GST Council defers decision on sugar cess: unveils new, simplified return filing process.

The Goods and Services Tax Council today approved a simplified return filing system and decided to make the GST Network a government-owned entity.

GST Council Makes The Task of Return Filing Simpler; Here Are Details
GST Council Makes The Task of Return Filing Simpler; Here Are Details

The highest decision making body of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, in its 27th meeting agreed to a proposal to convert the GST Network — the company that provides IT backbone to the new indirect tax regime — into a government-owned entity. Announcing the decisions taken today, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, who chaired the meeting conducted through a video conferencing, said a road map for introduction of simplified return filing has been decided.

The GST Council decided on two major factors, when the meeting got over, West Bengal finance minister Amit Mitra informed that states opposed levy of cess over and above the goods and services tax (GST) rate. The GST council also announced a new system for single monthly return which would be implemented within a time span of six months.

“A separate group of five ministers within two weeks would make a recommendation to meet contingency of this kind when the cost of a commodity is higher than its selling price. Committee would be announced within next two days”, Jaitley said.


1. Easier Return Filing

The panel also approved a simplified return filing framework. The software for the new filing system will be put in place in six months, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said. In the meantime, the current arrangement of GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 will continue, he added. The transition to the new filing framework will take place in three stages, Adhia said.

  • There will be one return per month for taxpayers except composition dealers and nil taxpayers
  • Taxpayers will have to mention entire turnover for B2B transactions
  • For B2B businesses, taxpayers will have to show all invoice details
  • Based on taxpayers’ calculations, they will be allowed to claim provisional credit for 6 months
  • Input tax credit will be given only if seller has uploaded an invoice
  • If seller does not pay tax, government will recover tax liability from seller
  • If tax cannot be recovered from the seller, efforts will be made to recover the tax from the buyer as per law

2. Decision On Sugar Cess Deferred

  • GST Council deferred the decision to introduce cess on sugar
  • A Group of Ministers has been formed to assess the cess
  • The committee will be announced in next two days and a decision is likely to be taken soon
  • The cess will be imposed through an ordinance once the Council approves it
  • Sugar cess could be up to Rs 3 per kg

3. Panel Formed For Digital Payment Sops

  • GST Council formed a panel to consider incentives for digital payments
  • A committee of five members will consider all points of view on the incentive
  • Majority of ministers at today’s GST Council meeting favoured a 2 percent incentive
  • Another view was to have a negative list of items on which this incentive would not apply
  • One member of the panel did not favour the proposal

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