Only 50 items left on GST 28% rate list

Congress is vindicated. I am vindicated. The merit of capping GST at 18% is now recognised.

— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 10, 2017 West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra earlier told reporters that the loss on account of a “hasty and ill-designed” GST had resulted in the exchequer losing around Rs 60,000 crore for the Centre and Rs 30,000 crore for the states in just the first three months. With the latest decisions, GST has been cut on a host of consumer items such as chocolates, chewing gum, shampoo, deodorant, shoe polish, detergents, nutrition drinks, marble and cosmetics. Luxury goods such as washing machines and air conditioners have been retained at 28 per cent. “Thirteen items, which were earlier under 18 per cent, have been brought down to 12 per cent. Six goods have come down from the 18 per cent slab to five per cent, eight items have come down from 12 per cent to 5 per cent and six items from 5 per cent to zero tax,” Jaitley said. Eating out has become cheaper as all restaurants outside high-end hotels charging over Rs 7,500 per room will uniformly levy GST of 5 per cent. The facility of input tax credit for restaurants is, however, being withdrawn as they had not passed on this benefit to consumers, Jaitley said. Restaurants in hotels with rooms above Rs 7,500 per day would continue to pay 18 per cent GST with the benefit of input credit. The GST Council also made changes in return filing procedures to reduce the compliance burden for the small taxpayers. It decided that filing GSTR 3B would continuing till March 31, 2018. “All taxpayers will continue to file GSTR 3B. In case of small tax payer or nil tax payments, 3B will be simplified so that in two or three steps one can easily file their return,” Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia told reporters. “The Council also decided that for this fiscal, only GSTR 1 will be filled and because we are running in a backlog — where we will file return for July only by December 11,” he said. “For taxpayers above Rs 1.5 crore turnover and who have large number of invoices, we do not want to keep their returns pending for a quarter and instead they should file their invoices monthly,” he added. The Council also decided that penalty for late filing for a ‘Nil’ tax payer would now be at Rs 20 per day from the earlier Rs 200, and for others, it was cut to Rs 50 per day. The Council deferred a decision on bringing real estate under GST to its next meeting, for lack of time. Welcoming the changes, industry body Assocham said these would lead to a pickup in consumer demand and help revive business sentiment. “The increase in the composition scheme threshold would make life much easier for the small business entities,” Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said in a statement. Deloitte India Partner Mahesh Jaising said: “The reduction in GST rates should reduce the burden on the common man. Hopefully, this is the start to the changes which are eagerly anticipated.” Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY said the Council meeting had produced “a mixed bag for the real estate sector with positives like rates of granite and marble being lowered from the current 28 per cent to 18 per cent, and negatives like non-alteration of cement rates.” “As typically, GST in relation to construction becomes a cost to most, non lowering of the significant tax costs of cement has disappointed the construction industry and customers as a whole,” he said.

On The Fly

How the GST structure has been rejigged at every council meeting after the regime’s July 1 rollout 
“I counted 27 reduction of rates; 7 prescription of rates; 22 exemptions; one waiver; and 15 extensions of time. The 11th Amendment to the GST Rules was made on October 28, 2017.” Former finance minister P Chidambaram in The Indian Express on November 5, 2017

GST Council 22nd Meeting on October 6 (New Delhi)
  • Composition Scheme Limit enhanced to Rs. 1.00 Cr with 1% Tax for Traders, 2% for Manufacturers & 5% for Restaurant owners
  • Filing of Returns upto Turnover of Rs. 1.50 Cr – Quarterly (Non Composition Assessee)
  • Refund to Exporters – To be Started from 10.10.2017 for July Month & 18.10.2017 for August Month manually
  • From now Onwards Refund will be granted immediately after filing the Return to the Exporters
  • Postponement of RCM till Dt. 31.03.2018
  • E way Bill implementation postponed till April 2018
  • PAN not needed for Jewellery below Rs. 2.00 Lacs
  • 5 Member Committee to be Constituted for review of Rate of GST for Restaurant & Inter State Sales Transaction for Composition Assessee and Exclusion of Exempted Goods from Total Turnover and ITC to Manufacturers opting Composition Scheme
  • E-Wallet Facility to Exporters from April 2018 Advance Licence Holder, 100% EOU, & EPCG Holder can export @ 0.1% till 31.03.2018
  • Exemption from Inter State Service from RCM if Service Provider is having below 20.00 Lacs Turnover
  • TDS / TCS postponed till April 2018
  • Rate of GST changed for 32 Items
  • Man Made Yarn to be Taxed at 12% in stead of 18%
  • Services Job Work of Zari from 12% to 5%
  • Printing Jobwork 5%
  • Govt. Contracts involving High Element of Labour @5%
  • Leasing of Vehicle abatement of 65% which are contracted before 01.07.2017
GST Council Meeting, September 9 (Hyderabad)
  • New time table for filing returns proposed: GSTR-1 (for the month of July 2017) 10.10.2017 For registered persons with aggregate turnover in a state more than Rs. 100 crores., The due date for GSTR-1 for July 2017 will be 03.10.2017 GSTR-2 (for the month of July 2017) 31.10.2017 GSTR-3 (for the month of July 2017) 10.11.2017 GSTR-4 (for the quarter July-sep 2017) 18.10.2017 Table 4 under GSTR-4 not to be filed for the quarter July-September 2017. Requirement of filing GSTR-4 for this period to be dispensed with. GSTR-6 (for the month of July 2017) 13.10.2017 Due dates for filing of the above-mentioned returns for subsequent periods shall be notified at a later date. GSTR-3 B will continue to be filed till for the month of December 2017.
20th GST Council Meeting,August 5 (New Delhi)
  • Approved e-way bill rules
  • All kind of job work on textiles will be taxed at 5%
  • Tax rate on tractor parts cut down to 18%
19th GST Council Meeting, July 17 (New Delhi)
  • Increased cess applied on cigarettes by as much as 31% in certain categories.
 

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More GST relief likely at Guwahati council meet

The GST Council is likely to consider lowering rates on various goods including on many items of daily use at its next meeting later this week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hinted on Tuesday. He noted that while fixing the Goods and Services Tax slabs initially, the Council had been guided by the principles of equivalence and revenue neutrality but had later lowered the rates on many items over its last few meetings. “In the old regime, the central excise was embedded in the cost, so people didn’t realise and with the cascading effect of excise, VAT, the taxes added up to 31 per cent. Keeping with the equivalence principle, that is how the 28 per cent GST slab was born,” Jaitley said at the India Today Conclave Next here. “The GST Council in the last 3-4 meetings has slashed rates on over 100 items, thereby bringing them down either from 28 per cent to 18 per cent, or from 18 per cent to 12 per cent,” he said. “We have been gradually bringing them down. The whole idea is as your revenue collections neutralise, we must prune it and that’s the pattern in which the Council has so far been functioning. I see that as a future guide as far as the Council is concerned,” he added. Officials said here last week that the Council could consider cutting rates on a variety of items like handmade furniture, plastic products and daily use items like shampoo, and simplify return filing rules. It is scheduled to meet on November 10 in Guwahati. At its previous meeting last month, the Council adopted a concept paper that laid down guidelines for changes in rates. As per the paper, no manufactured goods should be given outright exemption as this would hinder the ‘Make in India’ initiative. Besides, states should opt for direct subsidy transfers if they wanted to reduce the tax on any item. Under the new indirect tax regime, most goods and services have been bracketed in the five, 12, 18 and 28 per cent categories.

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