(G.N.S) Dt. 18
– Expresses to continue simplification process of GSTR 3B return filing
At the 25th meeting of the GST Council on Thursday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said there was a general consensus on simplifying the return filing process where GSTR 3B will continue, but a final decision would be taken in the next Council meet.
“Nandan Nilekani made a detailed presentation on the option available to simplify the return filing process. The direction was that return filing under GSTR 3B will continue and the sellers and suppliers should load their invoices, after which details of supply made can be furnished. It is given that the 3B return between buyer and supplier will reflect the supplies made. If there is any difference between the two, at a later stage they can be asked to explain,” said Jaitley.
Jailtely added that merely supply invoice should be loaded and on that basis tax deposits should be made. “Since there were three presentations, I can say that the direction is that initially there will be a 3B return and there will be a suppler invoice. This we think will be adequate and a simple system,” said Jaitley.
The FM added that there is a need to discuss this further and formalize it and once that is done a note will be circulated among ministers. “We will take it up in the 26th meeting on video conference to try and approve this alternative system. Today, it was discussed but not finally approved,”said Jaitley.
There was a recommendation to cut rates on 29 goods, 53 categories of services and 40 handicraft items, which were excepted and the new rates will be effective from January 25.
Abhishek Jain, Tax Partner, EY, said in a statement “Though the GST Council did not finalise the simplification of the GST Return filing process; from the press briefing of the Union Finance Minister, it seems that the GST Council may in their next meeting decide requirement of filing only two returns i.e. GSTR 3B and GSTR 1 and may do away with GSTR 2 and GSTR 3. GSTR 1 will provide the Government all the invoice level details of the suppliers basis which the government can verify the credit availed by the purchasing tax payer. If implemented, this may simplify the GST return filing process, but at the same time keep any possible revenue evasion in check.”
The composition scheme was discussed at length. Jaitley added that collection in the matter of Composition scheme was a matter of concern. “Out of the 17 lakh dealers who have registered themselves under the scheme at 1% rate, the collection for the first quarter has only been around Rs 307 crore. The scheme has not been enthusiastically responded to,” said Jaitley.
Jaitley added that in fact most of the people who have opted for composition are below Rs 20 lakh in turnover and it seems there are cases of under-declaration under the scheme. “This will be factored in when the CGST, SGST and IGST Acts are amended, because after seeing the Acts function, there are minor changes required. The amendment in legislative shape will be circulated before next meeting and one of the suggestions has been to consider the re-introduction of Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under Section 9(4) only for those who opt for Composition Scheme,” said Jaitey.
GST Council, in its 22nd meeting dated October 6. 2017, has recommended that RCM shall remain deferred/ suspended till March 31, 2018 and will be reviewed by a committee of experts.
On a trial basis the E-way bill has begun and Jaitley said on February 1, inter-state bills would be necessary. “15 states have said that they will also start on the same day the intra-state E-way bill. Therefore, trade and transport industry is expected to comply with the E-way bill system,” he said.
The FM said the Council also reviewed the GST collection and there was an opinion that so far they have been relying on the unilateral declaration of trade itself, but there a need to build in anti-evasion measure and the E-way bill would be an important provision.
“With an object of generating employment and ease of doing business, certain key decisions have been made. As a corollary, rates were amended for 29 goods and 53 services. This is indeed a populist move including decision of 40 handicraft items,” said Abhishek A Rastogi, Partner, Khaitan & Co in a statement.