GST Council Meet this Week: Here are the Key Issues that May be Discussed

The GST Council’s 45th meeting is slated to take place on September 17, in Lucknow. This council meeting is the first physical meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country. There are some crucial things that the upcoming GST Council meeting can address. The last, 44th GST Council Meeting took place via video conferencing addressed some key issues. The Goods and Service Tax Council, in its meeting on June 12, slashed the GST rates on several items crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic till September 30.

“Finance Minister Smt @nsitharaman will chair the 45th meeting of the GST COUNCIL on 17th September at Lucknow,” the ministry tweeted on  Wednesday. The previous Council meeting was held via video conferencing on June 12, during which tax rates on various Covid essentials were reduced till September 30.

Firstly, the key issues that the 45th GST Council will take up would be related to compliance and may take up notifying a common comprehensive e-portal for registration, paying tax, and filing returns. Apart from this , as per many media reports, the council is expected to give a thought to Sikkim’s proposal of 1 per cent cess on Intra-state supplies of pharmaceuticals for two years. And may also take up a special aid of Rs 300 crore per annum till 2023 for Sikkim by the Centre to mitigate the damage unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the north eastern state.

Many states reeling under extreme financial constraint and are stretched beyond their limits thus all states in unison are pitching for an extension by another five years- thus extending the compensation cess for states beyond 2022 is something on the cards, and something concrete may come in this regard. The states and Centre had opted for back-to-back loans to borrow funds to meet the compensation requirement.

In addition to this, the GoM has recommended the state independently explore the proposal of Rs 0.1 (10 paise) per unit of electricity consumption or sale.The GoM has further urged the Centre to consider a special package of Rs 300 crore/annum as an aid to Sikkim till 2023 to help it recover losses made due to COVID-19. In addition to that, the GST council meeting will help in facilitating the procedure for the Aadhaar authentication of existing GST users. Besides that, the council will send out a clarification on the interest levied on wrongful/ineligible ITC claims, reported CNBC-TV18.

In the 43rd GST Council Meeting that took place via video conferencing, the GST council announced the GST Amnesty scheme has been announced for small taxpayers who delayed GSTR-3B filing to reduce the late fee. Also, the maximum late fee for small taxpayers is reduced for GST Returns to be filed in future. Also, the GST Annual Return (GSTR-9) filing was rationalised and continues to be optional for 2020-21 for small taxpayers with turnover up to Rs 2 crore. Also, GSTR-9C (Reconciliation statement) to be still applicable for taxpayers with an annual turnover of equal to or more than Rs 5 crore, allowing self-certification.

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