In the GST Council meeting on 10th November, ’17, various decisions were taken with the view to make compliance easier for small tax payers, make composition scheme more attractive for tax payers and reduce the household expenditure for consumers. Let us understand the GST Council’s recommendations in detail:

Return filing

1.GSTR-3B filing to be done till March ‘18

GSTR-3B, a summarised monthly return, should now be filed till March ’18. Earlier, Form GSTR-3B was applicable only till December ’17. Filing of GSTR-3B and payment of tax should be done by 20th of the succeeding month.

2.Quarterly filing of GSTR-1 for persons with aggregate turnover upto Rs. 1.5 Crores

Persons whose annual aggregate turnover is upto Rs. 1.5 Crores can file GSTR-1 on quarterly basis, as per the calendar below:

Return PeriodGSTR-1 filing date
July-Sep ‘1731st Dec ‘17
Oct-Dec ‘1715th Feb ‘18
Jan-Mar ‘1830th April ‘18

 

3.Relaxation in GSTR-1 filing date for persons whose aggregate turnover exceeds Rs. 1.5 Crores

Persons whose annual aggregate turnover exceeds Rs. 1.5 Crores have to file GSTR-1 on monthly basis. However, the due dates have been relaxed as given below:

Return PeriodGSTR-1 filing date
July-Oct ‘1731st Dec ‘17
Nov ‘1710th Jan ‘18
Dec ‘1710th Feb ‘18
Jan ‘1810th Mar ‘18
Feb ‘1810th April ‘18
Mar ‘1810th May ‘18

 

4.Revised due dates for other GST forms

The due dates for certain forms has been revised as given below:

FormDue Date
GST ITC-04 (Details of inputs/capital goods sent/received from job worker)31st Dec ‘17
GSTR-4 (Return for composition tax payers) for July-Sept ‘1724th Dec ‘17
GSTR-5 (Return for non-resident tax payers) for July ‘1711th Dec ‘17
GSTR-5A (Return for online information and database access/retreival service providers) for July ‘1715th Dec ‘17
GSTR-6 (Return for Input Service Distributors) for July ‘1731st Dec ‘17
TRAN-1 (Application for claim of transitional input tax credit)31st Dec ‘17

 

5.Credit of late fee paid for late filing of GSTR-3B for July, August & September ‘17

The late fee applicable for late filing of GSTR-3B for July, August and September ’17 had earlier been waived by the Government. Tax payers who have already paid the late fee for these months will receive a credit of the same in their Electronic Cash Ledger under the respective Tax head. This can be utilized for paying future tax liabilities.

6.Reduction in late fee for late filing of GSTR-3B for persons with Nil tax liability

Persons who have Nil tax liability in GSTR-3B from October ’17 onwards have to pay late fee of Rs. 20 per day for late filing of GSTR-3B. Earlier, this was Rs. 200 per day.

7. Due dates for filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for July ’17- March ‘18 will be decided

The due dates for filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 will be decided by a Committee of officers. However, filing of GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B has to be done as per the due dates. For the period of July ’17 to March ‘18, filing of GSTR-1 will be allowed to be done without filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for the previous month.

 Registration

1.Exemption from mandatory registration for persons providing services through e-commerce operators

Persons making supplies through e-commerce operators were earlier required to mandatorily register, irrespective of their turnover. Now, persons providing services through e-commerce operators have been exempted from mandatory registration. This means that persons providing services through e-commerce operators now need to register only when their turnover crosses the threshold limit of Rs. 10 Lakhs (for special category States, i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam,  Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) and Rs. 20 Lakhs (for rest of India).

Composition scheme

1.Rate of tax to be 1% for manufacturers

Earlier, manufacturers were required to pay tax @2% of their turnover. This has now been changed to 1%.

2.For traders, tax to be paid only on value of taxable supplies

Under the composition scheme, tax is to be paid as a percentage of turnover. For the purpose of payment of tax under the composition scheme, turnover is calculated as total of taxable supplies + exempted supplies. Now, it has been decided that traders need to pay  tax @1% only on value of taxable supplies. Value of exempted supplies will not be considered for calculation of turnover of traders for the purpose of payment of tax. Note that this change is only in the calculation of turnover of traders for payment of tax. The calculation of turnover for registration remains same for all- value of taxable supplies + exempt supplies + exports.

3.Composition tax payers can supply services upto Rs. 5 Lakhs per annum, which will be exempted from tax

Previously, except restaurants, service providers were not allowed to register as composition tax payers. Now, persons registered as composition tax payers can supply services upto Rs. 5 Lakhs per annum. This supply will also be exempted from tax.

4.Threshold limit to register under the composition scheme increased to Rs. 1.5 Crores

Recently, the threshold limit for a person to register under the composition scheme was increased to Rs. 1 Crore in all States except special category States. This has now been further increased to Rs. 1.5 Crores. This means that persons whose turnover does not exceed Rs. 1.5 Crores are eligible to register as composition tax payers.

GST rates

1.Only 50 items will now attract 28% GST

The list of items falling in the 28% GST rate list has been pruned and only 50 items will now attract 28% GST. Items in the 28% GST category whose rate has been reduced include detergents, furniture, shampoos, wrist watches and chocolates. Goods like washing machines, refrigerators, majority of construction materials, cement, automobiles have been retained at 28%.

2.Restaurants

  • All stand-alone restaurants, whether air conditioned or not, will attract 5% GST, without Input tax credit (ITC). Food parcels or takeaways will also attract 5% GST, without ITC.
  • Restaurants in hotel premises where room tariff is less than Rs. 7,500 per unit per day will attract 5% GST, without ITC
  • Restaurants in hotel premises where room tariff is Rs. 7,500 and above per unit per day will attract 18% GST, with full ITC

3.Reduction in GST rates for other items

13 items have been moved from 18% to 12%, 6 items from 18% to 5%, 8 items from 12% to 5% and 6 items from 5% to nil.

Hence, the GST Council’s recommendations in this meeting are helpful for small businesses.  Composition scheme has been made more attractive with the recent measures. GST rate reduction for various items has been focused on consumers and reducing their household expenses. The extension of return filing dates is a positive measure which will give businesses sufficient time to effectively comply under GST. Overall, these measures will ease the compliance burden for taxpayers as well as bring greater savings for consumers.

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