32nd GST council meet changes - Expectation Vs Reality


The 32nd GST Council Meeting was held today at New Delhi. As always, there were give speculations and expectations in the industry from the FM Arun Jaitley that he would bring great reforms for businesses that will increase the ease of doing business in India. 

Let's have a look at the comparative analysis between the two,

Expectations

The general expectation included reforms for the MSMEs to lower the tax and compliance burden, relief in the tax rates of the real estate under construction flats, introduction of composition scheme for service providers, and decision on Levy of cess proposed by Kerala government at the rate of 1% for flood relief.

To sum up, the industry had huge expectations from this meeting. It could be due to the upcoming elections as well, that the industry was positive about it.

Let's have a look at what was actually received,

Reality

The 32nd GST Council meeting has the following key takeaways,

1.    The GST registration threshold limit doubled. Increased to Rs.40 lakhs from the existing Rs.20 lakhs.
2.    Composition taxpayers allowed to pay GST quarterly and file returns annually.
3.    The exemption limit for MSMEs raised to Rs.40 lakhs of annual turnover
4.    Kerala allowed to impose 1% cess for 2 years, for Kerala flood relief
5.    Composition scheme introduced for Service providers. Limit set to Rs. 50 lakhs.
6.    Composition rate for service providers set to 6%
7.    The existing composition scheme for other than service providers raised to Rs. 1.5 crores from the existing Rs. 1 crores.
8.    Revision of GST rates for real estate under consideration with the committee.

Having a look at the changes, it seems the Government has exceeded the expectations of the businesses. 

The introduction of the composition scheme for the service providers comes as a great relief for small service providers. Also, the raise in the limit for the existing composition scheme to Rs. 1.5 crores widens the scope for small businesses.

The return filling requests have also been addressed. Small business who opt for composition scheme can pay taxes quarterly and file returns annually. This reduce the compliance burden greatly.

All in all, the reforms introduced in the 32nd GST Council Meeting have been quite supporting of the small businesses. 

Please share your views on the new amendments. I would love to hear your thoughts on the same. 

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Prerna Saraogi 
on 10 January 2019
Published in GST
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