CBIC has notified the GST rate cuts to come into effect from 1st January 2019 posting the New year greetings to traders and consumers across India.
One of the biggest comforts from 2nd January 2019 will be no GST on the services provided to Savings bank accounts and a Jhan Dhan accounts holders. As per the recent decision of the GST council on 22nd December 2018, such account holders are not required to pay GST on the chequebook, ATM cards renewal, SMS alerts and other banking facilities.
Sports and Entertainment sectors seem to have majorly been benefitted by the rate cuts notified on 31st December 2018. Items like Television/monitors up to 32 inches screen size, Playing indoor sports like billiards and snooker, digital cameras, video gaming consoles and movie tickets saw a sharp drop in GST rates. Movie tickets saw a reduction in rates both for watching at multiplexes and single screen theatres based on the prices.
Construction sector too had some surprises in the form of rate cuts and the possible availability of composition scheme in case of supply of residential properties.
GST return filers too cheered about the various moves taken up by the GST Council in hand with GSTN and CBIC. Late filing fees for filing the GST returns in GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B or GSTR-4 since the month of the inception of GST until September 2018 has been waived off if such returns are being filed starting 22nd December 2018 but before 31st March 2019. This notification has invited confusions in the market with many taxpayers having already paid late fees for the delay while filing these GST returns prior to 22nd December 2018.
Another much-awaited announcement that has relieved the taxpayers is the extended time limit to claim the missed Input tax credit (ITC) of FY 2017-18 up to 20th April 2019 (Return of March 2019-GSTR-3B) and GSTR-8 for period October 2018 to December 2018 up to 31st January 2019.
GST Collections has been on the continuous radar of the Council, and its State Finance Ministers of deficit States have formed a standing committee to look into the revenue situation of each State/Union territory and derive an optimal solution for achieving collections close to current fiscal targets.
Thus the 31st GST Council Meet although was to a significant extent, politically-driven, yet the decisions made thereat was appreciated because of the thorough analysis into GST revenue implications of making a decision, cement being one such item.