Everything you need to know about the GST Policy Changes, and all the clarifications and changes adopted by the GST Governing Council in its 31st meeting.
Ever since the inception of the Goods and Services Tax took place a year back, the governing council has brought about a slew of changes in the tax policies in their attempt to make it more uniform and public friendly. The 31st meeting of GST council held in New Delhi saw a number of changes being implemented in the GST to provide maximum benefits to the exchequer via the tax.
Addressing genuine concerns of the tax players and business owners, the GST council agreed to introduce a number of rationalisations and clarifications in its latest meeting on India’s biggest tax reform till date. While rate reduction of 23 items headlined the new amendments being brought about in the GST with items from the higher bracket falling down to the lower GST bases, there were other serious industry and consumer issues that were resolved as well.
One of the major concerns that was put to rest by the council was the extension of deadlines for various returns like Annual Return, Reconciliation Statement and new return. Not only has the fine for filing a late return in the previous year been waived off in the latest GST policy changes but this move is being welcomed by the market that sees it as a major move in helping reduce tax costs.
The GST council also made the recommendations to ensure that businesses ensure that the benefits acquired from the latest round of rate reductions are passed on to the general public as well. As was seen earlier with hotels and restaurants, despite the government slashing the GST on dining out, owners had surged prices as they tried to find loopholes around the prune in tax prices.
GST Policy Changes
- There would be a single cash ledger for each tax head. The modalities for Implementation would be finalised in consultation with GSTN and the Accounting Authorities.
- A scheme of single authority for disbursement of the refund amount sanctioned by either the Centre or the State tax authorities would be implemented on pilot basis. The modalities for the same shall be finalized shortly.
- The new return filing system shall be introduced on a trial basis from 01.04.2019 and on a mandatory basis from 01.07.2019.
- The due date for furnishing the annual returns in FORM GSTR-9, FORM GSTR-9A and reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C for the Financial Year 2017 – 2018 shall be further extended till 30.06.2019.
- The due date for furnishing FORM GSTR-8 by e-commerce operators for the months of October, November and December 2018 shall be extended till 31.01.2019.
- The due date for submitting FORM GST ITC-04 for the period July 2017 to December 2018 shall be extended till 31.03.2019.
- All the supporting documents/invoices in relation to a claim for refund in FORM GST RFD-01A shall be uploaded electronically on the common portal at the time of filing of the refund application itself, thereby obviating the need for a taxpayer to physically visit a tax office for submission of a refund application. GSTN will enable this functionality on the common portal shortly.
- The following types of refunds shall also be made available through FORM GST RFD- 01A:
- Refund on account of Assessment/Provisional Assessment/Appeal/Any Other Order;
- Tax paid on an intra-State supply which is subsequently held to be inter-State supply
- One more window for completion of the migration process is being allowed. The due date for the taxpayers who did not file the complete FORM GST REG-26 but received only a Provisional ID (PID) till 31.12.2017 for furnishing the requisite details to the jurisdictional nodal officer shall be extended till 31.01.2019. Also, the due date for furnishing FORM GSTR-3B and FORM GSTR-1 for the period July 2017 to February, 2019/quarters July 2017 to December 2018 by such taxpayers shall be extended till 31.03.2019.
- The late fee shall be completely waived for all taxpayers in case of FORM GSTR-1, FORM GSTR-3 & FORM GSTR-4 for the months/quarters July 2017 to September 2018, are furnished after 22.12.2018 but on or before 31.03.2019.
- Taxpayers who have not filed the returns for two consecutive tax periods shall be restricted from generating e-way bills. This provision shall be made effective once GSTN/NIC make available the required functionality.
- Changes made by CGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, IGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, UTGST (Amendment) Act, 2018 and GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Act, 2018 and the corresponding changes in SGST Acts would be notified w.e.f. 01.02.2019.