Exporters relieved as government moves to lower GST burden

Modi is expected to visit three regions and address nearly 8 lakh people during his 2-day trip. Reuters file

Modi is expected to visit three regions and address nearly 8 lakh people during his 2-day trip. Reuters file

The council reduced tax rates on 27 items of mass consumption, gave relief from filing monthly tax returns to small and medium businesses and nearly exempted exporters from paying tax till March 2018.

The GST Council discussed issues faced by small traders and requested quarterly filing of returns for small businesses, Ramakrishnudu told reporters after the meeting concluded.

Small businesses would be allowed to file tax returns once a quarter instead of monthly returns, Mr Jaitley said following the 22nd meeting of the GST Council.

As a lot of traders were not satisfied after GST was first rolled out in July, businesses with turnover upto Rs 1.5 crore annual turnover will now be allowed quarterly filling.

The third issue being faced by the government is that taxpayers are missing the deadlines to file returns and so it can not accurately estimate how much revenue GST is yielding.

The real estate sector can also expect some relief as it has been said that the stones used for constructions, that now come under 28% slab will go in 18%.

If you have been wondering about how these changes in GST rules will affect your everyday life, here are the key takeaways from the GST Council meet along with a quick explanation.

. Moreover, tax rate on unbranded namkeen, unbranded ayurvedic medicine, e-waste, paper waste, rubber waste and plastic waste was reduced to 5 percent. Till then, the exporters will have to pay a nominal GST of 0.1 per cent.

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Studying the stress points in the GST regime with 72 lakh taxpayers having migrated to the new tax system, the Council identified that 25-26 lakh GST assessees are new taxpayers.

"Reeling under the lack of market-driven MSP and cycle of indebtedness, no relief has been given to the farmer and agriculture sector from burden of taxes". Therefore, the GST Council took the decision to increase the threshold for small business to Rs. 1 crore under the composition scheme from the current Rs.75 lakh, he said.

The tax rate for traders of goods in the composition scheme is 1 per cent, while it is 2 per cent for manufacturers and 5 per cent for restaurants. Service providers can not, however, opt for the composition scheme.

Also, the taxpayer can only make intra-state supply (sell in the same state) and cannot undertake inter-state supply of goods. A group of State finance ministers will also be set up to look into the taxation structure of restaurants and what should be done as they have not reduced prices despite input tax credit.

Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla on Saturday hinted that the peak goods and services tax (GST) rate of 28 per cent will gradually be reduced.

It allows small taxpayers to pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover and not go through the tedious GST formalities. Jobs like imitation, food items, zari and printing items will be taxed st 5 per cent and not 12 per cent. It has now been made a decision to exempt those service providers whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs 20 lakh from obtaining registration even if they are making inter-state taxable supplies of services.

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