GST Council extends deadline for sales returns till February 22, defers decision on real estate tax – The Hindu BusinessLine

GSTR 3B filing date extended till Feb 22

The Goods & Services Tax (GST) Council, for the first time on Wednesday, adjourned its meeting to discuss and finalise lowering of levy on under-construction flats and affordable housing for Sunday following dissent from some Opposition-ruled States.

Meanwhile, the Council decided to extend the date for filing the GSTR-3B form. Barring Jammu and Kashmir, the last date for filing returns for assessees in 28 States and two Union Territories (Delhi & Puducherry) will be February 22. Assessees in J&K can file their return by February 28.

Call for physical meeting

Wednesday’s meeting took place through video conferencing (VC). However, Opposition-ruled States such as Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Punjab, West Bengal and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry did not want the meeting through VC. They said the issue is very important and needs to be discussed in a physical meeting. In fact, they served a notice to postpone the meeting. But sources said in view of the coming General Elections , the Centre decided to go ahead with the meeting.

Ministers from the BJP-ruled States felt since lowering of GST will benefit the middle class, the Opposition is wary of such a ‘middle class consolidation’ and therefore the dissent. However, their effort to disturb the process was defeated by adjourning the meeting, BJP Ministers said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said discussions were incomplete as only a few State Ministers (Bihar and Punjab) could express their opinions and the rest are expected to speak on Sunday. “I have always followed the approach of moving as per consensus and some of the States wanted a meeting where members are physically present. Keeping the idea of consensus, I adjourned the meeting to Sunday,” Jaitley, who is also ex-officio Chairman of the Council, said.

The proposal to boost the real estate sector is based on the recommendation given by a Group of States’ Finance Ministers (GoFMs). It suggested lowering effective GST rates on residential houses to 5 per cent and to 3 per cent for those under affordable housing. Both the rates will be without input tax credit and one condition for 5 per cent is to source at least 80 per cent of materials from a GST-registered supplier.

Sources indicated that some changes in the proposal is expected which is why a meeting of the Fitment Committee (a sub panel of GST Council to finalise proposal for rate rejig) has been called on February 23.

Critical for States

Commenting on the development, MS Mani, Senior Director at Deloitte India, felt it is better to build consensus on key issues on real estate sector as all previous meetings have achieved the same. “The real estate sector is critical for all States, hence unanimity in the decision-making process will assist in uniform implementation of the decisions of the GST Council,” he said.

via GST Council extends deadline for sales returns till February 22, defers decision on real estate tax – The Hindu BusinessLine

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