How to Avoid Blocked Credit?

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Published Date:  15-12-2023   Author:   sriyalini-mathivanan
how to avoid blocked credit

Goods and Services Tax (GST) has brought a big change in the Indian Taxation system. It played a major role in simplifying and preparing a proper framework of indirect taxes.  Although GST has streamlined the taxation process but still hampering business with one big challenge. That is blocked credit.

A blocked credit impacts the business in a severe manner This directly affects their cash flow which in turn hinders the business operations and growth. In this article, we will explore how businesses can avoid blocked credit. We will learn about various strategies, procedures and tips to ensure that businesses remain in GST regimes and don’t face blocked credit.

Type of Blocked Credit Explanation
On Goods and Services Used for Personal Consumption Goods purchased by taxpayers used for personal consumption like food, travel, and accommodation are not eligible for ITC
On Goods and Services used for Exempt Supplies If a taxpayer purchases goods or services for making exempt supplies like education, healthcare then it can’t be claimed
On Goods and Services used for non-business purposes Goods and services purchased by taxpayers for non-business purposes like hobby, personal use etc can’t be claimed for ITC
Blocked on certain Goods and Services There are certain goods and services which are not eligible for ITC. These include motor vehicles, construction of immovable property, outdoor catering, beauty treatment and health services

 

Table of Contents

Avoiding blocked credit in GST

Businesses running under the GST regime are often prone to the concern of blocked credit. Blocked credit is a scenario under which the taxpayer is not able to claim input tax credit (ITC) on GST payments made for inputs or input services.

Following GST regulations in a proper manner becomes necessary to avoid such roadblocks. Here are certain key ways in which blocked credit can be avoided: –

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  • Maintaining Accuracy in Documentation

One of the primary reasons for blocked credit is inaccurate documents. So, the businesses shall first of all see to it that they are maintaining accurate documents. They must see to it that invoices, bills of supply and relevant documents are recorded and in a correct manner.

If anything is missed out in these documents or any discrepancies found then that can lead to blocked credit concerns. Accuracy in documentation also protects audits and avoids disputes.

  • Filing of Returns on Time

Timeliness plays a big role in GST compliance. Filing the returns on time is a proactive step that can prevent your business from blocked credit. Late filings lead to penalty charges. In addition to that, there are also a lot of concerns related to credit.

One shall see that the filing takes place on proper due dates. This will reduce the occurrence of blocked credit.

  • Compliance with Anti-Profiteering Regulations

Apart from financial implications, businesses shall also comply with anti-profiteering regulations. They shall not refrain from passing on the benefits of reduced tax to customers.

If a business doesn’t comply with this then this can lead to penalties and can lead to blocked credit. It is a moral responsibility to align the pricing strategies with GST provisions.

Strategies to prevent blocked credit claims

If the business is unable to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC) then it may affect its financial planning and operational efficiency. This requires that there has to be a proactive strategy formulated to prevent blocked credit claims. Here are some of the key strategies that a business can apply to reduce the risk of blocked credit.

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  • Vendor Verification

Business can’t run alone but has tie-ups with various vendors and suppliers. Before getting into agreement with them go for a proper verification. You need to ensure that the vendors are properly following GST compliance. This will help in building a reliable supply chain and reduce the risk of credit issues.

  • Internal Audits

Regular internal audits are a must in the business. This will reduce the errors and discrepancies and hence curb the occurrence of blocked credit. Businesses shall prepare a system plan to review financial records, reconciliation of input and output tax, and identification of future errors. This will ensure the accuracy of GST returns and reduce the probable chances of blocked credit.

  • Employee Training

The accounting staff of the company plays an important role in reducing credit concerns. If they are trained enough and have proper knowledge then they will record transactions with accuracy and will comply with GST regulations. If the GST compliance is properly maintained by the business, then there is hardly any chance of blocking of credit due to any error.

  • Being Updated to GST Amendments

The government keeps on bringing amendments to GST regulations and compliance quite frequently. Business has to remain updated about the same. They need to adapt to the changes in the business processes. This will prevent blocked credit concerns.

Unblocking credit in GST procedures

Blocked credit in GST can take place due to a variety of concerns. Compliance is a major concern in this. Often companies are unable to maintain proper compliance with GST regulations which result in non-approval of credit claim. Let’s understand how to unblock the credit in GST procedures.

  • Addressing Mismatched Invoices

Dealing with mismatched invoices plays an important part in unlocking credit. Discrepancies in various details like invoice numbers, GSTIN, and values between supplier and recipient invoices can lead to claim rejection. A proper invoice reconciliation can be initiated to prevent this.

  • Communication and Collaboration

Proper communication and collaboration are a must between businesses, suppliers and recipients to resolve blocked credit issues. If there is transparency then the concerns will be tracked and rectified faster. This can help in early detection and resolution of discrepancies.

  • Government Support and Initiatives

Government support and initiatives have a great role in facilitating unblocking of credit. The government every now and then introduce various policies and initiatives that simplify the GST process. Keep yourself updated with this and align the same in businesses. Also, you can make use of government-supported platforms to make the credit unblocking process more efficient.

Tips for minimizing blocked credit issues

It’s necessary for businesses to reduce their blocked credit issues in the GST eco-system so that businesses can flourish and earn good profits. Here are some tips that can help to minimize the blocked credit issues

  • Technology Intervention

Technology is being used in everything these days. GST is not far away from this. GST compliance software can be installed in the business. This will automate the GST return filing process and also give accuracy in calculations. The chances of manual errors decrease due to technology which is the major cause of blocked credit.

  • Regular Audits and Reviews

Regular internal audits shall be conducted. Track and rectify issues if found soon to avoid blocked credit issues in future. This approach will help businesses from any compliance issues in future.

  • Reconcile Books on a Regular Basis

Reconcile the books of accounts with GST returns on a regular basis. This will ensure that the input tax credits match the numbers of GST returns. If any discrepancy then can be located easily and rectified.

  • Compliance with GST Rules

One needs to stay updated with changes that take place in GST rules and regulations. Non-compliance of the same can lead to blocked credit. Train your staff so that they are aware of updates and don’t make any mistakes.

  • Take the help of Professionals

You can take the help of professionals. Collaborate with Tax experts and GST consultants to see that GST compliance is properly maintained. They can help you to navigate the complexities of GST regulations.

GST credit eligibility best practices

GST is a consumption-based taxation system which has been adopted in numerous countries. An important aspect of GST is the provision of GST credits. This allows the businessman to claim credit for GST paid on their purchases. To ensure that the GST credit claim goes in a proper manner a business need to follow certain eligibility best practices. They are as follows: –

  • Maintenance of Proper Records

The first and foremost thing is proper maintenance of all records. A detailed record of all transactions with accuracy needs to be maintained. This is very important for GST credit eligibility.  A business shall have proper documentation of purchase and sales which includes invoices and receipts. This will help to maintain GST regulatory requirements and also verify GST credits.

  • Credit Claims shall be for Related Business Activities

Businesses shall ensure that the GST credit claimed is related to business activities. Any personal expenses or unrelated expenses shall be avoided for GST credit claims. This will smoothen the integrity of the GST system. In addition to this, it will also restrict any occurrence of disputes with tax authorities.

  • Matching Input and Output Credit

Develop a practice to reconcile input tax credit with output tax payable daily. If any discrepancy has been found during this then it shall be addressed immediately and rectified. This will maintain eligibility for getting credit.

  • Invest in Internal Control

A good internal control system shall be implemented to monitor and validate GST credit claims. For this, a proper reconciliation process must be implemented. Internal audits also play a good role in reducing the discrepancies. This proactive approach can reduce the chances of getting blocked credit.

  • Communication between different Departments

Collaboration and communication within various departments of business is also a very good practice to adopt. The finance, sales, procurement and operations teams need to work in coordination to ensure that the GST claim is approved.

Common pitfalls to avoid in claiming GST credit

Businesses shall have proper knowledge about the pitfalls that may lead to blocked credit. Here is the list of some of the common pitfalls: –

  • Non-compliance with Time-limits

GST regulations expect that businesses complete tasks on time. Timely deadlines have been specified for actions like filing returns, rectification of errors and other such actions. If you don’t comply with this then it may lead to penalties and blocked credit.

  • Mismatch in Returns

If there is a mismatch found in auto-generated GSTR-2A and self-declared GSTR-3B then it can result in blocked credit. So, take care to reconcile this on a regular basis.

  • Claiming Credits on Unrelated Expenses

Business expenses and personal expenses shall properly be differentiated before filing GST returns. Because this can lead to blocked credit. A clear policy shall be framed which identifies and eliminates non-business expenses. This will ensure that the businesses don’t claim credits for ineligible transactions.

  • Good Reconciliation Process

A good reconciliation process needs to be implemented to tally the claim credit with business transactions. Lack of proper internal control can lead to errors.

Conclusion

To reduce the possibilities of blocked credit in GST, one must be very proactive. A business shall have proper documentation, regular compliance and good communication between departments. By following the strategies given in this article the risk of blocked credit can be reduced.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is blocked credit?

The input tax credit that cannot be claimed by the taxpayer under the GST regime is considered a blocked credit. There are certain goods and services defined as blocked credits. This means that input tax credit can’t be claimed on the same.

  • How do I check my blocked credit on the GST Portal?

To check the blocked credit on the GST portal you need to click on the Services section first. Then go to Ledger. Under this, you will find the Electronic Credit Ledger option. Here you will find the blocked credit.

  • Does food come in the blocked credit category?

Yes, the input tax credit on food and beverage supplies are blocked for registered person. However it has certain exceptions as per GST regulations.

  • How can I avoid blocked credit?

Have a proper understanding of the GST regulations. Gain knowledge about which items lead to blocked credit. This will help you to proactively avoid them.

  • How often shall I reconcile my input tax credit (ITC) to avoid blocked credit?

You need to undertake regular reconciliation of ITC to identify discrepancies and get it rectified. This proactive action will reduce the credit blocks

  • How do I reverse the blocked credit in GST?

In a scenario where input tax credit is wrongly claimed, it shall be reversed by making the payment to that extent in the coming month.

  • Is Beauty treatment considered to be a blocked credit?

Yes, ITC on GST paid for beauty treatment is considered as blocked credit.

  • Can Input Tax credit be claimed on food and beverages?

Input tax credit on food and beverages comes under the blocked credit category. However they are eligible for a claim if they are supplied as a part of a taxable supply of goods and services. In addition to this, they are also eligible if they are used for making further supplies of such goods and services.

  • How does Block credit impact taxpayer’s GST liability?

The blocked credit amount doesn’t reduce the taxpayer’s GST liability. In fact, the taxpayer will have to pay GST on the blocked amount.

  • Which Section of GST is related to blocked credit?

Section 17 (5) of the CGST Act is related to blocked credit. It specifies the purchases that cannot claim the ITC.

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Sriyalini Mathivanan

Sri Yalini YM is a qualified finance professional with expertise in GST compliance and financial matters, she bring comprehensive knowledge to provide expert insights.

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