Life insurers to knock at govt doors again on GST rates

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The Life Insurance Council is contemplating sending a representative to the goverment in the next few days,

The life insurance industry is all set to knock on the doors of the government to seek better rates for Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. A formal representation through industry body Life Insurance Council is expected to be sent in a few days.

While a meeting was held on Tuesday with tax experts on how to proceed on the rate front, no consenus was reached. Insurance will come under the 18 percent tax bracket under GST as compared to 15 percent, currently.

The Life Insurance Council is contemplating sending a representative to the goverment in the next few days, the body’s Secretary General V Manickam told Moneycontrol. He added that while the body had earlier suggested a centralised Goods and Services Tax (GST) for insurance, the GST Council did not pay heed to their demands.

“Among our demands is to have a zero rate for life insurance especially since penetration is low. Further, we also wanted a centralised system of registration as compared to decentralised system under GST,” he said.

According to Manickam, with the GST structure, an insurance company will have to fill 1,800 forms under the new regime which would eat into a lot of productive time. Large companies will have a tough time registering in each state, he said.

“We would suggest that insurers have a centralised process and be able to hand over the respective state’s share at the click of a button at the end of each months,” he said.

Manickam said that the industry should be given atleast six months to move to the new tax regime and added that January 1 would be a better date for implementation of GST.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is meeting the chief executive officers of life companies on June 16. While this is an annual review meeting that the regulatory body holds in the beginning of every financial year and has been pushed to June this yeat, mong performance and product regulations, the issue of higher service tax will also be discussed.

Source : http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/economy/life-insurers-to-knock-at-govt-doors-again-on-gst-rates-seek-time-till-jan-2293941.html

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