GST council to slash tax on 80 per cent items

GST council to slash tax on 80 per cent items”

The 23rd meeting of the goods and services tax (GST) council will be held in Guwahati, starting today. Officials have said that items now being taxed at 28 per cent will be looked into in the meeting. Tax rates on 100 items are likely to be cut from 28 percent, with the GST council set to approve sweeping changes including simpler procedures and a single return filing form for small firms.

Some common items might also have their rates slashed from 18 per cent to 12 per cent, as demanded by states such as West Bengal. "The council could bring in quarterly filing of returns for businessmen with annual turnover of upto Rs10 crore". The scheme now offers easier compliance for businesses with annual turnover of up to Rs 1 crore, with traders, manufacturers and restaurants being allowed to pay tax at 1, 2 and 5 per cent, respectively. It also suggested further simplification in return filing process, HSN Code and invoice matching. The proposal comes in the backdrop of consumer complaints that some retailers charge the new indirect tax on MRP of products.

Also, eating out at hotels, which has room tariff of more than Rs. 7,500, should attract a uniform 18 per cent tax rate instead of any separate category for 5-star hotel, the GoM recommended. Also tax rate on items like furniture, electric switches, plastic pipes could be relooked.

Reports suggest that in a push to digital payments, the GST Council may consider providing incentives in the GST regime for payments that are settled electronically.

A merchant could, for instance, get credit for digital payments that can be adjusted against GST liabilities. "This could be a temporary arrangement till March 2018, after which monthly returns would resume", said Jayendra Tanna, vice-president of Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).GST on AC hotels and restaurants will be reduced to 12%, feel players.

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