Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council met for the 27th time on 4th of May, 2018 and decided on various issues including simplifying the GST monthly return filing, and converting the GSTN into a fully government owned company. It also discussed at length concession in the GST rate in case the transactions involve digital payments, and imposition of Sugar Cess.

In-principle approval of new return design

All taxpayers, except a few, will be required to file 1 monthly return with a simple design and easy IT interface. B2B dealers will have to fill invoice-wise details of outward supply. There will be no automatic reversal of ITC on non-payment of tax by seller, and recovery of tax or reversal of ITC will be through online process of issuing notice and order. It may however be noted that the new system will be implemented in 6 months and till then filing of GSTR-3B and GSTR-1 will continue.

GSTN to be converted into fully government owned company

GST council decided to acquire entire 51% of equity held by Non-Governmental Institutions in GSTN equally by Centre and State governments. The GSTN Board, for this purpose, has been allowed to initiate the process for acquisition of equity held by private companies. GSTN, Special purpose vehicle was created as a private limited, not-for-profit Company. Considering the nature of ‘state’ function performed by GSTN, Council felt that GSTN be converted into be a fully owned government company.

Rate concession in digital payments, and sugar cess

GST Council also discussed a concession of 2% in GST rate (where GST rate is 3% or more, 1% each from applicable CGST and SGST rates) on B2C supplies for which payment is made through cheque or digital mode. According to the press release, there would be a ceiling of Rs. 100 per transaction. The Council also discussed issues of imposition of sugar cess over and above 5% GST, and reduction in GST rate on ethanol. Both the proposals will be looked into by Group of Ministers who will within specified time frame make recommendations on these.