32nd GST Council Meeting

The GST Council meeting was held on 10th January 2019 in New Delhi to bring some benefits to medium and small-scale enterprises (MSMEs) with regards to GST exemption and permitted 6 % composition scheme for the services sector.

Addressing a press conference after the 32nd GST Council meet, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley declared that the services sector will now be eligible for benefits under the composition scheme, which was only applicable to manufacturers and traders earlier.

In the meeting, GST council has broadly taken below mentioned decisions –

The limit for the suppliers of goods i.e. Rs. 40 lakhs and Rs. 20 lakhs for exemption from registration and payment of GST. States would be given an option to decide about one of the limits within a weeks’ time. However, the threshold for registration for service providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in the case of Special category States Rs 10 lakh.

A composition scheme will be made available for suppliers of services with a tax rate of 6% (3% CGST + 3% SGST) whose annual turnover in preceding financial year up to Rs 50 lakhs. The said scheme shall also be applicable to both service providers as well as suppliers of goods and services, who are not eligible for the presently available composition scheme for goods.

The limit of annual turnover in the preceding financial year for availing composition scheme for goods will be increased to Rs 1.5 crore. Special category States will have to decide within one week about the composition limit in their respective States.

Those who come under the composition scheme or want to avail it will have to pay tax on a quarterly basis as only one return has to be filed during a year.

Meanwhile, the Council is yet to take a call on the real estate sector. Jaitley said that a 7-member GoM has been constituted to discuss ways to tackle issues in the ailing sector.

GST Council also approved the levy of cess on the inter-State supply of goods and services within the State of Kerala at a rate not exceeding 1% for a period not exceeding 2 years.

Similarly, if any state faces a natural disaster may approach the GST Council to demand a similar solution.

When asked whether there will be further rationalization of GST slabs or tax rates, Jaitley said further rate cuts can be discussed only when there is a rise in revenue collection.

Taxpayers under composition scheme will now need to file one annual return but payment of taxes would remain quarterly (along with a simple declaration)

Following matters were referred by the Group of Ministers

  • Proposal for giving a composition scheme to boost the residential segment of the real estate sector.
  • GST rate structure on lotteries.

All the changes made by CGST (Amendment) Act,2018, IGST (Amendment) Act, 2018, UTGST (Amendment) Act, 2018 and GST (Compensation to States) Amendment Act, 2018 along with amendments in CGST Rules, Circulars and notifications issued earlier and the corresponding changes in SGST Acts would be alert w.e.f. 01.02.2019.