35th GST Council Meeting: How do the Outcomes Impact Taxpayers and Chartered Accountants?

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On 21st June 2019 , GST council conducted its 35th meeting overall. The meeting was noteworthy since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presided the 1st GST Council Meeting after the swearing in of the new Government.

The Council discussed some crucial issues besides announcing numerous ‘gifts’ for the taxpayers. Here are the key highlights from the meeting –

Annual return due date extended till 31st August 2019

The due date of GST annual return to be filed for FY 2017-18 has been extended till 31st August 2019 . Now, the taxpayers can file GSTR-9, GSTR-9A, GSTR-9B and the reconciliation statement GSTR-9C till 31st August 2019.

Several issues related to the annual returns are still unclarified, so it will allow taxpayers to re-access the calculations and ensure accuracy and correctness in filing the return, which is essential because the return once filed can’t be revised later.

Also, GST ITC-04 , to be filed by the principal for challans issued related to job work transactions, can now be submitted from July 2017 to June 2019 till 31st August 2019 .

Tenure of National Anti-Profiteering Authority extended till 30th November 2021

The Council has extended the tenure of National Anti-Profiteering Authority by 2 years, i.e. till 30th November 2021 .

NAA was formed on 30th November 2017, briefly after the inception of GST, and was made valid for 2 years initially, i.e. till 30th November 2019.

However, with an increase in the validity, the NAA can continue to examining the pending cases or any new complaint lodged by the consumers against the companies who don’t pass tax rate cut benefits to the consumers in the form of reduced prices.

E-invoicing system proposed to be rolled out from January 2020

E-invoicing system, under which the companies have to issue invoices electronically through the GST portal, is intended to be rolled out for B2B transactions from 1st January 2020.

This system shall be a masterstroke by the Government to combat the menace of tax evasion since the GST authorities will get the details of the invoices even before a return is filed.

New return system to be in place from 1st July 2019

The taxpayers can start filing the new return (Form GST ANX-1 & Form GST ANX-2 only) on a trial basis during July – September Quarter. They will continue to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B at present. From October 2019 onwards, Form GST ANX-1 will be made compulsory.

E-way bills to be blocked on non-filing of returns for 2 consecutive periods

The taxpayers who haven’t filed GST returns for 2 consecutive periods (months or quarters) won’t be able to issue e-way bills until they submit the pending returns and pay interest, late fees and penalty thereon.

Fitment Committee to review GST rate on Electric Vehicles

As against the industry expectations, the GST council didn’t reduce the GST rate on electric vehicles yet. It has passed on the matter to the Fitment Committee for further review.

However, it has reduced the rate of EV chargers from 18 per cent to 12 per cent.

Why is the Government keen to reduce the GST rate on Electric Vehicles?

Electric Vehicles have close to zero exhaust emissions, which is a critical factor to reduce harmful air pollution.

Niti Aayog laid out Electric Vehicles policy in 2017, according to which India aims to have fully electric public transport system by 2030. Hence, reduced GST rates will attract domestic and international manufacturers to invest in India.

Hectic schedule ahead for the Chartered Accountants

The upcoming three months are going to be really busy for CAs, and tax consultants as a bunch of returns have to be filed.

31st July, the due date of filing income tax returns by salaried individuals, is within the sight.

However, employers have been allowed to issue Form-16 till 10th July 2019. Hence, if the due date is not extended beyond 31st July, the CAs will get only a few weeks to compute the taxes and file the returns.

Once it is completed, 31st August, the due date of filing GST return for FY 2017-18 will haunt the clients and CAs. Also, 30th September will be the due date for filing tax audit reports and income tax returns of the businesses.

Amidst these returns, GST monthly returns will also need to be filed when due. Overall, CAs and tax consultants will have a daunting task ahead to ensure that their clients duly comply with the return filing due dates.

Thousands of CAs have already opted for SahiGST – what are you waiting for?

For managing compliances hassle-free and filing returns timely, many of the CAs and Tax Consultants are opting for SahiGST software, which is a one-stop solution for everything related to GST.

SahiGST automates the main processes such as fetching data from the accounting software or ERP, filling the required forms and performing automatic reconciliations to ensure accuracy of data.

While filing GSTR-9, it can auto-fetch the necessary data from GSTR-3B, and GSTR-1 returns filed during the year, minimising the manual intervention and cumbersome data entry process.

Visit www.sahigst.com and create a free trial account.

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