GST Council relaxes return filing rules for July-Aug
India will turn into one market at the stroke of midnight between June 30 and July 1, with the rollout of the unified GST along with liberal tax filings rules for first two months to tide over any teething issues.
Rejecting demands for deferment of the biggest tax reform since Independence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley assured the nation that the IT network backbone has been adequately tested and systems are in place for the implementation of the goods and services tax.
Jaitley said: "We don't have the luxury of time to defer GST implementation... The official launch of the GST will take place on the midnight of June 30 and July 1."
The GST Council, which met here for the 17th time on Sunday, also decided to fix the tax rate for AC hotels at 18 per cent where the billed amount is up to Rs 7,500. Earlier, it had proposed to levy 28 per cent on hotel bills exceeding Rs 5,000.
Giving details, Jaitley said this would mean that now 18 per cent GST will be levied on bills of Rs 2,500-7,500.
The Council also decided to tax lotteries in two segments -- with state-run ones attracting 12 per cent GST and the state-authorised but run by private entities at 28 per cent. As per the revised return filing timeline decided by the Council, for July, the sale returns will have to be filed by September 5 instead of August 10.
Companies will have to file sale invoice for August with the GST Network by September 20 instead of September 10 earlier.
No late fees and penalty will be levied for the interim period and the returns will have to be filed by businesses with self-declaration, stating the input credit claimed and the tax liability pursuant to that.
Briefing reporters about the meeting, Jaitley said six sets of rules were approved relating to advance ruling, appeal and revision, assessment, anti-profiteering and funds settlement.
As per the anti-profiteering rules, a standing committee will refer the complaints to Directorate of Safeguards (DGS) for further investigation.
A five-member anti-profiteering authority, sources said, will be set up in about three months, which will finally decide on the penalty. The authority is likely to have a sunset date of two years.
As for the e-way bill, the GST Council was divided on the issue and decided to allow states to continue with their existing system.