The GST Council holds meetings at regular intervals to assess the progress made by the GST regime and make amendments wherever and whenever necessary to make the whole system transparent and easier for the taxpayers.
The 32nd GST Council Meeting held on 10th January, 2019 in Delhi yielded many positive reforms for the taxpayers of India. Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley chaired the meeting where it was announced that the threshold limit for suppliers of goods will be increased from Rs.20 lakhs to Rs.40 lakhs effective next financial year onwards. In case of special states where the limit was Rs.10 lakhs, they have been provided with the option to revise it to Rs.20 lakhs. Various changes were also made to the existing composition schemes and a few new composition schemes for suppliers were introduced. A consensus was also reached regarding charging calamity cess and Kerala has been given approval to charge Calamity/Disaster cess of up to 1% on all intra-state supplies of goods and services in Kerala. The upcoming meeting of the GST Council in February is expected to bring in even more amendments and new reforms.
The GST (Amendment) Act:
The 31st GST Council Meeting held on 22nd of December, 2018 revealed that the GST (Amendment) Act, 2018 will be effective from February 1, 2019 and as assented by the President of India on August 29, 2018, the following GST laws will be amended:
- CGST – Central Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2018
- IGST – The Integrated Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2018
- UTGST – The Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Act 2018
- The Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Amendment Act 2018
Why is the upcoming GST Council Meeting Important?
The 33rd GST Council Meeting would be important in the sense that numerous new issues will be talked of and no less than 50 amendments will be introduced. Several definitions will change, some will be removed completely from the books; various regulations will be changed in their entirety. The registration procedure for GST would be made easier for the taxpayers. A few key steps may be taken with regards to the change in threshold for registration and compliance. Numerous sections of the GST Act with respect to tax refunds, Input Tax Credit, collection of TDS, etc. are expected to be amended in the upcoming meeting of the GST Council this February.
The amendments to the GST Act may likely cause some confusion and create some issues for the taxpayers and the taxation fraternity, but the underlying impact is bound to be positive in the long run.