A day-long 25th GST Council meet has begun in the National Capital. The Council is expected to decide on various key issues such as single form for tax filing, inclusion of petroleum and real estate under the GST net. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently told Rajya Sabha that the Centre was ready to include petroleum products under the new tax regime but it would want a consensus with the state governments. While the state governments are yet to clear their stand on the issue, industry body Assocham said that the consensus on inclusion of petroleum would never emerge as the state and the Centre were over-dependent on the sector for revenue collection. The Council may take up this issue for consideration.
The Council may also discuss the inclusion of real estate under the GST regime. Reports suggest that the Council could put real estate sector under 12 per cent bracket and it may also subsume stamp duty and registration charges.
The Council may also slash taxes on 70-80 goods. The Business Standard on Wednesday reported that around 40 to 50 services would be taken up for a rate revision in the Council meeting. “These are services that were earlier exempted but were taxed under the GST regime,” the report said. The Council is also expected to rationalise taxes of agriculture implements and unconventional fuel buses. The agriculture implements that are currently taxed up to 18 per cent may come under 12 or 5 per cent bracket, according to reports. If Council brings down the taxes on these many products, this will be the second biggest tax rationalisation after GST implementation.
In November, the Council had brought down taxes on over 200 goods. As many as 178 items of daily use were shifted from the top tax bracket of 28 per cent to 18 per cent. The move, however, cost the exchequer dearly as following months GST collections declined. The Council will also analyse the possible reasons behind the continuous decline in GST collections.
In the last three months, the GST revenue has gone down. The data show that the GST collection for November stood at Rs 80,808 crore, lowest since the GST roll out in last July. In October, the GST revenue was Rs 83,346 crore and in September it was Rs 95,131 crore. This slump in GST collections has been the biggest worry for the Finance Minister.
In today’s meeting, the Council may also take up compliance issue and could come up with a single stage return filing to smoothen the tax filing procedures for small and medium enterprises. After the introduction of single form filing, the traders/firms will have to file just 12, one each month. Currently, there are three return forms: GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 that taxpayers file every month.
Source- Business Today.