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GST Council approves single return from next year, cuts rate on electric vehicles and chargers

This was the first GST council meeting under finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman

The GST council met today for the first time today after new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman took charge. The council decided to extend the deadline for filing returns by two months to August 30. The tenure of the anti-profiteering authority has been extended by two years, and the council also approved a penalty of 10% on entities that do not pass on the benefits of tax cut to consumers within 30 days. After the implementation of GST in June 2017, the government had set up the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) with a term of two years, which means its term was expiring in this year. Now NAA’s term has been extended till 2021.

Briefing the press after the meeting, Revenue Secretary A B Pandey said that now businesses will be allowed to register with GST network using Aadhaar. Using Aadhaar and an OTP authentication, businesses will be able to register for GST online without the need for multiple documents. He also informed that the new single-form GST return filing system will be applicable from 1st January next year. The GST registration threshold also has been increased to ₹40 lakhs from ₹20 lakhs. Various terms and conditions of the GST were earlier issued as notifications, but now they will been incorporated in the law itself, the secretary said.

The GST council also approved an electronic invoicing system for businesses. GST council is working on a system where the electronic invoice can be generated on a portal, which will act like an e-way bill. And as the invoice will be on a portal, the collection of the invoice will be the return. The council has given in principle approval for this system.

The council has approved an e-ticketing system for the multiplexes in the country, where it will be mandatory for multiplexes to issue electronic tickets. It will be convenient for the consumers, and it will ensure proper revenue for state and central government.

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An electric vehicle charging point

On the rate front, the Council has decided to reduce the GST on Electric Vehicles from 12 percent to 5 percent, while the rate of electric vehicle chargers will come down from 18 percent to 12 percent. The proposal for this rate cuts has been sent to the fitment committee, which is aimed at the promotion of electric vehicles in the country. A proposal to reduce the rate on leasing of electric vehicles also have been sent to the committee.

Addressing the media, finance minister Sitharaman said that all the decisions in the meeting were taken unanimously. All the states were represented by respective chief ministers, deputy chief ministers or finance ministers of the states.

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