GST Council meeting: The all-powerful Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, which is scheduled to meet on July 21, could announce another round of tax cuts on many items such as sanitary napkins, handicrafts and handloom goods, news agency PTI reported. Some services are also likely to see some rate rationalisation as well.
While on one hand, the GST Council may announce tax cuts, on the other hand, is exploring the legality of imposing ‘agriculture cess’ on some luxury items. Most handloom and handicraft products and sanitary napkins that could witness a cut are taxed at 12%.
Most importantly, the GST Council is expected to discuss the implementation of the simplified monthly returns system. In May, the Council had announced launching a single-return system for making the process easier and for improving the compliance. Giving the blueprint of the new filing system, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that it will take between 6 and 12 months to get fully implemented.
The single return filing system, to be implemented in phases, will be applicable for everybody except for businesses opting for composition scheme and filing nil returns, Hasmukh Adhia had said, adding that new single monthly return for B to C will have details of total turnover, for B to B it will have details of all sales invoices along with 4-digit HSN code. The GST Council had also proposed invoice matching along with the new filing system.
The big rate rationalisation took place in November 2017, when more than 200 items were brought to lower tax brackets from 28%, 18%, and 12%. Later in January, tax rates were cut on 9 items, while increased on 2. Since the implementation of the GST on July 1, 2017, the government has been criticised for too high taxes and too many tax slabs.
Source : Financial Express