New Delhi, September 20, 2017

The government today said businesses that want to deregister their brands for availing the benefit of lower GST will have to file an affidavit before the tax commissioner about forgoing the rights.

Also, the businesses will have to print in indelible ink on containers in which they are selling cereals, pulses, flours that they have voluntarily foregone actionable claim or enforceable right on brands, a finance ministry statement said.

Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime rolled out from July 1, unpacked food grains like cereals and pulses are exempt.

However, packed foodgrains put up in unit container bearing a brand name attracts 5 per cent levy.

Since the GST introduction, it had come to the notice of the tax department that many businesses have been registering their brands to avail the benefit of lower GST.

Following that, the GST Council, chaired by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, earlier this month decided that a brand registered as on May 15, 2017, shall be deemed to be a registered brand for the purposes of levy of 5 per cent GST, irrespective of whether or not such brand is subsequently deregistered.

Also any brand registered as on May 15, 2017, under the Copyright Act, 1957 shall also be treated as a registered brand for the purposes of levy of 5 per cent GST.

"A mark or name in respect of which actionable claim is available shall be deemed to be a registered brand name for the purposes of levy of 5 per cent GST," the finance ministry said, adding that the provision would be notified on September 22.

The notification would provide that 5 per cent GST will, however, not apply if the entity concerned voluntarily forgoes any actionable claim or enforceable right on such brand name, in two situations.

First, if the entity files an affidavit to the effect that it is voluntarily foregoing an actionable claim or enforceable right on such brand name with the jurisdictional Commissioner of Central Tax or State Tax, or the jurisdictional officer of Union Territory Tax.

Second, if it prints in indelible ink, both in English and local language on each such unit container, that in respect of brand name printed on the unit containers it has voluntarily forgone actionable claim or enforceable right, the ministry added.

[The Economic Times]