With the government aiming for easing compliance burden for small businesses and taxpayers under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, it has undertaken several rounds of rate reductions and relaxations, especially after one year of completion of the rollout of the indirect tax regime. The measures, however, come amid concerns of declining revenues, which has also been highlighted by several state finance ministers.
Here’s a look at the timeline of relief measures taken under GST in last one year
January 18, 2018: Rate cuts on items such as used medium and large cars, diamonds and precious stones, biodiesel buses for use in public transport and packaged water in 20 litre bottles along with rationalisation for 54 categories of services. Estimated revenue loss of Rs 1000-1200 crore per year.
March 10, 2018: Nod for e-way bill system for inter-state movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 from April 1 and staggered implementation at the intra-state level. Extension of tax exemptions for exporters till October 1 and reverse charge mechanism deferred till June 30.
May 4, 2018: Simplified returns filing system approved that would take a year to come through. Proposals for sugar cess and incentives for digital transactions referred to ministerial panels. Nod to convert GSTN into government entity.
July 1, 2018: One year of rollout of GST
July 21, 2018: Rate cuts/clarifications for about 88 consumer centric items like perfumes, cosmetics, refrigerators, washing machines, small screen televisions and exemption for marble/stone idols, rakhis, sal leaves and sanitary napkins. Nod to quarterly return filing and monthly tax payments for businesses with annual turnover threshold of upto Rs 5 crore versus Rs 1.5 crore earlier. Estimated annual revenue loss of Rs 12,000 crore.
August 4, 2018: Ministerial panel headed by MoS Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla formed to look into issues of MSMEs along with nod for pilot digital incentives as cashback of 20 per cent of GST paid on B2C transactions using RuPay and BHIM platforms subject to a cap of Rs 100.
September 28, 2018: GoM headed by Bihar’s Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi formed to examine the modalities for revenue mobilisation in case of natural calamities and disasters such as the recent floods in the state of Kerala.
December 8, 2018: Last date for filing annual GST returns extended by three months to March 31, 2019.
December 22, 2018: Rate cut on 23 goods and services including TV up to 32 inches, movie tickets, digital cameras, video games consoles. Estimated revenue loss Rs 5,500 crore a year. With this round of rate cut, 97.7 per cent of total 1,211 items under GST fell in tax slabs of 18 per cent and below. GST Council decides not to cut rate on cement and auto parts citing revenue concerns.
January 10, 2019: Nod for doubling the exemption threshold to Rs 40 lakh along with raising the turnover limit for composition scheme to Rs 1.5 crore from Rs 1 crore with effect from April 1. Estimated revenue loss by hike in exemption threshold to Rs 40 lakh Rs 5,200 crore, assuming 50 per cent of the taxpayers will go out of GST.
Also on January 10, 2019: The GST Council allowed composition scheme registrants to pay taxes quarterly and file a single annual return, along with extending the scheme to service providers and suppliers of goods and services up to a turnover of Rs 50 lakh with tax rate of 6 per cent. Kerala allowed to levy disaster cess of up to 1 per cent for a maximum of two years.