GST Council meet: Inclusion of real estate, cut in tax rates may bring cheer before Budget


sqrrl-GST council meet blog header

Cool title, but what’s the news?

The Government could surprise you just two weeks before the budget! Why? The GST council is expected to contemplate a decrement in tax rates of some items. According to some reports, there are approximately 80 items. Also, the inclusion of real estate could be discussed in its 24th meeting today. The meeting comes in the middle of continuous dip in GST revenue collection in the previous two months. Hence, there are great expectations from the meeting.


? Okay, so what does it mean? 

Going by the statistics, the revenue collection registered a sharp dip to Rs 80,808 crore in November, from Rs 94,063 crore in July last year. As we know, budget can no longer fiddle with indirect taxes because of the implementation of GST. Hence, the Council is anticipated to declare tax concessions and reduction of tax rates. This would imply on common man items and services, including household goods, agriculture products, housing sector inputs such as cement and steel. Moreover, the Council will probably discuss inclusion of real estate under GST and publicize the rollout date for the same. It may also announce simplification of return filing process.


? I get it, now tell me why should I care?

The bigger picture:

Addition of real estate under GST is much awaited by the public. “According to some reports, Council may set a 12 percent rate for the real estate sector and may also decide to subsume stamp duty and registration charges in GST.” These are assumptions, the confirmation is yet to come from the Government. The likely date for inclusion of real estate under GST could possibly be the start of new financial year, 1st April, 2018. As said by a senior government official, discussion of real estate inclusion in GST is the key agenda of the GST Council. The GST council will most probably meet on January 18th. Also, a single GST form could be announced. The three return forms — GSTR1, GSTR2 and GSTR3 — may be combined into a single form for easier return filing. This could bring a huge relief to the people, as it would make their work way simpler.

For you personally:

The meeting could bring a lot of relaxation for all of us. Combining the forms would drastically reduce the compliance burden on the tax payers. 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. Also, the rollout of e-way bills is also being looked forward to. In the previous GST council meeting in December, roll out of e-way bill was decided for February 1. So the council may get rid of problems in e-way bill mechanism for smooth implementation of e-way bills from next month.
In a nutshell, this New Year, the Government could surprise us by lessening our issues and easing out the problems. Let’s see if it meets our expectations!

Source: Economic Times


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Written by

Vedant Kaushik