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GSTN to be made a government body: GST Council

GSTN to be made a government body: GST Council

The GST Council has finally unveiled a new simplified return filing process that would require a taxpayer to file one monthly return. Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, one of the vocal critics of the sugar cess, is part of the panel headed by his Assam counterpart Hemant Biswa Sarma. "These viewpoints were extensively discussed and debated in the Council", Jaitley said, adding that a group of five ministers will make recommendations regarding cess on sugar in the next two weeks, he said. The transitional phase will last for six months.

The council, an official added, will deliberate on the new simplified form to be common for both small and large taxpayers and providing some relief for NIL return filers by allowing them to file the return quarterly. Ideally, as per indirect tax principles, the onus to discharge the tax to the government is of the supplier and the recipient should be eligible to input tax credit once payment is made to the supplier, Doshi pointed out.

After consulting the stakeholders, the GoM earlier this month worked out a third model for return filing as per which credit could be extended once the invoice uploaded by the supplier is verified by the purchaser on the GSTN portal.

As per the proposal a 2 per cent incentive in GST rate (where tax is 3 per cent or more) will be given to those who pay through digital mode (including cheque) with a cap of Rs 100 per voucher.

FM Arun Jaitley has said that Sugarcane farmers are in deep distress. Return filing dates will be staggered based on the turnover of the registered person. Tax experts, however, believe that such a cess should be against the intention of doing away with cesses in GST regime. Another important decision taken in the GST Council meet on Friday related to the denial of any automatic reversal of input tax credit from buyer on non-payment of tax by the seller.

The GSTN now is 24.5 per cent owned by the central government and a similar percentage is held by state governments collectively.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while briefing the media following the video-conference meeting, said that the GST Council had decided that the government would buy the remaining 51% stake in the GST Network, but would maintain the organisation's flexibility to hire from the market at comparable rates.

The much awaited reform GST, brought a huge collection in the government kitty and in order to make it more attractive and simple, the Ministry of Finance conducted a GST council meeting today.

While a majority of the states favoured such an incentive, Jaitley said some states did not support the move.

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