The Goods and Services Tax (GST) went into effect July 2017, and if you run a business, it’s critical to stay on top of what’s happening with this tax. As of March 2018, the GST council has meet 26 times, and during each of those meetings, they have refined the rules and regulations. Here’s a look at some of the latest updates.
No Single Rate
As of Jan. 2, 2018, the government ruled out a single-rate GST. Many items previously in the 28% bracket have been moved to the 18% bracket, and other items fall into 0, 5, or 12% categories. For instance, essential items such as food products face much lower tax rates than luxury items, but at the time of writing, the council is still delaying making a list of exempt items.
Delays on Simplified Returns
To make it easier for businesses to comply with the new GST filing requirements, the government is creating a simplified GST return. Although the council was hoping to have the single-page, evasion-proof simplified return ready by the beginning of 2018, it’s been delayed until June. Until that time, business owners should continue filing Form GSTR 3B (summary returns) and Form GSTR 1 as usual.
E-Way Bill Rolling Out Soon
One of the main purposes of the new GST bill was to bring together the Indian market and eliminate time-consuming checkpoints, and the e-way bill helps to make that possible. Required for all shipments of goods worth over ₹50,000, the bill is an electronically generated document that lists the goods, the supplier, the recipient, and the transporter. For moving goods inter-state, the e-way bill is being implemented April 1, 2018. But, for intra-state movement, the change is rolling out incrementally between April 15, 2018 and June 1, 2018.
In addition to these essentials, the council also extended tax exemptions for exporters and deferred reverse charge mechanisms. The council is also actively working on addressing taxpayer complaints due to issues with the GST portal. With any change this large, a few hiccups are unavoidable. To stay abreast of the latest updates, watch for the 27th council meeting, due to happen mid-2018.