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The 39th GST Council meeting happened on Saturday, 14th March 2020 at New Delhi. The Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman chaired this meeting and took decisions on certain crucial issues under GST.
Latest Updates on GST Council Meetings
28th May 2021
43rd GST Council meeting took place on 28th May 2021. The Council approved the GST amnesty scheme to be re-introduced, the late fee was rationalised for all taxpayers, especially for small taxpayers and IGST is exempted on import of COVID treating equipment and relief materials up to 31st August 2021.
21st May 2021
43rd GST Council meeting will take place on 28th May 2021 (Friday) at 11 A.M. via video conferencing and will be chaired by Union FM Nirmala Sitharaman.
18th February 2021
Various media sources have stated that the next 43rd/44th GST Council Meeting is set to be held in mid-March 2021.
12th October 2020
The extended 42nd GST council meeting (also referred as 43rd GST Council meet by certain media sources) was held on 12th October 2020 with the following highlights:
1. The meeting ended with no unanimity on the borrowing issue.
2. The levy of compensation cess will continue beyond the 5-year period.
3. The centre will not be able to borrow funds to meet the compensation cess shortfall.
4. It was also clarified in the press briefing that the cess collected July 2022 onwards will not be disbursed to the states.
5th October 2020
At the 1st of the 42nd GST Council meeting, the GST council discussed the pressing compensation cess issue and other matters with regard to ease of return filing and GST rate reduction.
27th August 2020
41st GST Council meeting was held on 27th August 2020 via VC with the key item on agenda being the ways to compensate for the GST revenue shortfall to the states.
12th June 2020
40th GST Council meeting concluded with major announcements made for MSMEs.
The implementation of the new GST return system has been postponed to 1st October 2020. Also, the implementation of e-invoicing and the QR code has been deferred to 1st October 2020.
The present return system (GSTR-1, GSTR-2A & GSTR-3B) will be continued until September 2020.
Now, the interest for delayed GST payment will be calculated on the net tax liability. This amendment will apply retrospectively from 1st July 2017.
The GSTR-9 & 9C deadline is extended to 30 June 2020 for FY 2018-19. Also, the turnover limit will be increased from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore for mandatory annual return filing. Hence, filing GSTR-9C is optional for the taxpayers having the turnover less than Rs 5 crore.
The taxpayers with an aggregate annual turnover of less than Rs 2 crore in FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19 will not pay any late fee for delayed filing of GSTR-9.
A new scheme called ‘Know your Supplier’ has been introduced so that the taxpayers are informed about the basic details of the suppliers with whom they transact or propose to conduct business.
The GSTR-1 for 2019-20 will be waived for certain taxpayers who could not opt for the special composition scheme (notification No. 2/2019-Central Tax (Rate) dated 7th March 2019) by filing Form CMP-02.
The due date of Form GSTR-3B for July 2019 to January 2020 is extended till 24th March 2020 for taxpayers with a principal place of business in the Union Territory of Ladakh. Also, a similar extension is recommended for Form GSTR-1 and Form GSTR-7.
Taxpayers who have cancelled their GST registration till 14th March 2020 can file an application for revocation of cancellation of registration. The window to fill this application is available till 30th June 2020. The extension is a one-time measurement to facilitate those who want to continue conducting the business.
The preparation of e-invoicing seems sub-par, and the GST Council may consider extending the date of implementing the e-invoicing system by three months. It is said that it may be made applicable from 1st July 2020 as against the earlier date of 1st April 2020. With more time at its hands, GSTN may be able to provide improved solutions as well.
As per the latest development on 7th March 2020, taxpayers are facing many technical difficulties on the GST portal. These have led the GSTN to give Infosys a fortnight to fix them. Given that the government wants to fix the present GST return system sooner, it seems to be looking to stabilise the present system ending in March 2020. Moreover, the annual GST returns filing facility will be on focus till 31st March 2020.
On the other hand, the CBIC and tax officers are increasingly concerned about the number of tax evasions and are looking into the means for its prevention. All these have led to the speculations that the new GST return system might be pushed further by a month or two.
The applicability of interest charge is now on the net liability, as opposed to gross liability, but applies prospectively. Many tax professionals and small taxpayers are dissatisfied with the move, requesting the government to make this a retrospective change since July 2017.
There have been multiple instances where the GST notices have been sent out for wrongful tax credit claims and non-payment of interest on delayed GST payment. In some cases, the extended due dates in the previous periods have not been considered while sending out the notices. Considering that the first two years of GST was mostly not stable for taxpayers, giving them relaxations will help them bear less damage. Hence, any penalty or late fees reduction will help them prepare for better compliance in future periods.
It was speculated in the previous GST Council meeting that the five slab structure would be brought down to three slabs by carrying out a major rate rejig. The 5% tax rate will be hiked up to a maximum of 9-10%, and the 12% tax rate will be removed. The GST Council has set up a revenue augmentation committee to look into the possible solutions for increasing the GST collections. In addition to these, certain items that were exempted or nil rated may make a comeback under the tax net.
The GST Council has begun correcting the cases of inverted tax structure prevalent for certain items and sectors. In the 38th GST Council meeting, GST on woven and non-woven bags was increased from 12% to 18%. More items such as mobiles, textiles, solar modules, railway locomotives, fertilisers, steel utensils (whose output tax rate ranges between 5-12%) are expected to undergo the rate corrections. However, no major rate changes can be expected in the current scenario.
States will be pushing the centre to resolve the compensation matter, who are most likely to demand full compensation for the fiscal year. Hence, long deliberations are expected in the room. The GST Council will also be discussing the measures to strengthen and build a strong GST system against tax evasions.
The previous GST Council meeting was concluded on 18th December 2019 where an important decision was made to defer GSTR-9 and 9C for the first two years of GST. All eyes are on this GST Council meeting as addressing the taxpayers’ woes tops the agenda.