GST Council fails to decide on easing of returns filing

GST Council fails to decide on easing of returns filing

GST Council fails to decide on easing of returns filing

The GST Council on Saturday could not take a decision on simplification of return filing and decided to continue with the current regime of multiple filings for the next three months. However, exporters got a breather as the tax exemption for them was extended for six more months.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the council discussed two alternative ways of return filing processes but no conclusive decision was taken. The current process of cumbersome return filing has made a dent in GST revenues as Jaitley himself admitted that revenues were not growing as expected post-GST regime.

Jaitley was talking to reporters after the 26th GST Council meeting here.

He said the Group of Ministers on simplification of return filing and I-T experts would explore the models discussed in the meeting and recommend it to the council.

The council also decided to implement e-way bill for inter-state movement of goods from April 1, the intra-state e-way bill will be rolled out in a staggered manner.

"Intra-state e-way Bill will be rolled out in a phased manner with four groups of states. Each group will come under it every week after April 1 and efforts will be made to implement it across the country by April end," Jaitley said.

E-way bill is generated where the value of the consignment transported exceeds Rs 50,000.

Sending positive signals to the exporting community, the council decided to extend the available tax exemptions on imported goods for six months beyond March 31. Exporters can continue to avail exemptions on their imports up to October 1 by which time an e-Wallet scheme is expected to be in place to continue the benefits in future.

Progress of refunds

The council also reviewed the progress of refunds to exporters of both IGST and Input Tax Credit and directed the GST network (GSTN) to expeditiously forward the balance refund claims to the Customs/Central GST/State GST authorities, as the case may be, for their immediate sanction and disbursal.

The council also deferred implementation of reverse charge mechanism under the GST till June 30. In the meantime, a group of ministers will look into the modalities of its implementation to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the trade and industry, Jaitley said.

Reverse charge mechanism requires the recipient of goods or services to pay GST instead of a supplier. Both e-way bill and RCM are anti-evasion measures under GST but traders have been protesting against these since inception. The government maintains that a squeeze in revenue collection is majorly due to non-implementation of these measures.  

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