GST Council Meeting Updates (dt. 10 Jan. 2019): Amends Provisions on Composition, Registration, etc.
GST Council in its 32nd Meeting (dt. 10 Jan. 2019) has made various recommendations, providing relief mainly to MSMEs/ Small Traders, including amendments in GST provisions to increase the composition limit, allowing composition for services, increasing threshold for registration, etc.
Composition Limit Increased to Rs. 1.50 crores from 1 April, 2019
GST Council has recommended to increase the composition limit for Goods from Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 1.50 crore applicable w.e.f. 1 April, 2019. However, special Category States (Hilly and NE States) would decide and announce their respective limits within a week.
Composition Scheme for Services/ Mixed Supplies
GST Council has further recommended to launch a new composition scheme for services and mixed transactions of goods and services, with threshold limit of Rs. 50 lac and tax rate of 6% comprising of 3% CGST and 3% SGST, applicable w.e.f. 1 April, 2019.
This new composition scheme under GST shall be applicable to both Service Providers as well as Suppliers of Goods and Services (mixed), who are not eligible for the presently available Composition Scheme for Goods. Further, they would also be eligible for filing of GST return on Annual basis and pay taxes on quarterly basis along with a Simple Declaration.
Further, the GST Council has asked the Group of Ministers (GoM) to review/ evaluate the proposal to cover the real estate sector under the composition scheme for relief/ boost to residential housing.
Quarterly Tax Payment and Annual Return filing by Composition Taxpayers for Compliance Simplification
As a measure to simplify compliance for MSMEs, the GST Council has also recommended that Taxpayers under Composition Scheme can pay tax quarterly along with a simple declaration followed with filing of GST return annually, applicable w.e.f. 1 April, 2019.
Free Software for Accounting and GST Billing
GST Council has also recommended that GSTN should provide Free Software for Accounting and GST Billing, to small assessees/ traders/ MSMEs having turnover upto Rs. 1.5 crore.
Registration Threshold Doubled to Rs. 40 Lacs (Rs. 20 lacs for Hilly and NE States)
GST Council has also recommended to double the threshold limit for registration for Supply of Goods, i.e. from Rs. 20 lacs to Rs. 40 lac (Rs. 10 Lacs to Rs. 20 lacs for Hilly and NE States).
In other words, there would be two Threshold Limits for exemption from Registration and Payment of GST for the suppliers of Goods i.e. Rs 40 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs. States would have an option to decide about one of the limits within a weeks’ time.
Further, the Threshold for Registration for Service Providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in case of Special Category States at Rs 10 lakhs.
Kerala to Impose Disaster Cess @1% for 2 Years
Further, the GST Council has allowed Kerala to levy a calamity/ disaster cess of upto 1% on intra-state sales transactions for a period of upto 2 years, i.e. Kerala can levy a new cess @1% % on supply of goods and/or services within the state for a maximum period of 2 years to mobilize resources to cope with natural disaster/ calamity in the recent past.
CGST/ IGST/UTGST Amendments Acts 2018 to be Applicable w.e.f. 1 Feb. 2019
GST Council has also decided to implement/ effect/ notifiy the Changes in GST laws, i.e. CGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, IGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, UTGST (Amendment) Act, 2018 and GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Act, 2018 along with amendments in CGST Rules, related notifications and Circulars issued by CBIC earlier, including corresponding changes in SGST Acts, w.e.f. 1 Feb. 2019.
GST Practitioners (GSTPs) to pass Exam for Confirmation of Enrollment upto 31 Dec. 2019
Also, GST Council has recommended to extend the last date for passing the GSTP examination from 31 Dec. 2018 to 31 Dec. 2019 for those GST Practitioners who have enrolled under rule 83(1)(b) i.e. who were sales tax practitioner or tax return preparer under the existing law for a period of not less than five years.