GST Council approves simpler returns filing process; exempts sanitary napkins from taxation

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In what seems to be a  major relief for citizens, traders and small taxpayers, the GST Council on Saturday decided to approve several proposed amendments to ease compliance-related hurdles related to the indirect taxation system. Apart from approving several amendments to make returns filing simpler, the council also reduced rates on several items across the slabs. Worth mentioning that the GST Council has decided to reduce rates of several items in the 28 per cent bracket apart from exempting sanitary napkins from the ambit of GST. 

In line with reports, the GST Council has decided to trim rates of at least 32-35 items. It may be noted that Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungatiwar suggested that tax on bamboo flooring reduced has been reduced to 12%. Sources have also confirmed to ET Now that the Council is still discussing the fate of several other items. However, a final confirmation on the items can only be confirmed after an official briefing, which is scheduled at 6 pm.

As mentioned earlier, several compliance-related issues have also been addressed by the GST Council and the returns filing process under the indirect taxation system will become far easier. If a CNBC report is to be believed, the GST council has approved quarterly returns filing for taxpayers who have a turnover of up to Rs 5 crore. This will be a huge benefit for traders and small-scale businessmen who were facing difficulties while filing returns.

According to Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia, no decision has been taken on the much-anticipated sugar cess and only a report was submitted; he added that the Centre currently owes Rs 3,000 crore worth IGST to Delhi government. Confirming Sisodia’s statement, Maharashtra FM Mungatiwar suggested that the next meeting on sugar cess will be held in Kerala.

He, however, said that the government has planned to reduce the rates for several items. The decision to reduce rates for some items in the 28 per cent slab will bring much-needed relief to the citizens who had been calling for a rate cut for some time.

This is a major step in the evolution of the ‘one nation, one tax’ system, considering that the several small-scale traders were finding it difficult to adjust. However, with the fresh decisions taken by the GST Council, the indirect taxation system is expected to reap more benefits.

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