Key Highlights from the 53rd GST Council Meeting: Major Announcements and Changes

GST Council Meeting

Key Highlights from the 53rd GST Council Meeting: Major Announcements and Changes

GST Council Meeting

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presided over the 53rd GST Council meeting on June 22, 2024, with significant decisions aimed at enhancing the GST framework. Attended by state finance ministers, the session brought forward crucial amendments, tax rate adjustments, and exemptions. Here are the major takeaways from the meeting:

Nationwide Aadhaar-Based Biometric Authentication

Aadhaar-based biometric authentication will be rolled out across India to curb fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices. This initiative is part of the government’s efforts to enhance tax compliance and reduce fraud.

Uniform GST Rate for Milk Cans

The Council announced a uniform GST rate of 12% for all milk cans, whether made of steel, iron, or aluminum. This measure aims to standardize the tax treatment of these essential items.

GST Council Meeting

Inclusion of Petrol and Diesel under GST

The central government reiterated its intent to bring petrol and diesel under the GST regime, pending consensus on the applicable tax rate among states. This move aims to establish uniform taxation for fuel across the country.

GST Exemption on Railway Platform Tickets

In a bid to make railway services more affordable, the Council granted a GST exemption on platform tickets, reducing the financial burden on passengers.

Reduced GST on Carton Boxes

The GST rate on various types of carton boxes has been reduced from 18% to 12%. This change is expected to benefit manufacturers and consumers by lowering the cost of these essential packaging materials.

Exemption for Hostel Accommodation

Hostel accommodation services outside educational institutions are now exempt from GST for up to ₹20,000 per person each month. This exemption is designed to make hostel accommodation more affordable for non-student residents.

Central Support and Conditional Loans to States

Finance Minister Sitharaman emphasized the Union Government’s commitment to supporting states through timely tax devolution, Finance Commission grants, and GST compensation settlements. She highlighted the ‘Scheme for Special Assistance to States for Capital Investment’, noting that while most loans are unrestricted, a portion remains conditional on states implementing citizen-centric reforms and specific capital projects. Sitharaman encouraged states to leverage these loans by meeting the stipulated criteria.

Extension of GSTR 4 Filing Deadline for Small Taxpayers

To assist small taxpayers, the Council recommended extending the deadline for furnishing details and returns in the form GSTR 4 from April 30 to June 30, applicable for returns from the Financial Year 2024-25 onwards.

Waiver of Interest and Penalties for Non-Fraudulent Cases

The GST Council has recommended waiving interest and penalties for demand notices issued under Section 73 of the GST Act, applicable to cases that do not involve fraud, suppression, or misstatements.

New Monetary Limits for Filing Appeals

To reduce government litigation, the Council recommended setting monetary thresholds for filing appeals by the department in various courts: ₹20 lakh for the GST Appellate Tribunal, ₹1 crore for the High Court, and ₹2 crore for the Supreme Court.

These measures and changes introduced by the GST Council aim to simplify the tax system, reduce litigation, and enhance compliance while providing relief to taxpayers and making essential services more affordable.

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GSTN Launches New E-Way Bill Portal Starting June 1, 2024

E-Way Bill

GSTN Launches New E-Way Bill Portal Starting June 1, 2024

E-Way Bill

For the transportation of products within India, a digital document known as an E-way Bill, or Electronic Way Bill, is necessary. It serves as the permit that the items and Services Tax (GST) Act requires for the transportation of items costing more than ₹50,000. Depending on the situation, anyone involved in the supply chain—registered or unregistered—may be in charge of creating the E-way Bill.

To improve the current E-way Bill system for goods transportation, the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is introducing the E-Way Bill 2 Portal.

The new E-Way Bill 2 Portal (https://ewaybill2.gst.gov.in), launching on June 1, 2024, will operate alongside the main E-Way Bill portal (https://ewaybillgst.gov.in/) and provide several benefits.

Increased Availability

The E-Way Bill 2 Portal guarantees high availability, reducing downtime and disruptions.

Faster Synchronization

E-way bill details will synchronize between the two portals within seconds, ensuring a smooth data flow.

Independent Functionality

Users can directly generate and update E-way Bills on the E-Way Bill 2 Portal.

Web and API Access

The portal provides both web interface and API access for managing E-way Bills.

Shared Login Credentials

Taxpayers and logistics operators can use their existing login credentials from the main portal.

E-Way Bill
Contingency Plan

In case of technical issues with the main portal, the E-Way Bill 2 Portal serves as a backup.

Cross-Portal Functionality

Users can initiate and update Part-B of E-way Bills (transporter details) interchangeably on either portal.

Enhanced Reliability

If the main portal is unavailable, Part-B details for E-way Bills generated on Portal 1 can still be updated on Portal 2, ensuring continued operations.

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CBIC – Taxpayers to Submit GST Annual Returns by the Deadline

GST Annual Returns

CBIC - Taxpayers to Submit GST Annual Returns by the Deadline

GST Annual Returns

Dear GST Taxpayer, For the Fiscal Year 2022–2023, kindly submit your Annual Return using Forms GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C. The 31st of December, 2023 is the deadline for filing Forms GSTR-9 with 9C. Forms GSTR-9 and GSTR-9C that are filed beyond the deadline will be penalized.

Taxpayers who must submit Form GSTR-9

All GST taxpayers with a combined revenue above two billion rupees (for the fiscal year 2022–2023), with the exception of:

1. Input Service Provider

2. The TDS Deductor

3. TCS Collector

4. Non-Resident Taxable Individual

5. Taxable Non-Resident Individual

Taxpayers who are required to file FORM GSTR-9C

During F.Y. 2022–2023, taxpayers whose aggregate annual turnover exceeds Rs. 5 crore are required to file an annual return in FORM GSTR-9 along with a self-certified reconciliation statement in FORM GSTR-9C.

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