At the 22nd GST Council Meeting, the Council announced relief to small and medium-term businesses on filing and payment of tax. They also decided to make changes in the GST rates of certain goods.

They also made the rules simple and easy for exporters and cut tax rates on 27 common use commodities.

These decisions were taken at the GST Council Meeting held under the Chairmanship of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. He decided to cut IGST rates on Imports of specified Goods which were recommended.

“Considering the severe criticism over the implementation experience of the last three months GST Council has given relief to the small traders,” Arun Jaitley added.

This decision to reduce the compliance burden of small enterprises and traders came into existence just after two days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed regarding the implementation of GST. He said that he asked the Council to identify difficulties faced by small and medium companies.

In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said that the new changes will make the GST “simpler”.

The full list of recommendations from the meeting is here:

Composition scheme

  • The Government has discussed a lot of issues related to exporters, compliances including reverse charge, enhancement of limits for composition scheme from 75 lakhs to Rs 1 crore and the tax rates.This limit of turnover for special category States will be increased to Rs 75 lakhs from Rs 50 lakhs, while the turnover threshold for Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand will be Rs 1 crore.
  • The Government wants to make the composition scheme more attractive. So, a Group of Ministers (GOM) will constitute to examine the measures.
  •  The composition scheme is for the people who are otherwise eligible for availing the composition scheme. The eligibility is for the people who are providing any exempt service.

 Relief for Small and Medium Enterprises

  • They decided to exempt those service providers whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs in special category states except for Jammu& Kashmir) from obtaining registration even if they are making inter-State taxable supplies of services. This is expected to significantly reduce the compliance cost of small service providers.
  • The quarterly filing of returns extends to the extent of 1.5 crores of turnover. A suggestion was for such taxpayers who will have to file quarterly returns in FORM GSTR-1, 2 and 3. They should pay only on a quarterly basis, starting from the Third Quarter of this Financial Year i.e. October-December, 2017.
  •  The reverse charge mechanism under sub-section (4) of section 9 of the CGST Act, 2017 and under sub-section (4) of section 5 of the IGST Act, 2017 will suspend until March 31, 2018. To reduce the compliance costs and benefit the small businesses. A committee of experts will review it.
  •  Small unregistered businesses face difficulties. Hence to remove the difficulties, the services to be provided by Goods Transport Agencies (GTA) to an unregistered person will exempt from GST.

Other Facilitation Measures

  • To give trade and industry more time to accustom itself with the GST regime, the e-way bill system will introduce in a staggered manner. This will be effective from January 1st, 2018. After that, the nationwide rollout will be on April 1st, 2018.
  • It has decided after assessing the readiness of the trade, industry and Government departments. The registration and operationalization of TDS/TCS provisions have to postpone till March 31, 2018.
  • The due date to file the return in FORM GSTR-4 will extend to November 15, 2017.  Under the composition scheme for the quarter July-September, 2017.
  •  The last date to file the return in FORM GSTR-6 by an input service distributor for the months of Jul, Aug and Sept 2017 will extend to  15.11.2017.
  • Certain classes of registered person’s invoice rules modify to provide relief to them.