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EC gives go-ahead to GST Council meeting on March 19

EC gives go-ahead to GST Council meeting on March 19

The Election Commission has given approval for holding the upcoming GST Council meeting on March 19 to consider various issues including the implementation of lower GST rates for the real estate sector.

The next meeting will be held through video conferencing, sources said.

Following the approval from the Election Commission, sources said, notices have been sent from the GST Council Secretariat to states for the 34th meeting of the Council on March 19, they said.

The nod from the Election Commission was required as the Model Code of Conduct has been in force since Sunday.

The meeting will be held to discuss only transition provision and related issues for the implementation of lower GST rates for the real estate sector, the sources said.

In the previous meeting, the high-powered GST Council slashed tax rates for under-construction flats to 5 percent and affordable homes to 1 percent, effective April 1.

Currently, the goods and services tax (GST) is levied at 12 percent with an input tax credit (ITC) on payments made for under-construction property or ready-to-move-in flats where completion certificate is not issued at the time of sale. For affordable housing units, the existing tax rate is 8 percent.

GST collections in February dropped to Rs 97,247 crore from Rs 1.02 lakh crore in the previous month.

Of this, Central GST was Rs 17,626 crore, State GST (SGST) stood at Rs 24,192 crore, Integrated GST Rs 46,953 crore and cess was Rs 8,476 crore.

GST collections in the current fiscal till February totaled Rs 10.70 lakh crore.

The government has lowered the GST collection target for the current fiscal to Rs 11.47 lakh crore in the Revised Estimates, from Rs 13.71 lakh crore budgeted initially.

GST collection stood at Rs 1.03 lakh crore in April, Rs 94,016 crore in May, Rs 95,610 crore in June, Rs 96,483 crore in July, Rs 93,960 crore in August, Rs 94,442 crore in September, Rs 1,00,710 crore in October, Rs 97,637 crore in November, Rs 94,725 crore in December 2018 and Rs 1.02 lakh crore in January 2019.

For the next fiscal 2019-20, the GST collection target has been fixed at Rs 13.71 lakh crore.

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Source: Economic Times
GST Council meet today: PM Modi wants exemption limit raised to Rs 75 lakh

GST Council meet today: PM Modi wants exemption limit raised to Rs 75 lakh

A day ahead of a meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday revealed that he had urged the Council to raise the threshold for exemption from the levy’s registration, to Rs 75 lakh annual turnover from the current Rs 20 lakh.

“Besides, I have urged the Council to club houses meant for the middle class in the 5 percent GST slab. The Council has all the state governments on board,” the PM said at a public meeting in Agra on Wednesday.

A group of ministers (GoM) from the Council, headed by Union Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, discussed on Sunday the issue of increasing the threshold. Views differed. While the Union finance ministry pushed Modi’s idea, Bihar recommended Rs 50 lakh and Delhi Rs 40 lakh, for instance.

The GoM also discussed whether to levy a flat GST of Rs 5,000 a year for businesses with turnover between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 60 lakh and above Rs 10,000 a year for those with turnover between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 75 lakh. This benefit is meant only for business-to-consumer entities and is not meant for business-to-business entities or those doing inter-state trade. The aim is to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Modi said the Centre was taking various steps to help the SME sector, including easing of credit flow. “We are formulating policies so that they do not face cash flow squeeze and that they get easy credit from banks, while the environmental and other clearances come faster,” he said, adding that businesses flourish when rules are simpler.

He said the GST was being progressively simplified and liberalized, based on the complaints and suggestions from traders and businesses. “But there are people who are creating doubts through misinformation that the GST is an additional tax, apart from existing taxes. This is completely wrong. Earlier, taxes were hidden and clubbed under different heads in the slab ranging from 20 to 40 percent, which had all been subsumed under the GST,” he said.

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Source: Business-Standard
Ministerial Panel Approves Disaster Cess For Kerala Under GST

Ministerial Panel Approves Disaster Cess For Kerala Under GST

A ministerial panel allowed Kerala to levy an additional 1 percent calamity cess on the value of goods and services under the new indirect tax regime.

“Kerala will be permitted to have 1 percent cess on the value of goods and services across all or select items for two years,” state’s Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told reporters after the meeting of group of ministers in Delhi today.

The items on which the additional cess will be levied will be selected by the state, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi, also the panel’s head, said. “If other states urge the Goods and Services Tax Council to allow them to levy this additional cess in case of a calamity, it will decide if the state should be allowed or not.”

If the GST Council gives its approval, Kerala would be the first state to levy a calamity cess and set a precedent for other states, Issac, a member of the Modi-led panel, said.

The 32nd GST Council meeting is scheduled to held on Jan. 10.

The move to seek the council’s approval comes after Kerala sought permission for a state-specific cess to raise additional revenues for the flood-ravaged state. While the central government was not in favour of a state-specific cess, it said a time-bound national disaster cess can not only help Kerala but also be an institutionalized fundraising mechanism for such disasters in any part of the country. The Modi-led panel had in October last year decided to seek states’ views on whether a state-specific or a nationwide “disaster tax” should be levied under the GST.

The council had earlier said the cess will be structured in such a way that only a pre-determined amount will be collected within a specific time limit. If approved, it may see a minor increase in the prices of one or two specifically identified goods, it said.

Relief For Small Businesses

Another panel, headed by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla, recommended the council to allow dealers under the composition schemes to file GST returns annually but pay tax quarterly.

It also suggested that the composition scheme be extended to all service providers with an annual turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh. Currently, the composition scheme can be availed by manufacturers, traders and restaurant service providers.

The service providers will have to pay a flat GST of 5 percent, Modi said, adding the panel was also of the view that the threshold for registering under the GST regime should be increased from Rs 20 lakh.

Modi, however, said that the committee could not finalise the new threshold. The council will now decide the new exemption threshold for registering under the GST regime.

Delhi suggested that the exemption threshold should be kept at Rs 40 lakh, while Bihar recommended the limit at Rs 50 lakh, Modi said.

The states had suggested the panel to allow taxpayers with an annual turnover of more than Rs 50-60 lakh to pay a fixed tax of Rs 5,000 a year, and businesses with annual turnover between Rs 60 lakh and Rs 75 lakh to pay a fixed tax of Rs 10,000-15,000 per annum.

Also, the group of ministers suggested that 1.5 crore dealers will be given free accounting software, Modi said.

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Source: Bloomberg Quint
Govt cuts GST rate on 23 items: Here’s what will get cheaper

Govt cuts GST rate on 23 items: Here’s what will get cheaper

In a Christmas bonanza to the common man, the GST Council  on Saturday reduced tax rates on 23 goods and services, including movie tickets, TV/monitor screens and power banks, and exempted frozen and preserved vegetables from the levy.

The reduced rates are likely to come into effect from January 1, 2019, finance minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the 31st meeting of Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council in the national capital.

Of the 23 goods and services on which rates have been slashed, tax rate on seven items in the 28 per cent slab has been brought down. With this, only 28 goods are left in the highest 28 per cent tax bracket.

Here are the items that will get cheaper:

GST slashed from 28% to 18%

  • Pulleys, transmission shafts and cranks, gear boxes etc., falling under HS Code 8483
  • Monitors and TVs of up to screen size of 32 inches
  • Re-treaded or used pneumatictyres of rubber;
  • Power banks of lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are already at 18%. This will bring parity in GSTrate of power bank and lithium-ion battery.
  • Digital cameras and video camera recorders
  • Video game consoles and other games and sports requisites falling under HS code 9504.

28% to 5%

Parts and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons

GST rate reduction on services

  • GST rate on cinema tickets above Rs. 100 shall be reduced from 28% to 18% and on cinema tickets up to Rs 100 from 18% to 12%.
  • GST rate on third party insurance premium of goods carrying vehicles shall be reduced from 18% to 12%
  • Services supplied by banks to Basic Saving Bank Deposit (BSBD) account holders under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) shall be exempted.
  • Services supplied by rehabilitation professionals recognised under Rehabilitation Council of India Act, 1992 at medical establishments, educational institutions, rehabilitation centers established by Central Government / State Government or Union Territories or entity registered under section 12AA of the Income-tax Act shall be exempted.
  • Services provided by GTA to Government departments/local authorities which have taken registration only for the purpose of deducting tax under Section 51 shall be excluded from payment of tax under RCM and the same shall be exempted.
  • Exemption on services provided by Central or State Government or Union Territory Government to their undertakings or PSUs by way of guaranteeing loans taken by them from financial institutions is being extended to guaranteeing of such loans taken from banks.
  • Air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, for religious pilgrimage facilitated by the Government of India under bilateral arrangements shall attract the same rate of GST as applicable to similar flights in Economy class (i.e. 5% with ITC of input services).

GST rate reduction on other goods

18% to 12%

  • Cork roughly squared or debagged
  • Articles of natural cork
  • Agglomerated cork

18% to 5%

Marble rubble

12% to 5%

  • Natural cork
  • Walking Stick
  • Fly ash Blocks

12% to Nil

Music Books

5% to Nil

  • Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen, branded and put in a unit container

Vegetable provisionally preserved (for example by sulphur dioxide gas, in brine, in sulphur water or in other preservative solutions), but unsuitable in that state for immediate consumption.

Miscellaneous

  • Exemption from GST on supply of gold by Nominated Agencies to exporters of article of gold Jewellery.
  • Exemption from GST on proceeds received by Government from auction of gifts received by President, Prime Minister, Governor or Chief Minister of a State and public servants, the proceeds of which is used for public or charitable cause.
  • Exemption from IGST/Compensation cess on vehicles imported for temporary purposes under the Customs Convention on the Temporary importation of Private Road Vehicles (carnet de passages-en-douane).
  • Rate of 5%/18% to be applied based on transaction value of footwear
  • Uniform GST rate of 12% on Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC) from existing 5%/12% (depending on the value)

 

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Source: Times of India
GST Council met 30 times, took 918 decisions in 2 years: Finance Ministry

GST Council met 30 times, took 918 decisions in 2 years: Finance Ministry

The all-powerful GST Council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, has met 30 times and taken 918 decisions related to laws, rules and rates for the new tax regime within a span of just over two years, the Finance Ministry said Sunday.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which comprises state finance ministers and Union Minister of State in charge of Revenue as members, was set up on September 15, 2016, as the country’s first ‘federal institution’.

“Till date, GST Council has taken 918 decisions related to GST laws, rules, rates, compensation, taxation threshold etc. More than 96 per cent of the decisions have already been implemented through 294 notifications issued by the Central Government,” the ministry said in a statement.

The remaining decisions are under various stages of implementation. Almost equal number of corresponding notifications have been issued by each state, it added.

The working of GST Council has ushered in a new phase of cooperative federalism where the Central and state governments work together to take collective decisions on all issues relating to indirect tax regime of the country, it said.

Besides, tax officers of the Centre and states met ahead of the GST Council meetings to enable the council members to fully discuss the issues under consideration.

The Council has held discussions in a “harmonious and collaborative spirit” in the 30 meetings that have taken place so far, it added.

The detailed agenda notes for the 30 GST Council meetings ran into 4,730 pages, while the minutes of the meetings ran into 1,394 pages, the statement said.

After 17 tumultuous years, a nationwide GST was rolled out at the stroke of the midnight hour on July 1, 2017, overhauling India’s convoluted indirect taxation system.

The GST, which replaced 17 central and state levies including factory-gate, excise duty, service tax and local sales tax or VAT, is India’s biggest tax reform in 70 years of independence and will help modernise Asia’s third-largest economy.

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Sources: Economic Times

 

 

More rate cuts likely at GST Council meet on September 28

More rate cuts likely at GST Council meet on September 28

A dip in revenues notwithstanding, the GST Council may decide to cut rates on more items this week to keep the consumption story going which typically slows in an election year despite a rise in government spending.

The 30th meeting of the GST Council will be held on Friday, September 28.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who will chair the meeting through video-conferencing, is expected to announce a further pruning of the peak 28% rate structure. Jaitley has prom…

Goods expected to see their way out of the 28% tax bracket include cement, certain automobile parts, digital cameras and certain categories of television sets, sources close to the development told DH. These may be placed under 18% or 12% slabs.

Cement is the only item of construction which remains under the 28% slab. Its removal from the highest bracket makes sense as construction activity, which slows during monsoon, is expected to pick up from next month.

After all, Jaitley believes GST has given a lot of purchasing power to consumers.

“There is no better opportunity for consumers to make purchases than in the environment which the GST has created. It is an opportunity to celebrate the biggest tax reform since Independence,” the minister said recently.

In the last last 14 months since GST was implemented, the council has slashed rates on 191 items from the 28% category. Originally, it consisted of 226 goods.

Apart from cement and automobile parts, tyres, automobile equipment, motor vehicles, yachts, aircraft, aerated drinks, betting and demerit items like tobacco, cigarette and pan masala remain in the 28% slab.

Even though the Centre has suffered a loss of about Rs 70,000 crore on account of reduction in tax on goods and services, the move has reduced the cost to consumers, increased purchasing capacity and added to the economy, Jaitley said.

The budgetary estimates of GST collections were more than Rs 1 lakh crore per month but the revenues have not met the target barring in April when collections topped Rs 1 lakh crore. However, the finance minister expects that the forthcoming festive season will give a boost to GST revenues.


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Source :  Deccan Herald
30th GST Council Meeting Date Announced Will Be Held On 28 September

30th GST Council Meeting Date Announced Will Be Held On 28 September

The 30th Good and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting will be held on September 28 via video conferencing, in which the proposal to cut rates on some items could be taken up. The GST Council may cut tax rates on cement, air conditioner and large screen televisions.

The GST Council had reduced tax rates on over 100 items in its July meeting including refrigerators, small screen colour television, washing machines while leaving air conditioners, large screen TVs in the highest bracket of 28%.

The government has said that sooner or later only sin goods will be kept in the 28% GST bracket. However, further rate rationalisation decision will depend on revenue buoyancy.

It is also likely that Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac will bring to the table the idea of levying cess for funding relief measures after the Kerala floods. On August 23, Thomas Issac had said that he would approach the GST Council for a cess to finance the relief efforts.

Moreover, the GST Council may also take up some of the issues discussed relating to the SMEs in the last meeting as well. The council had handed over the issues faced by the SME sector to a sub-committee, on the basis of which, the former will take decisions.

Experts are expecting the GST Council to address various issues being faced by the SMEs including the extension of some monetary sops and simplification of the procedure.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was on leave after his surgery, will chair the meeting first time after resuming office in August. The GST Council is comprised of the finance minister as the head and his state counterparts.

Source- Financial Express
GST Council may replace 12% and 18% slabs with 14-15% one: Sushil Modi

GST Council may replace 12% and 18% slabs with 14-15% one: Sushil Modi

GST Council might replace the 12 per cent and 18 per cent slabs with a 14-15 per cent one, Sushil Modi: GST Councilsaid Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi on Thursday.

While addressing a seminar on the GST, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Modi said this slab rationalisation was likely to be taken up only after the GST collections have reached Rs 1 trillion. Experts claim this might take nine months to a year to reach this target.

This would reduce the number of GST rates to four. Also, the GST rates of items such as refrigerators, washing machines, small television sets, and paint and varnish could go down further after they were cut from 28 per cent to 18 per cent recently.

Except for April, the GST has never yielded revenue of Rs 1 trillion.

This was also an aberration since arrears of the previous months were paid. In July, Rs 964.83 billion was collected, against Rs 956.1 billion in June and Rs 940 billion in May.

“Pruning the number of GST rate slabs is definitely a good idea. But I don’t foresee that happening in the next nine to 12 months till the tax collections consistently reach the desired Rs 1-trillion-per-month target,” said Harpreet Singh, partner at KPMG.

At present, around 49 countries use a single GST rate, 28 use two rates and four countries including India have more rates.

Source :  Business Standard
28th GST Council meet on Saturday: Return simplification, law tweaks, setting up of tribunal on table

28th GST Council meet on Saturday: Return simplification, law tweaks, setting up of tribunal on table

The proposed amendments to the goods and services tax (GST)-related laws, simplification of GST returns, the creation of GST appellate tribunal and the revenue position of states will be among the key items slated for discussion in the upcoming 28th GST Council meeting on Saturday. 28th GST Council meet on SaturdayRate cuts and clarification for 40 handicraft items, 32 services and 35 goods including the exemption to marble/stone idols, sanitary napkins, sal leaves will also be discussed, alongside reports of six committees and ministerial panels on issues such as the imposition on cess on sugar and levies on the lottery, officials said.

A rate cut has been recommended from 28 per cent to 18 per cent for lithium-ion batteries, which are used to charge electric vehicles; for water coolers, ice cream machinery along with reduction from 28 per cent to 12 per cent for fuel cell vehicles; for bamboo flooring from 18 per cent to 12 per cent and handloom dari from 12 per cent to 5 per cent, they said.

Though items such as natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) have not been listed in the meeting agenda, a senior government official said that if time permits, the Council may discuss those items but a decision is unlikely given the revenue implications for states. “There are many listed items for the meeting, so only if time permits, natural gas/ATF could be discussed. The inclusion of natural gas is not contentious, but ATF may be a tricky item given that it contributes majorly to revenues of Delhi and Mumbai,” the official said.

The official further said that since most airlines fuel their planes in Delhi or Mumbai, the inclusion of ATF along with allowing input tax credit will result in less revenue for these two regions. “Smaller states do not earn significantly from ATF, whereas for places like Delhi and Mumbai, it is a major contributor. Allowing credit would result in the revenue stream from ATF getting split among all states instead of the current concentration in these two places. Mumbai may even recover from alternate revenue sources but for Delhi, it could mean a significant loss of revenue,” he said.

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will chair the meeting of the Goods and Services Tax Council, his first time since taking charge of this portfolio. Officials said that it was considered that Union Minister Arun Jaitley may attend the meeting as a special invitee through video conferencing but it has been decided against since GST Council rules do not specify such exception and it may leave scope for the Council’s decisions getting challenged in courts later.

Apart from the rate considerations, the Council will also discuss reports of six committees and ministerial panels which include those on the lottery, Integrated GST (IGST), on creating an ecosystem for seamless road transport connectivity, digital payments, an imposition of sugar cess and reverse charge mechanism.

Given the high amount of unutilized IGST, the panel for it has recommended a change in cross utilization pattern to allow taxpayers to first use IGST credit for payment of CGST/SGST before using CGST/SGST credit. Unsettled IGST stands at about Rs 1.16 lakh crore, with two provisional settlements of Rs 35,000 crore in February and Rs 50,000 crore in June this year.

The panel on seamless connectivity has suggested doing away with check posts for pollution control certificate, payment of road tax along with the mandated recording of every instance of inspection along with recommending linking the VAHAN database with e-way bill system. The GoM on digital payments has suggested keeping the incentives on hold for now, while the panel on sugar cess has proposed a 1 per cent agricultural cess on certain commodities.

Finer details of the proposed returns simplification is also likely to be discussed. The new model proposes uploading of invoices by the supplier before 10th of next month that shall be subsequently posted in the viewing facility of the buyer by 12th of next month, who will then lock those invoices. The new returns filing model proposes single monthly return for all taxpayers except composition dealers, TDS/TCS and staggered return filing dates based on the turnover of the registered person.

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Source: Indian Express
27th GST Council Meet: Filing Process Gets Simpler, File Only One Return In A Month.

27th GST Council Meet: Filing Process Gets Simpler, File Only One Return In A Month.

27th GST Council Meet Outcome: Five Things To Know

gst council meeting
1. Monthly Return: GST Taxpayers excluding a few exceptions like composition dealer shall file one monthly return. Return filing dates shall be staggered based on the turnover of the registered person to manage load on the IT system. Composition dealers and dealers having nil transaction shall have facility to file quarterly return.

2. Unidirectional Flow of invoices: There shall be unidirectional flow of invoices uploaded on GST Network by the seller on anytime basis during the month which would be the valid document to avail input tax credit by the buyer. Buyer would also be able to continuously see the uploaded invoices during the month.

3. Simple Return design and easy IT interface: The B2B dealers will have to fill invoice-wise details of the outward supply made by them, based on which the system will automatically calculate his tax liability. The input tax credit will be calculated automatically by the system based on invoices uploaded by his sellers. Taxpayer shall be also given user friendly IT interface and offline IT tool to upload the invoices.

4: Proposal of concession on digital transactions: Keeping in view the need to move towards a less cash economy, the Council has discussed in detail the proposal of a concession of 2% in GST rate (where the GST rate is 3% or more, 1% each from applicable CGST and SGST rates) on B2C supplies, for which payment is made through cheque or digital mode, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 100 per transaction, so as to incentivise promotion of digital payment.

The council has recommended for setting up of a Group of Ministers from State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, before the next Council meeting, keeping in mind the views expressed in GST Council.

5. Cess on Sugar above 5% GST rate: The council deliberated over the imposition of cess on sugar over and above 5% GST and also over the reduction in GST rate on ethanol. Keeping in view the record production of sugar in the current sugar season, and consequent depressed sugar prices and build-up of sugarcane arrears, the Council discussed the issue of imposition of sugar cess and reduction in GST rate on ethanol in great detail. The council has recommended for setting up of a Group of Ministers from State Governments to look into the proposal and make recommendations, within two weeks, keeping in mind the views expressed in GST Council in this regard.