The 28th Council Meeting held on Saturday, July 21, 2018 was projected with high hopes from the taxpayers and professionals for two major matters – Simplification of GST return filing and reducing rate on goods and services. Apart from discussing these two aspects, the council has also considered and discussed upon few other matters. Let’s have a quick glace over the key takeaways from the council meeting held under chairmanship of Hon’ble Piyush Goyal.
Rationalisation of tax rates:
- The council has rationalised applicable rates of taxes on more than 50 goods and 27 services was approved by the council. Download the list here
- The decision to exempt the sanitary napkins from ambit of GST was the most welcomed step from the meeting. It was earlier taxed under bracket of 12%. The list of goods exempt also includes stone/ marble/ wood deities, Rakhi, Sal Leaves and their products, etc.
- With reduction in tax rates on Biofuel Pellets, Ethanol and Hand held Rubber Rollers, MoF claims GST to be farmer friendly.
- The council has approved the proposal of opening the GST Migration window is opened till 31st August of this year for the taxpayers who have received provision Id by filing PART – A of GST REG-26 but could not proceed for migration. Taxpayers are first required to file the return by payment of late fees that will be effected by way of reversal of amount.
- Rate change in respect of footwear: Earlier footwear having sale price of more than INR 500 attracted 18% tax. Such limit is increased to INR 1000. Footwear of retail price less than INR 1000 will be taxed at 5% and rest will continue to be taxed at 18%.
- GST rate for specified handicraft items has been reduced to significant level, mostly under tax bracket of 12% and 5% covering 18 goods in sum.
- 14 significant goods were reduced from the highest tax bracket of 28%, 13 of which is now taxed at 18%. It includes household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, television and special purpose motor vehicles too. Further, Fuel Cell Vehicle was brought under 12% tax bracket and the compensation cess shall also be exempted on same.
- Refund of accumulated input Tax Credit is now allowed to fabric manufactures, which counts as huge relief to the textile industry. It is anticipated to boost the employment and formalisation of the industry through higher compliance.
Simplified return filing:
- Recalling about the 27th council meeting held in May, the council has approved the design and recommendations by the Group of Ministers for same. On Saturday, the council has also approved the formats and business process.
- The returns are required to be filed quarterly by small taxpayers and other specified category of taxpayers. However, the payment of taxes would be monthly with Quarterly return filing requirement.
- The return will require details in two main tables for – Outward supplies and Input Tax Credit
- The filing would be based on invoices uploaded and the profile of the taxpayers may be customised based on the nature of transactions or the activity for automation of filing based on invoices uploaded.
- The process referred as “UPLOAD – LOCK – PAY” will be applicable to most taxpayers, where the supplier can continually upload the invoices generated and the recipient may view and lock the invoice to avail Input Tax Credit (ITC).
- To ease the compliance of taxpayers with NIL liability, the facility to file returns may be given SMS.
- The council has provided optional facility for Quarterly GST return filing to taxpayers having turnover below 5 Crore. Quarterly return shall be similar to main return with monthly payment facility but for two kinds of registered persons – small traders making only B2C supply or making B2B + B2C supply. For such taxpayers, simplified returns have been designed called Sahaj and Sugam. In these returns details of information required to be filled is lesser than that in the regular return. These measures will cover 93% of the taxpayers that have turnover of less than INR 5 Crore for their ease of doing business.
- The composition scheme can now be availed by the taxpayers having turnover up to INR 1.5 Crore instead of INR 1 Crore. The dealers registered under composition scheme to be allowed to supply services (other than restaurant services), for up to a value not exceeding 10% of turnover in the preceding financial year, or Rs. 5 lakhs, whichever is higher.
- For the north-eastern States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, threshold exemption limit of INR 10 Lakh was provided for registration which is to be increase to INR 20 Lakh.
- For multiple places of business within same State or Union Territory, the taxpayer may opt for multiple registrations.
- Mandatory registration is required for only those e-commerce operators who are required to collect tax at source.
- The registration under GST will be suspended temporarily while the process of cancellation is pending in order to relieve the taxpayer from continued compliance under the law.
- ITC availed by the recipient to be revered if the recipient had failed to pay the due amount to the supplier within 180 days from the date of issue of invoice. However, the liability to pay interest is discontinued.
The next council meeting is to be held on 4th August, 2018 with prime focus on Small and Medium scale businesses (MSME Sector).
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