Just two weeks before the Budget, GST Council is expected to consider a reduction in tax rates for some items, about 80 going by some reports, and the inclusion of real estate in its 24th meeting tomorrow.
The meeting comes amid continuous dip in GST revenue collection in the last two months. The collection registered a sharp dip to Rs 80,808 crore in November, from Rs 94,063 crore in the launch month in July last year.
Change in tax rates
As Budget can no more tinker with indirect taxes due to implementation of GST, the Council is expected to announce tax concessions and reduction of tax rates on common man items and services, including household goods, agriculture products, housing sector inputs such as cement and steel.
Real estate in GST:
The Council is likely to discuss inclusion of real estate under GST and announce the rollout date for the same. According to some reports, Council may set a 12 per cent rate for the real estate sector and may also decide to subsume stamp duty and registration charges in GST. The likely date for inclusion of real estate under GST could be the start of new financial year, April 1.
“Discussion of real estate inclusion in GST is the key agenda of the GST Council which is scheduled to meet on January 18th,” a senior government official told ANI.
Single GST return form
It may also announce simplification of return filing process. The three return forms — GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 — may be clubbed into a single form for easier return filing.
This would drastically reduce the compliance burden on the tax payers as they will have to file 12 returns a year instead of 37 returns currently.
Since GST rollout in July, government has extended return filing dates many times.
Rollout of e-way bills
At the last GST council meeting in December, roll out of e-way bill was decided for February 1. So the council may iron out issues in e-way bill mechanism for smooth implementation of e-way bills from next month.