GST Council proposes amnesty scheme for small, medium taxpayers: Highlights – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The 43rd GST Council on Friday took several key decisions including exemption of duty on import of Covid-19 related items, and an amnesty scheme for small and medium taxpayers to reduce late fee burden on them.
Held via video conferencing, the meeting was chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. It was also attended by minister for state (MoS) for finance Anurag Thakur, finance ministers of states and UTs and senior officers from Centre and states.
The GST Council met after a gap of almost seven months.
Here are the highlights of the meeting:
* GST Council has decided to exempt import duty on Covid-19 relief items being brought from abroad till August 31, 2021.
* Import of Covid-related relief items, even if purchased or meant for donating to government or to any relief agency upon recommendation of state authority will be exempted from IGST.
* Import of medicine for black fungus, that is Amphotericin B, has also been included list of items exempted from IGST, in view of rising cases of the infection.
* Group of ministers to be formed quickly, who will submit report by June 8, 2021; to examine need for further reductions & decide on any new rates in exemptions.
* To provide relief to small taxpayers, an amnesty scheme has been recommended for reducing late fee payable by small taxpayers and medium-sized taxpayers.
* Taxpayers can now file their pending returns and avail the benefits of this amnesty scheme with reduced late fees.
* Maximum amount of late fee has been also reduced. It will come into effect from future tax periods.
* Annual return filing has also been simplified. The Council has recommended amending the CGST Act to allow for self-certification of reconciliation statements, instead of getting it certified by Chartered Accountants.
* Return filing will continue to be optional for FY 2020-21 for small taxpayers, having a turnover less than Rs 2 crore while reconciliation statements for 2020-21 will be furnished only by those taxpayers whose turnover is Rs 5 crore or more.
* Law Committee will look into issues involving quarterly return filing and quarterly payment. The Centre is yet to work out the modalities for it.
* GST Council felt that this is not the appropriate time for correction in Inversion duty, so this remains where it is: FM
* The Centre will adopt same GST compensation formula as last year. As per rough estimate, government will need to borrow Rs 1.58 lakh crore and pass it on to states.

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