 75,000 his name, address and PAN number shall be reported in return.

3) It may be provided that tax will be payable only in case the input goods or services are not eligible for input tax credit and value of such input from that supplier during a month is more than 5,000.

4) Reverse Charge Tax U/S 9(4) will be payable at a uniform rate of 5%.

An illustrative list of URD inputs is given below. It is testimony how difficult it is to calculate the tax on reverse charge basis. It is necessary to reduce the rigors of the provision of Sec 9(4) otherwise it will create ill will for GST among st MSME whose number is large and spread across the country.

List of inward supplies debited to P&L account likely to be from unregistered persons

1) Reimbursement of various expenses while on duty paid to employee by way of allowance.

2) Reimbursement of expenses while on duty paid to employee at actual.

3) Water bottles.

4) Kerosene or other fuels

5) Loading & Unloading expenses

6) Hamali

7) Rent Paid for residence of employee.

8) Shop/ Go down Rent

9) News paper, books & magazines

10) Job Work / Labor Charges

11) Food & Beverages Expense during out station work or in office.

12) Stay in a hotel, lodge

13) Truck/ Tempo Hire Charges.

14) Advertisement in magazines

15) Hoarding

16) Flex designs

17) Printing of cards, envelops etc.

18) AMC Charges

19) Commission to agents,

20) House Keeping Charges. (sweepers)

21) Car /vehicle cleaning charges.

22) Xerox copies/ photo copies.

23) Postage and Courier Charges.

24) Stationery –paper, pen, pencil, clips etc.

25) Hardware –screw/ nut/ bolt

26) Painting charges.

27) Paint.

28) Repair and Maintenance – Building

29) Repair and Maintenance –furniture

30) Repair and Maintenance – machinery

31) Repair and Maintenance – Vehicles

32) Electrician

33) Electrical goods/ bulbs / wire, switches etc

34) Security Charges

35) Sitting Fees, Commission or any other payment made to director by company.

36) Account Writing ,

37) Professional Fees

38) Cold drinks.

39) Tea, coffee biscuits.

40) Entertainment expenses.

41) Staff Uniform cloths.

42) Laundry expenses

43) Packing material

44) Packing Charges

45) binding charges

46) Banquets, flowers such other welcome articles

47) Gift articles from women self help groups

48) Chakali, ladu, bakery products from small self help group .

49) Driver charges

50) Hire of computers and other peripherals.

51) Furniture hire

52) Hire of Office equipments

53) Festival contribution to sarvajanik mandal.

54) Conveyance Expense – Taxi, Auto, Bus, Train

55) Rent for premises.

56) Petrol, diesel, lubricants.

57) Staff dress (cloths) Footwear, socks, caps etc.

58) Notary charges.

59) RTO/passport agent charges.

60) Parking charges paid

61) Entry fee

The list is illustrative and not exhaustive.

To find out correct rate will be daunting task for not only MSMEs but tax experts also. Practically each one must know the entire rate schedule, exemptions with terms and conditions for goods as well as services. If it is scrapped GST will be much easier.

Hope that the better counsel prevails on Government, more specifically on GST council at the earliest.

(Author can be reached at [email protected])

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More Under Goods and Services Tax


  1. ARUN G DAWARE says:


  2. Phani Kumar says:

    Service Providers are also suffering from RCM. Companies compiling small service providers to get registered with GST, which is quite expensive for SMES

  3. Surya says:

    RCM needs to be implemented as in the earlier service tax regime otherwise, as said by the author the most effected persons are the charitable trusts and the likes as their most of the outputs are exempted whereas the reverse charge needs to be paid on the taxable inward supplies which is heavy burden for them. It’s a serious issue for these assesses.

  4. mukesh parmar says:

    R C M under section 9(4) ::
    Simply a provision that could have been avoided by the experts.

    But if they are defiant to continue this section let them provide a exhaustive list with rate of tax and HSN code and not levy any penalty, fine or interest on short payments. Why unnecessary put the business men to hardship. Simply pay the tax and claim it as input. No limits required. No raising of self invoices, which is cumbersome and not practical.

    Really make GST Good & Simple, but as it appears now it is following the same age old path of other Acts & Rules~ becoming complicated & weak. Vulnerable to challenges.

    Though termed as One Nation One Tax, practically it is the other way around ~ One Nation Multiple Taxes.


  5. srividya says:

    how are we to check the turnover of the unregistered dealer, whether it is within the threshold limit or not. while preparing return under RCM for unregistered dealer we are not mentioning the party name and PAN. There is no check in the system for these transactions. People who are evading tax will continue to do so. Only we have to work harder to comply with these provisions.

  6. Srinivas says:

    The Govt. and bureaucrats make rules sitting inside 4 corners of office and do not know the practicalities of compliance. The slogan Good & Simple Tax is a hoax.
    Instead, they can notify certain goods on which GST needs to be paid on reverse charge.
    This will make GST really simple.

  7. Rangarajan DV says:

    View of the author is well accepted and should be considered by the GST Council positively.
    If the real intention of the Government is to get statistical data of those unregistered business persons in India, and to bring them into the tax net, information from registered persons engaging such unregistered persons may be sought without mandating the service recipient to pay GST on reverse charge. This is further complicated when there is a requirement to create tax invoice for availing input tax credit on such goods and/or services; especially it lacks clarity. When it is done away with, it really saves a lot of time and effort if Government comes out with an alternate solution, as we cannot avoid procurement of goods and/or services from unregistered persons, especially in a country like India, where there is a lot of unorganized sector ruling the market and not all have full-fledged infrastructure.

  8. Shrikant Gore says:

    It is very difficult to … maintain ledgers and so many difficulty to book petty cash vouchers ….
    If my three palnts under one to control Rs
    5000 condition, this condition is too hopeless condition..

    Also businessman are in fully problem , his business going to dawn side….in upcoming time….

    Then how to our countries target …startup India skilled
    India…if small business men lost his business due to RCM condition.

    My haurtly request .. please remove.rverse charge condition of URD.

    IT CAN BE CONTINUE FOR GTA and advocates only..

  9. A. Gangatharan says:

    It is better to comply GST without RCM. RCM is a drain on the honest tax payer for the incompetence of the Government to tax all the business without any exemptions. When they consider the exemption for small scale businesses why not exempt the honest tax payers by simply adding 1 or 2 percent of tax on all taxable goods. The rate of GST is itself is higher when compared to the previous Central Excise duty and Service Tax which was universal.

  10. BSKRAO says:

    RCM on Business Expenses under GST is a big blow on poor & middle class Indian citizens, as it is paid out of their pocket, when deducted by service receiver in their payments. Hence, RCM on Business Expenses under GST is nothing but tax on Income of other person & take the footing of Direct Tax, requiring the Govt. to delete Income-tax Act. Ex:- Bankers are deducting 10% IT TDS & 18% RCM under GST against payments made to Pigmy Agents as Commission.

  11. BSKRAO says:


    If our Central Govt. roll back RCM in GST, major complication in India GST can be solved by making necessary changes in the return forms. Our Central Govt. can take decision in this regard because output tax that goes to exchequer both with or without RCM is same. Very purpose of introduction of RCM in GST is to exempt certain class of persons from the ambit of GST & also to cover up URD purchases from dealers who come under exemption limit of Rs.20 Lakhs. Govt. can definitely consider this suggestion by reducing registration limit from Rs 20 Lakhs to Rs.10 Lakhs.

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May 2022