Homestays to go under GST, service providers upset

The state goods and service tax office on Monday issued notification to around 50 homestays in Fort Kochi zone, expressing that they should go under the domain of Goods and Service Tax (GST). There are 250 homestay service providers in the West.

Kochi and every one of them will be issued notices in the coming days by the sales tax office.

Then, the homestay administrators said this move would adversely influence their organizations and lead to the conclusion of homestays which were the occupation of around 1,000 people in Fort Kochi region alone. “According to the GST standards, those running services beneath Rs 20 lakh a year are exempted from registration. But, the notice issued by state GST office plainly expresses that we are liable for paying GST,” said Antony Kureethra, president, Tourism Promoters’ Association, an umbrella association which has 140 individuals in Fort Kochi.

The state GST office has additionally asked homestay administrators to come to its office in Kochi on July 17 for a hearing. The homestay owners should also create the documents like the register of clients, bank statement for 2018-19 period, cash book and receipt book for 2018-19, ledgers and other books kept up by them and the permit issued by the local authority.

Then, authorities with the state GST office said that they just directed a survey for exploring the potential outcomes of bringing more establishments under GST. “We led the survey according to the direction of the state finance department. We haven’t offered notification to the homestay owners looking for GST,” an official with state GST office said. In the meantime, the notice issued by state GST office, a duplicate of which has been secured by TOI, obviously expressed that the homestays are at risk for paying GST. “It is discovered that you are at risk to get enlisted under Section 22 of the CGST/SGST Act, 2017. So as to settle the enquiry relating with your registration liability, you are asked to furnish the accompanying documents for confirmation within 7 days,” notice issued to one of the homestay owners stated.

“A large number of the operators think that the GST department would come thumping their entryways if there is a homestay board at their offices. Along these lines, they have begun to remove the boards on Monday night itself,” said one of the homestay owners.

The Tourism Promoters’ Association has chosen to approach the top officials of the GST department. They clarified that the association would move the court if necessary.

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