GST Council approves simple return filing


NEW DELHI: The GST Council has veered around to giving up to Rs 100 incentive for digital payments for purchases by consumers, approved a new model for single monthly return and decided to turn the GSTN into a government-owned entity.

The panel, the highest decision-making body for Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, however, deferred a decision on levying a cess on sugar after opposition from some states.

Announcing the decision taken at the 27th meeting of the council, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all taxpayers excluding a few exceptions like composition dealers shall file one monthly GST return in place of multiple filings currently required in a month.

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.

Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the monthly return filing system will come into force in six months and the present system of filing of return through GSTR 3B and GSTR 1 forms would continue for not more than six months.

The council, at its 27th meeting, also referred the issue of incentivising digital payments to a group of state finance ministers after some states wanted a negative list.

Most member states on the panel were agreeable to the proposal of giving a concession of 2 per cent in GST rate (where the tax rate is 3 per cent or more) on business-to-consumer (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 payments.

But since some states wanted a small negative list, the issue will be referred to a five-member group of state finance ministers, Jaitley said.

A separate group of ministers would go into the issue of levy of cess on sugar and reduction of GST on ethanol.

While the cost of sugar production is over Rs 35 per kg, the market price is around Rs 26-28 a kg, he said, adding cane growers are in deep distress and a proposal to levy a cess was made to help them.

Collections from a cess on sugar could be used for helping farmers, it was proposed. PT



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