Over Simplified GST Annual Return & GST Audit

Apart from the monthly filing of returns by the taxpayers in GST, all taxpayers have to file GST Annual Return and taxpayer with turn over above Rs 2 Crores have to file GST Audit Report yearly.  Annual Return under GST has to be filed through GSTR – 9 by all the taxpayers who have registered in GST even for a single day during the period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2017.  The data to be reported is very much in detail, and most of the taxpayers have failed to maintain the data in the required manner as they have not reviewed or been guided based on the draft return formats released by the Government before the rollout of GST. The formats for the GSTR – 9 and GSTR – 9C (audit) have been released during Sep 2018; by that time, the financial year has lapsed, and most of the taxpayer was not in a position to get the data. This has resulted in requests from the trade, industry, and professionals for the extension of the due dates and simplification of the formats.

The Government has extended on multiple occasions from 31st Dec 2018 to finally now to 31st Dec 2019. Filing of Annual Return has been made optional for taxpayers having up to Rs 2 Crores has been made optional wide Notification No. 47/2019 – Central Tax for the Financial Year 2017-18 and 2018-19. Now, apart from this, the Government has simplified the return filing process for other taxpayers. This is good news for the taxpayers as their pain in collating the data is no longer required as most of them have been made optional for the Financial Year 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Simplifications announced in GSTR – 9

  1. Outward supplies can be reported net of Debit / Credit Notes and Adjustments

The outward supplies being reported from Table 4A to 4G now can be reported net of Debit / Credit Noted and adjustments optionally if the taxpayer is having any difficulty in deriving the data. The outward supplies that can be reported are

  1. B2B Supplies
  2. B2C Supplies
  3. Deemed Exports
  4. Supplies to SEZ with payment of Duty
  5. Exports with payment of duty
  6. Advance received but supplies not made
  7. Inward supplies on which tax is payable on account of reverse charge

 

  1. Consolidated reporting for Exempted, Non-GST, and Nil Rated Supplies

All the supplies related to Exempted, Non-GST, and Nil Rate Supplies, which are to be reported in Table 5D to 5F, can now be reported in Table 5D, i.e., Exempted as a consolidated amount optionally if the taxpayer has any challenges in deriving these amounts individually. These can be reported net of Debit / Credit Notes & Amendments rather than reporting them separately.

  1. Outward Supplies Without Payment of Duties

The taxpayers can report the supplies made to SEZ or SEZ Developers, Exports, or Supplies on which the Recipient has to pay taxes can be reported net of Debit / Credit Notes & Amendments. These supplies are falling in table 5A to 5C.

  1. Input Tax Credit

Inward supplies from other than imports or from SEZ Units, imports and liable for reverse charge which are to be reported in Table 6B separately for Inputs, Capital Goods & Services can now be reported as a consolidated amount in Table 6B – “Inputs” if the taxpayer is not able to provide the breakup of the same.

Inward supplies received from unregistered suppliers liable for reverse charge are to be reported separately for Inputs, Capital Goods & Services can now be reported as a consolidated amount in Table 6C – “Inputs” if the taxpayer is not able to provide the breakup of the same. The amount to be reported her is only for the taxes paid and eligible amounts.

Inward supplies received from registered suppliers liable for reverse charge are to be reported separately for Inputs, Capital Goods & Services can now be reported as a consolidated amount in Table 6D – “Inputs” if the taxpayer is not able to provide the breakup of the same. The amount to be reported her is only for the taxes paid and eligible amounts.

Inward supplies from SEZ Units are to be reported separately for Inputs & Capital Goods can now be reported as a consolidated amount in Table 6E – “Inputs” if the taxpayer is not able to provide the breakup of the same. The amount to be reported her is only for the taxes paid and eligible amounts.

  1. Reversal of Input Tax Credit

Taxpayers are required to reverse the input tax credit if the supplier is not paid in 180 days as per provisions of Rule 37, Input Service Distributor as per provisions of Rule 39, reversal in cases where the goods or services or both used partially for taxable supplies and partially for non-business purpose or exempted supplies as per provisions of Rule 42 and for transfer or sale of capital goods as per provisions of Rule 43, Blocked input tax credit under Provisions of Section 17(5) of the CGST Act 2017  were supposed to be reported separately in Tables 7A to 7E can now be reported as a single amount in Table 7H.

  1. Refunds

The taxpayers are required to fill the amount for Refund Claimed, Refund Sectioned, Refund Rejected & Refund Pending are to be reported in Table 15A to 15D, now the taxpayers have the option of not reporting the same.

  1. Demands

Taxpayers are required to fill the amount of Demand raised, Amount of Demand Paid, and Pending amounts in Table 15E to 15G, now the taxpayers have the option of not reporting the same.

  1. Reporting of other Supplies

Taxpayers were required to report the supplies from Composition Tax Payers, Total amount  of material not received from job work, which is considered as deemed supplies and goods shipped on approval basis but received within specified period are not returned are required to report in Table 16A to 16C and now the taxpayers have an option of not reporting the same.

  1. HSN Summary for Inward & Outward Supplies

Taxpayers were required to provide the HSN Summary for the Inward Supplies and Outward Supplies in Table 17 & Table 18, and now the taxpayers have the option of not reporting the same.

  1. Applicability of the optional reporting

In almost all the sections where details are required to be reported, but now the same has been made optional. The flexibility applies only from 1st July 2017 to March 2018 and from 1st April 2018 to 2019. Thereby meaning that the taxpayers have to file the detailed amounts for the year 2019-20.

Simplifications announced in GSTR – 9C

GSTR – 9C is a reconciliation statement between the GST Returns and the Financial Statements. As part of the reconciliation statement, there is also a requirement to the return certified by a practicing Cost Accountant or Charted Accountant, the wording used in the same are also modified to shift the onus form the GST Auditor to the Taxpayer.

Simplifications announced in GSTR – 9C

  1. Revenue Reconciliation

Taxpayers have to reconcile the revenue between the GST Returns and the Financial Statements. The tax payment is based on the Time of Supply for the GST Returns, and for the Financial Statements, they are based on the Accounting Standards; as a result, there will be a difference between both the revenues and the same is required to be reconciled and reported in GSTR – 9C. The reconciliation is the GSTR – 9C is required to classify under the following sections

  1. Unbilled Revenue at the end of the Financial year
  2. Unbilled Revenue at the beginning of the Financial year
  3. Supplies treated as Deemed Supplies as per Schedule – 1
  4. Credit Notes issued for the supplies in the next financial year, not reflected in the GST Returns
  5. Trade Discounts accounted in the Financial Statements, but they are ineligible as per GST and not reflected in the GST Returns
  6. Turnover from 1st April to 30th June 2017
  7. Credit Notes accounted in the Financial Statements, but they are ineligible as per GST and not reflected in the GST Returns
  8. Adjustments on account of supply of goods by SEZ units to DTA Units
  9. Turnover for the period under composition scheme
  10. Adjustments in the turnover under section 15 and rules thereunder
  11. Adjustments in turnover due to foreign exchange fluctuations

All these are required to be reported in Table 5A to 5N of the GSTR – 9C, now the taxpayers have an option to report the same separately as a consolidated amount in Table 5O.

  1. Input Tax Credit Reconciliation

Input tax credit reconciliation is required to be provided in Table 12, and as a part of it in 12 B, ITC booked in earlier Financial Year claimed in current Financial Year is not mandatorily required to be reported. Taxpayers have the option of not reporting it also.

In table 12 C, ITC availed as per audited financial statements or books of accounts, taxpayers have an option of not reporting it also.

  1. Expense wise reporting of Input Tax Credit

In Table 14 of GSTR – 9C, taxpayers are required to report the input tax credit based on various accounting/expense heads mandatorily, now taxpayers have the option of reporting the same.

  1. Certification from GST Auditor

GST Audit has to be certified by GST, a practicing Cost Accountant or Charted Accountant, who is certifying the audit. The format and the content of the Certificate are the same except for the change of wordings from “true and correct” to “true and correct.” This gives a lot of breather for the practicing members as they are not coming forward to come and certify that the information provided by them is correct.

The simplification of the GSTR – 9 and GSTR – 9C is applicable only for the FY 2017-18 & 2018-19, and the extension of the due dates have been notified through the Removal of Difficulties Order No. 08/2019-Central Tax dated 14th Nov 2019.

From the above, it makes it clear that the Government wants all the eligible taxpayers to file the GST Annual and Audit returns. Once the filing is completed, the Government may be taking up the assessment of the same to ascertain the correctness of the data being furnished from time to time by the taxpayers and also detect any tax evasion which might have taken place. After the rollout of GST, to date, the taxpayers have not completed at least one audit or assessment.

 

Disclaimer

Any views or opinions represented above are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the author may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

360° analysis of Circular No. 123/42/2019 – GST

Restrictions on Input Tax Credit is notified on 9th Oct 2019 wide Notification No 49/Central Tax, dated 9th Oct 2019. There is a lot of confusion and the process of availing the restricted input tax credit by the trade and industry and along with the professional. Keeping in view of all these, CBIC has issued Circular No. 123/42/2019– GST dated 11th Nov 2019. Though the circular clarifies most of the points, there are still a couple of points on which clarity is required.

Points clarified in the Circular No. 123/42/2019– GST are

  1. Restrictions on 20% input tax credit is applicable for availing input tax credit after 9th Oct 2019, thereby meaning it is applicable for the filing of the return for Sep 2019 also.
  2. Restriction of 20% is applicable only for the invoices, debit notes and credit notes reflected in GSTR – 2A
  3. Restriction of 20% is not applicable on the IGST paid on imports, ISD transfer, etc., which are not part of the GSTR – 2A
  4. Restriction is not applicable supplier wise but on the total eligible credit. Ineligible credits have to be deducted from the available credit from GSTR – 2A
  5. If the total amount of restricted credit of 20% is more than the eligible credit, then it is restricted to the eligible amount only.
  6. The taxpayer can take the differential amount of input tax credit where the suppliers have filed the returns in the subsequent tax periods

Points which require clarification are

  1. The amount of restricted credit claimed during the month is for which tax? Is it to be considered separately for CGST, SGST, and IGST or the sum of all the taxes?
  2. What would be the treatment if the taxpayer has claimed for IGST only, and the suppliers have filed returns on which CGST +SGST is available?
  3. Ineligible credit in case of the same supplies used for the taxable and exempted supplies will be known at a later period, in such a case who to determine the eligible credit?

As per the author’s interpretation, it is based on each tax and not the total input tax credit available in GSTR – 2A as the said notification is issued concerning CGST Rules. The third point definitely needs some clarification based on the wording used in the circular “The credit available under sub-rule (4) of rule 36 is linked to total eligible credit from all suppliers against all supplies whose details have been uploaded by the suppliers. Further, the calculation would be based on only those invoices which are otherwise eligible for ITC. Accordingly, those invoices on which ITC is not available under any of the provision (say under sub-section (5) of section 17) would not be considered for calculating 20 per cent. of the eligible credit available.”

The taxpayers have to do a cost-benefit analysis after considering all the scenarios, the amount of additional investment involved for claiming the restricted input tax credit as it involves changes in the accounting systems and keeping track of the same. Even if the taxpayers decide not to go for the availing restricted 20% credit, still they have to change the accounting practice for availing input tax credit. Embracing technology will help the taxpayers to overcome the challenges of maintaining the reconciliations manually and also keeping track of it from time to time and update it. The changes in accounting required for availing the 20% restricted input tax credit, the details of the changes in the accounting can be referred here

Whatever the decision the taxpayers have to take, they have to take it at the earliest as the clock is ticking, and the due date for filing of GSTR – 3B for Oct 2019 is approaching fast.

Disclaimer

Any views or opinions represented above are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the author may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

GST Rate on Services as Recommended by The GST Council in Its 37th Meeting

The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri PramodSawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

GST Council took following decisions relating to changes in GST rates, ITC eligibility criteria, exemptions and clarifications on connected issues.

(A)         EXEMPTIONS / CHANGES IN GST RATES / ITC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

Rate reduction sector wise:

Hospitality and tourism:

  1. To reduce the rate of GST on hotel accommodation service as below: –

Transaction Value per Unit (Rs) per day GST
Rs 1000 and less Nil
Rs 1001 to Rs 7500 12%
Rs 7501 and more 18%
  1. To reduce rate of GST on outdoor catering services other than in premises having daily tariff of unit of accommodation of Rs 7501 from present 18% with ITC to 5% without ITC.  The rate shall be mandatory for all kinds of catering. Catering in premises with daily tariff of unit of accommodation is Rs 7501 and above shall remain at 18% with ITC.

Job work service:

  1. To reduce rate of GST from 5% to 1.5% on supply of job work services in relation to diamonds.
  2. To reduce rate of GST from 18%to 12% on supply of machine job work such as in engineering industry, except supply of job work in relation to bus body building which would remain at 18%.

Exemption sector wise:

Warehousing:

  1. To exempt prospectivelyservices by way of storage or warehousing of cereals, pulses, fruits, nuts and vegetables, spices, copra, sugarcane, jaggery, raw vegetable fibres such as cotton, flax, jute etc., indigo, unmanufactured tobacco, betel leaves, tendu leaves, rice, coffee and tea.

Transportation:

  1. To increase the validity of conditional exemption of GST on export freight by air or sea by another year, i.e. till 30.09.2020.

Insurance:

  1. To exempt “BANGLA SHASYA BIMA” (BSB) crop insurance scheme of West Bengal Government.
  2. To exempt services of life insurance business provided or agreed to be provided by the Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (under Ministry of Home Affairs) Group Insurance Funds to their members under the respective Group Insurance Schemes of these Central Armed Paramilitary forces.

Export promotion:

  1. To exempt services provided by an intermediary to a supplier of goods or recipient of goods when both the supplier and recipient are located outside the taxable territory.
  2. To issue a notification under Section 13(13) of IGST Act notifying the place of supply of specified R&D services (such as Integrated discovery and development, Evaluation of the efficacy of new chemical/ biological entities in animal models of disease,Evaluation of biological activity of novel chemical/ biological entities in in-vitro assays,Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics of new chemical entities,Safety Assessment/ Toxicology,Stability Studies,Bio Equivalence and Bio Availability Studies, Clinical trials,Bio analytical studies) provided by Indian pharma companies to foreign service recipients, as the place of effective use and enjoyment of a service i.e. location of the service recipient.
  3. To clarify that the place of supply of chip design software R&D services provided by Indian companies to foreign clients by using sample test kits in India is the location of the service recipient and section 13(3)(a) of IGST Act, 2017 is not applicable for determining the place of supply in such cases.

Miscellaneous

  1. To allow the registered authors an option to pay GST on royalty charged from publishers under forward charge and observe regular GST compliance.
  2. To notify grant of liquor licence by State Governments against payment of license fee as a “no supply” to remove implementational ambiguity on the subject.
  3. To exempt services related to FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup 2020 similar to existing exemption given to FIFA U17 World Cup 2017.

(B) RATIONALIZATION/ TRADE FACILITATION MEASURES:

  1. To allow payment of GSTon securities lending service under reverse charge mechanism (RCM) at the merit rate of 18% and to clarify that GST on securities lending service for period prior to RCM period shall be paid on forward charge basis. IGST shall be payable on supply of these services and in cases where CGST/SGST/UTGST have been paid, such taxpayers will not be required to pay tax again.
  2. To allow RCM to suppliers paying GST @ 5% on renting of vehicles, from registered person other than body corporate (LLP, proprietorship) when services provided to body corporate entities.

(C) CLARIFICATIONS:

  1.             To clarify the scope of the entry ‘services of exploration, mining or drilling of petroleum crude or natural gas or both”.
  2. To clarify taxability of Passenger Service Fee (PSF) and User Development Fee (UDF) levied by airport operators.

Note: It is proposed to issue notifications giving effect to these recommendations of the Council on 1st October, 2019.

[This note presents the decision of the GST Council in simple language for easy understanding which would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/ circulars which shall have force of law.]

*****

RM/KMN



(Release ID: 1585718)

GST Rate on Goods as Recommended by The GST Council in Its 37th Meeting

The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

The council   took the following decisions in respect to rates relating to goods.

  1. GST rates reduction, –
  2. 18% to 12% on parts of Slide Fasteners
  3. 18% to 5% on Marine Fuel 0.5% (FO)
  4. 12% to 5% on Wet Grinders(consisting stone as a grinder)
  5. 5% to Nil on:-
  6. Dried tamarind
  7. Plates and cups made up of leaves/ flowers/bark
  8. 3% to 0.25% on cut and polished semi- precious stones
  9. Applicable rate to 5% on specified goods for petroleum operations undertaken under Hydrocarbon Exploration Licensing Policy (HELP)

 

  1. Exemptions from GST/IGST on:-

 

  1. imports of specified defence goods not being manufactured indigenously (upto 2024)
  2. supply of goods and services to FIFA and other specified persons for organizing the Under-17 Women’s Football World Cup in India.
  3.  supply of goods and services to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for specified projects in India.

 

 

  1. GST rates have been recommended to be increased from, –
  1. 5% to 12% on goods, falling under chapter 86 of tariff like railway wagons, coaches, rolling stock (without refund of accumulated ITC). This is to address the concern of ITC accumulation with suppliers of these goods.
  2. 18% to 28% +12% compensation cess on caffeinated Beverages

 

  1. Measures for Export Promotion
  1. Exemption from GST/IGST:-
  1. at the time of import on Silver/Platinum by specified nominated agencies
  2. supply of Silver/Platinum by specified nominated agency to exporters for exports of Jewellery,
  1. Inclusion of Diamond India Limited (DIL) in the list of nominated agencies eligible for IGST exemption on imports of Gold/ Silver/Platinum so as to supply at Nil GST to Jewellery exporters.
  1. A uniform GST rate of 12% on Polypropylene/Polyethylene Woven and Non- Woven Bags and sacks, whether or not laminated, of a kind used for packing of goods (from present rates of 5%/12%/18%)

 

  1. GST concession in certain cases for specific period: –
  1. Exemption to Fishmeal for the period 01.07.17 to 30.09.19. There were doubts as regards taxability offishmeal in view of the interpretational issues. However, any tax collected for this period shall be required to be deposited.

 

  1. 12% GST duringthe period 1.07.2017 to 31.12.2018, on pulley, wheels and other parts (falling under Heading 8483) and used as parts of agricultural machinery.

 

  1. Passenger vehicles of engine capacity 1500 cc in case of diesel, 1200 cc in case of petroland length not exceeding 4000mm designed for carrying upto 9 persons attract compensation cess of 1% for petrol and 3% for diesel vehicle. Council recommended same compensation cess rate for vehicles having these specifications (length and engine capacity) but designed for carrying more than 10 persons but upto 13 persons. (Presently these vehicles attract compensation cess at the rate of 15%)

 

  1. Other miscellaneous Changes:
  • Aerated drink manufacturers shall be excluded from compositionscheme.
  • Option to pay GST at the rate of 18% on transaction value at the time of disposal of specified goods for petroleum operations (on which concessional GST rate of 5% was paid at the time of original supply) provided that the goods are certified by Director General Hydrocarbon(DGH) as non-serviceable.
  • Restriction on refund of compensation cess on tobacco products (in case of inverted duty structure)
  • Prescribing modalities for allowing concessions on spare parts imported temporarily by foreign airlines for repair of their aircraft, while in India in transit in terms of the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation.
  • Certain other changes of technical nature for the sake of clarity in application of notification.

 

  1. Clarifications as regards applicability of GST rate in respect of certain goods recommended by GST Council which inter-alia includes: 
      1. Mere heating ofleguminous vegetables (gram/lentil) for removing moisture, or to soften and puff it or removing the skin, and not subjecting to any other processing or addition of any other ingredients (salt, oil etc.) would be classified under HS code 0713.
  1. All “mechanical sprayers” falling under HS Code 8424 would attract 12% GST.
  2. Parts like Solar Evacuation tubes for solar power based devices like solar water heater, solar steam, generation systems, would be eligible to 5% GST rate.
  1. Exclusive parts and accessories suitable for use solely or principally with a medical device (falling under headings 9018, 9019, 9021 or 9022) would fall in respective headings and attract GST at the concessional rate of 12%.
  2. Almond milk is classifiable under HS code 22029990 and attracts GST rate of 18%.
  3. Imported stores for Navy would be entitled to exemption from IGST

The rate changes shall be made effective with effect from 1st October, 2019.

 

[This note presents the decision of the GST Council in simple language for ease of understanding, which would be given effect to through Gazette notifications/circulars, which shall have force of law.]

 

RM/KMN

(Release ID: 1585717)

37th GST Council Meeting Recommendations of GST council related to law &procedure

Posted On: 20 SEP 2019 10:08PM by PIB Delhi

The 37thGST Council met in Goa today under the Chairmanship of Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman  . The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Thakur besides Chief Minister of Goa Shri Pramod Sawant,  Finance Ministers of States & UTs and seniors officers of the Ministry of Finance .

The GST Council, in its meeting  recommended the following Law & Procedure related changes :

  1. Relaxation in filing of annual returns for MSMEs for FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 as under:
  1. waiver of the requirement of filing FORM GSTR-9A for Composition Taxpayers for the said tax periods; and
  2. filing of FORM GSTR-9 for those taxpayers who (are required to file the said return but) have aggregate turnover up to Rs. 2 crores made optional for the said tax periods.
  1. A Committee of Officers to be constituted to examine the simplification of Forms for Annual Return and reconciliation statement.
  2. Extension of last date for filing of appeals against orders of Appellate Authority before the GST Appellate Tribunal as the Appellate Tribunals are yet not functional.
  3. In order to nudge taxpayers to timely file their statement of outward supplies, imposition of restrictions on availment of input tax credit by the recipients in cases where details of outward supplies are not furnished by the suppliers in the statement under section 37 of the CGST Act, 2017.
  4. New return system now to be introduced from April, 2020 (earlier proposed from October, 2019), in order to give ample opportunity to taxpayers as well as the system to adapt and accordingly specifying the due date for furnishing of return in FORM GSTR-3B and details of outward supplies in FORM GSTR-1 for the period October, 2019 – March, 2020.
  5. Issuance of circulars for uniformity in application of law across all jurisdictions:
  1. procedure to claim refund in FORM GST RFD-01A subsequent to favourable order in appeal or any other forum;
  2. eligibility to file a refund application in FORM GST RFD-01A for a period and category under which a NIL refund application has already been filed; and
  3. clarification regarding supply of Information Technology enabled Services (ITeS services) (in supersession of Circular No. 107/26/2019-GST dated 18.07.2019) being made on own account or as intermediary.
  1. Rescinding of Circular No.105/24/2019-GST dated 28.06.2019, ab-initio, which was issued in respect of post-sales discount.
  2. Suitable amendments in CGST Act, UTGST Act, and the corresponding SGST Acts in view of creation of UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  3. Integrated refund system with disbursal by single authority to be introduced from 24th September, 2019.
  4. In principle decision to link Aadhar with registration of taxpayers under GST and examine the possibility of making Aadhar mandatory for claiming refunds.
  5. In order to tackle the menace of fake invoices and fraudulent refunds, in principle decision to prescribe reasonable restrictions on passing of credit by risky taxpayers including risky new taxpayers.

Note: The recommendations of the GST Council have been presented in this release in simple language only for immediate information of all stakeholders. The same would be given effect through relevant Circulars/Notifications which alone shall have the force of law.

(Release ID: 1585719)