11 November 2019

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Indirect Taxation

GST council announced reduction in tax rates


In a significant relief to citizens, GST council in the meeting held on 10th November, 2017 has announced slashed GST rates on various goods and services. GST Council has decided to keep only 50 items, mostly demerit, sin and luxury goods in top 28% bracket. GST Council has said that, 18% GST will be levied on wires, cables, chewing gums, chocolates, waffles, shampoo, after shave, deodorant, washing power, detergent, marble, Hair cream wrist watches, Beauty or make-up preparations, fans, pumps, compressors. Puffed rice chikki, flour of potatoes, chutney power, fly sulphur recovered in refining crude and fly ash to are now included in 5 per cent instead of 18 per cent.

All restaurants and Food parcels (or takeaways) irrespective of air conditioned or otherwise, will attract 5% without ITC. Restaurants in hotel premises having room tariff of less than Rs 7500 per unit per day will attract GST of 5% without ITC. Restaurants in hotel premises having room tariff of Rs 7500 and above per unit per day (even for a single room) will attract GST of 18% with full ITC. Outdoor catering will continue to be at 18% with full ITC. Goods on which the Council has recommended reduction in GST rate from 28% to 12% are wet grinders consisting of stone as grinder and tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles.

Further, Council has exempted imports of lifesaving medicine supplied free of cost by overseas supplier for patients from tax net. Imports of specified goods by a sports person of outstanding eminence, subject to specified conditions also exempted from IGST. Scientific or technical instruments, software, prototype supplied to public funded research institution or a university or IISc, or IITs or NIT are also covered under exempted list. Exports of services to Nepal and Bhutan have already been exempted from GST. From now onwards, such exporters will also be eligible for claiming Input Tax Credit in respect of goods or services used for effecting such exempt supply of services to Nepal and Bhutan.

The return filing process is further simplified. Now, all taxpayers would file return in FORM GSTR-3B along with payment of tax by 20th of the succeeding month till March, 2018. For filing of details in FORM GSTR-1 till March 2018, taxpayers would be divided into two categories. Taxpayers with an annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crore need to file return using form GSTR-1 on a quarterly basis, while taxpayers with a turnover of above Rs. 1.5 crore need to file it on monthly basis. Further, the Council has reduced penalties for late filing as well.