Please relax GST Export Compliance for small freelancers and bloggers
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Dear Finance Minister,
I would like to bring your attention to a considerably large unorganized sector of small online exporters such as freelancers, bloggers and others in India who provide their services to foreign clients through the Internet and make a living from that.
I am one such freelancer whose life has become miserable after the introduction of your recent GST bill. Though export is mentioned as "zero-rated" under GST law, the process and compliance it requires small exporters to follow is very scary. Particularly, its the section 96(a) of the CGST Rules that require an exporter to either:
- Furnish a Letter of Undertaking (LuT), OR
- Furnish a Bank Guarantee with Notarized Bond, OR
- Pay advance IGST, and then claim a refund by submitting bank's FIRC (Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate).
The above process is typically applied for the shipment of goods between countries, but are inadvertently being applied to services too under GST. Sir, most of us are middle income earners and can't be expected to go through this rigorous compliance process that requires us to hire CAs and chase government departments. Not to mention, its also a very tedious process to collect FIRCs from banks for our foreign remittances.
Thus, section 96(a) is a large flaw in GST law that has put thousands of small freelancers out of business, and left others open to litigation and undue harassment by the tax authorities in future.
Sir, my humble request to you is to bring an amendment to section 96(a), so that small scale exporters like us are exempted from this rigorous process and can breathe a sigh of relief.
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