GST Council to simplify return form; filing to be optional for turnover up to Rs 2 crore for FY18,19

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The GST Council has decided to further simplify the GST annual return form GSTR-9 to provide some relief to the small businesses in filing the tax return, TV news channel CNBC TV18 reported citing unidentified sources. It may have come after the businesses complained to the government about the complex nature of GSTR-9. In addition, the GST Council also reached a consensus to make GSTR-9, GSTR-9A, GSTR-9C, optional for taxpayers with turnover up to Rs 2 crore for FY18 and 19, the report also said. The government had recently extended the last date for filing the annual return form GSTR-9 for the year 2017-18 to 30 November from 31 August 2019. The 37th GST Council meeting is taking place in Goa today amid clamour for a GST rate cut from various sectors in wake of slowdown. However, the rate cut looks unlikely on account of fear that the move may impact the already slowing revenues.

The fitment committee, consisting of officials from states and the Centre, recommended against the GST rate cut on several products ranging from automobiles to biscuits so as to safeguard the existing revenue position, The Indian Express reported on Thursday citing unidentified sources. Nearly 23 items are expected to be on the agenda of the Council. The key GST rates for consideration include beverages, dry fruits, auto, biscuits, purified water, bidis, among others, media reports say. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier in the day announced a slew of fresh measures to boost the slowing economy. The effective corporate tax rate was slashed to 25.17 percent inclusive of all cess and surcharges for domestic companies. Adding, she said that the firms opting for 22 percent income tax slab would not have to pay a minimum alternative tax (MAT).

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