The GST Council, in its 22nd meeting held at New Delhi on 6th October 2017, has recommended the following facilitative changes to ease the burden of compliance on small and medium businesses.
General Relief Measures for Small and Medium Enterprises
To facilitate the ease of payment and return filing for small and medium businesses with annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crores, it has been decided that such taxpayers shall be required to file quarterly returns in FORM GSTR-1,2 & 3 and pay taxes only on a quarterly basis, starting from the Third Quarter of this Financial Year i.e. October-December, 2017. The registered buyers from such small taxpayers would be eligible to avail ITC on a monthly basis. The due dates for filing the quarterly returns for such taxpayers shall be announced in due course. Meanwhile, all taxpayers will be required to file FORM GSTR-3B on a monthly basis till December, 2017. All taxpayers are also required to file FORM GSTR-1, 2 & 3 for the months of July, August and September, 2017. Due dates for filing the returns for the month of July, 2017 have already been announced. The due dates for the months of August and September, 2017 will be announced in due course.
It will be reviewed by a committee of experts. This will benefit small businesses and substantially reduce compliance costs.
Relaxation from Registration for inter-state supplies:
Anyone making inter-state taxable supplies, except inter-State job worker, is compulsorily required to register, irrespective of turnover. It has now been decided to exempt those service providers whose annual aggregate turnover is less than Rs. 20 lacs (Rs. 10 lacs in special category states except J & K) from obtaining registration even if they are making inter-State taxable supplies of services. This measure is expected to significantly reduce the compliance cost of small service providers.
The requirement to pay GST on advances received was proving to be burdensome for small dealers and manufacturers. In order to mitigate their inconvenience on this account, it has been decided that taxpayers having annual aggregate turnover up to Rs. 1.5 crores shall not be required to pay GST at the time of receipt of advances on account of supply of goods. The GST on such supplies shall be payable only when the supply of goods is made.
It has come to light that Goods Transport Agencies (GTAs) are not willing to provide services to unregistered persons. In order to remove the hardship being faced by small unregistered businesses on this account, the services provided by a GTA to an unregistered person shall be exempted from GST.
Relief Package for Exporters
The GST Council has also approved a major relief package with immediate effect for exporters keeping in mind the difficulties faced by exporters post-GST impacting their competitiveness.
For the sake of your convenience, the export related measures are highlighted/ reproduced as follows :
By 10.10.2017, the held-up refund of IGST paid on goods exported outside India in July would begin to be paid. The August backlog would get cleared from 18.10.2017 and refunds for subsequent months would be handled expeditiously. Other refunds of IGST paid on supplies to SEZs and of inputs taxes on exports under Bond/LUT, shall be processed from 18.10.2017 onwards. For this, the Government has agreed to suitably empower Central and State GST officers so that exporters get refunds from one authority only. Related matters of settlement of funds are being resolved.
Exemption from IGST on supplies/ Imports against Advance Authorization (AA) / Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) / 100% EOU schemes to sourcing inputs etc.
To prevent cash blockages of exporters due to upfront payment of GST on inputs etc. the Council approved two proposals, one for immediate relief and the other for providing long term support to exporters. Immediate relief is being given by extending the Advance Authorization (AA) / Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) / 100% EOU schemes to sourcing inputs etc. from abroad as well as domestic suppliers. Holders of AA / EPCG and EOUs would not have to pay IGST, Cess etc. on imports. Also, domestic supplies to holders of AA / EPCG and EOUs would be treated as deemed exports under Section 147 of CGST/SGST Act and refund of tax paid on such supplies given to the supplier
Will now have to pay nominal GST of 0.1% for procuring goods from domestic suppliers for export. The details would be released soon.
The permanent solution to cash blockage is that of "e-Wallet" which would be credited with a notional amount as if it is an advance refund. This credit would be used to pay IGST, GST etc. The details of this facility would be worked out soon. The Council desired that the “e-Wallet” solution should be made operational w.e.f. 1st April 2018.
Exemption from Bond / BG:
This facility has already been extended few days back and now exporters have been exempted from furnishing Bond and Bank Guarantee when they clear goods for export, except those who have been prosecuted for any offence under the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 or the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 or any of the existing laws in force in a case where the amount of tax evaded exceeds two hundred and fifty lakh rupees.
To restore the lost incentive on sale of duty credit scrips, the GST on sale-purchase of these scrips is being reduced from 5% to 0%.
The government is confident that these measures would provide immediate relief to the export sector and enhance export competitiveness of India.
Members are requested to take of all above and benefit from same. Original texts of all relevant press releases/ press notes are available on below links: