HYDERABAD: Failing to examine bills and price tags could cost you. While the Goods and Services Tax (GST) remains a grey area, consumers continue to get fleeced at shopping malls and retail outlets despite the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) being mentioned on most products.
A customer recently uploaded a video in which he showed proof of having been over-charged for a pair of jeans. The customer said that the price tag on the jeans clearly mentioned that the MRP, inclusive of all taxes, was Rs 1,099. However, he was charged Rs 49 as CGST and Rs 49 as SGST over and above the MRP.
“When I notified the authorities at the store, they tried to distract me by offering me a discount. But I am raising this issue to ensure that no one ends up paying the tax amount twice,” he said.
He is not alone; many customers say that garment salesmen are making the most of the new tax regime by issuing the same even on old garments that are being sold even before the system came into place.
Chartered accountant Vishnu Venugopal said, “The MRP includes all taxes. A seller cannot charge more than that price. People should carefully look at the GST break-up given on their bills. It should show the taxable value of the product, the CGST and the SGST, all of which add up to the MRP. No further taxes can be imposed on the MRP.”
Officials from the GST Cell have asked complainants to send their complaints, along with the relevant evidence in the form bills and price tags, to the Office of Central Tax in Secunderabad. “We have notified shopping malls and retailers about how the GST is to be calculated. To ensure that there is no foul play happening, we need customers to actually pay attention, take note of the taxes being charged, and speak up if there is any discrepancy.”...