Arjuna(Fictional Character) : Krishna, Christmas eve is approaching, 38th GST Council Meeting was held on 18th December, 2019. So, are the taxpayers getting any Christmas gift from the Council?

Krishna(Fictional Character): Arjuna, The meeting of 38th GST Council Meeting was held on 18th December, 2019 under chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. In this meeting taxpayers did receive their Christmas gifts wherein recommendations were made for extension of due date and also some procedural decisions were taken. The gifts given by stressful Santa Claus seems to be affected by 40% drop in revenue.

Santa of GST stressed due to drop in Revenue

Arjuna: Krishna, What are the gifts received from stressful Santa’s bag ?

Krishna: Arjuna, the following are the gifts in the bag of Santa:

♦ Extensions in due dates:

1. The due date for FORM GSTR-9 i.e. Annual Return and FORM GSTR-9C e. Audit Report for the Financial Year 2017-18 has been further extended to 31.01.2020.

2. In few of North Eastern States, the due date of filing of GST returns for the month of November, 2019 has been extended.

♦ Streamlining filing of GSTR-1:

The late fee in respect of all pending FORM GSTR-1 from July 2017 to November 2019, if filed till 10.01.2020 has been waived.

♦ Grievance Redressal Committees (GRC)

This will be constituted at Zonal/State level with both CGST and SGST officers and including representatives of trade and industry and other GST stakeholders (GST practitioners and GSTN etc.). These committees will address grievances of specific/ general nature of taxpayers at the Zonal/ State level.

Arjuna: Krishna, did any taxpayer receive empty gift box?

Krishna: Arjuna, the following were the gift which did not contained anything from the bag of Santa:

1. E-way Bill for taxpayers who have not filed their FORM GSTR-1 for two tax periods shall be blocked.

2. ITC in respect of invoices or debit notes that are not reflected in taxpayer’s FORM GSTR-2A shall be restricted to 10 per cent of the eligible ITC reflected in his FORM GSTR-2A w.e.f. 01-01-2020. Earlier the restriction was 20%.

3. To keep check on fake invoices, suitable action would be taken for blocking of fraudulently availed input tax credit in certain situations.

Arjuna: Krishna, what are the other things in the bag of Santa?

Krishna: Arjuna, the following are the other things-

♦ Changes in rates of GST:

1. GST @ 28%would be levied on both State run and State authorized lottery. This change shall become effective from 1st March, 2020.

2. If any entity having 20% or more ownership of Central or State Government pays an upfront amount payable for long term lease of industrial/ financial infrastructure plots, then it would be exempt. This change shall become effective from 1st January, 2020.

3. The rate of GST rate on Woven and Non-Woven Bags and sacks of polyethylene or polypropylene strips, recommended to raise the GST to a uniform rate of 18%(from 12%). This change shall become effective from 1st January, 2020.

♦ Changes in Procedures:

1. Standard Operating Procedure for tax officers would be issued in respect of action to be taken in cases of non-filing of FORM GSTR 3B

2. The Council also approved various law amendments which will be introduced in Budget 2020.

Arjuna: Krishna, What should one learn from this?

Krishna: Arjuna, Every Christmas, Santa spreads joy with his gifts. The same was expected by taxpayers from this Council meet held on 18th December 2019. Discussion was also held on the decline in the revenue of GST in this financial year, with this decline in revenue, it is difficult for the taxpayer to expect that the government will provide more benefits to the taxpayers. With the decline in revenue the taxpayer should be ready to face more notices since the government will be looking to increase revenue. Taxpayers must file their returns and keep reconciliations ready because the next 2 years in GST will the “Year of Litigations”

Link to Press Release Notes issued by Ministry of Finance  Post 38th GST Council Meeting

S. N. Particulars
1. 38th GST Council’s decisions On Rate Changes
2. 38th GST Council Meeting – Presentation on GST Revenue Trends
3. 38th GST Council’s decisions on Law and Procedural changes

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