The GST Council has taken important decisions in its 31st and 32nd meetings. While decisions taken in the 31st council meeting primarily relate to rate modifications, the 32nd council meeting revolved around GST benefits to MSMEs.
Some of the major decisions taken are as follows
Modifications in GST rates
- GST rate reduction on goods which were attracting GST rate of 28%
- Monitors and TVs (upto screen size of 32 inches), digital cameras and video camera recorders, inter alia, were moved from 28% to 18% bracket.
- Parts and accessories for the carriages for disabled persons moved from 28% to 5%
- GST rate reduction on other goods
- Music Books moved from 12% to NIL
- Vegetables, (uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water), frozen, branded and put in a unit container from 5% to NIL
- Renewable energy devices & parts for their manufacture (bio gas plant/solar power based devices, solar power generating system (SGPS) etc) now subject to 5% GST
- Levy of cess on intra-state supply of goods and services within the State of Kerala at a rate not exceeding 1% for a period not exceeding 2 years (with the aim to mobilise revenue for natural calamities).
Decisions in connection with GST returns
- The new return filing system shall be introduced on a trial basis from 01 Apr 2019 and on mandatory basis from 01 Jul 2019
- Due date for furnishing annual returns in GSTR – 9, GSTR-9A and reconciliation statement in GSTR-9C has been extended to 30 Jun 2019
- Modifications in annual returns have been proposed to simplify the return filing process; for example,
- HSN code may be declared only for those inward supplies whose value independently accounts for 10% or more of the total value of inward supplies;
- Additional payments, if any, required to be paid can be done through Form GST DRC-03 only in cash;
- ITC in relation to invoices issued by the supplier during FY 2017-18 may be availed by the recipient till the due date for furnishing of Form GSTR-3B for the month of March, 2019
- Late fee shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case forms GSTR-1, GSTR3B & GSTR-4 for the months / quarters July, 2017 to September, 2018, are furnished after 22 Dec 2018 but on or before 31 Mar 2019.
Simplification of GST refunds
- A scheme of single authority for disbursement of the refund amount sanctioned by either the Centre or the State tax authorities would be implemented on pilot basis.
- All the supporting documents/invoices in relation to a claim for refund shall be uploaded electronically on the common portal at the time of filing of the refund application itself
Benefits to MSMEs
- Suppliers of goods shall enjoy higher threshold limit of Rs. 40 lakhs for exemption from Registration and Payment of GST. Threshold limit for supply of services shall remain at Rs. 20 lakhs.
- The limit of Annual Turnover in the preceding Financial Year for availing Composition scheme for Goods shall be increased to Rs 1.5 crore
- Suppliers availing composition scheme will now have to file only 1 annual return. But payment of GST shall be on quarterly basis.
- Composition scheme shall be made available for suppliers of services with reduced GST rate of 6% (3% CGST +3% SGST). The scheme shall be applicable to service providers having annual turnover in the preceding Financial Year up to Rs 50 lakhs
- Small taxpayers shall be provided a free accounting & billing software