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GST Rate Cut Today: 23rd GST Council meet: Highlights

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NEW DELHI: The GST Council in its 23rd meeting held in Guwahati came up with a range of new decisions which will lead to easing tax rates and compliance issues. Here are the key points which have emerged so far:

* In the last three meetings, we have been looking at the 28 per cent tax rate to rationalise the items to a lower tax bracket, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after the 23rd meeting of the council ended.

* All restaurants in the country will attract a GST of 5 per cent, no input tax credit (ITC) benefit to be given to restaurants: Jaitley

* 178 items have been to moved to 18 per cent tax rate from 28 per cent earlier: Jaitley

* GSTR-3B filing can be done till March 2018: Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia

* Small taxpayers to file GST returns only once every quarter: Adhia

* For nil returns to be filed, penalty reduced to Rs 20 and for others it has been reduced to Rs 50: Adhia

* Sushil Modi tweeted that businesses with turnover upto Rs 1.5 crore have been exempted from GSTR-2 and 3 and will have to file quarterly return of GSTR-1 till the end of this fiscal. However, they will have to file the monthly GSTR-3B

* He also tweeted about a range of items whose rates have been changed.

* Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has said that the GST Council has decided to keep only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods in the highest slab of 28 per cent.

* The GST rate fitment committee had recommended to keep 62 items under the 28 per cent slab.

* Modi said there was unanimity that in 28 per cent category there should be only sin and demerit goods.

* Modi termed the GST Council’s decision as ‘historic’

* Speaking categorically about some of the items he said that a lower 18 per cent GST will be levied on chewing gums, chocolates, after shave, deodorant, washing power, detergent.

* Previously, there were 227 items in the highest slab, including daily use items including sanitary ware, suitcase, wall paper, plywood, handmade furniture, stationery articles, shampoo, watch among others.

* Paints, cement and luxury goods like washing machines and air conditioners have been retained in the 28 per cent tax bracket, Modi added

* Ahead of the meeting, the Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, had suggested raising the threshold limit of composition scheme to an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crore under the scheme, and flat tax of 1 per cent tax for all.

* Among other issues that might come up in the two-day meeting are bringing the real estate sector under GST ambit and cutting down the tax rate on AC restaurants from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

* The council is also likely to consider a proposal by GoM to allow all taxpayers to file their returns on a quarterly basis instead of every month with easier forms to simplify the fledgling indirect tax regime.

Updated: November 10, 2017 — 7:19 pm

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