GST Exemptions Announced: No Tax on Hostels, Rail Platform Tickets, ESOPs, and More | India Business News – Times of India

GST Exemptions Announced: No Tax on Hostels, Rail Platform Tickets, ESOPs, and More | India Business News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: GST Council on Saturday decided to exempt all hostel fees, platform ticket, railway waiting room and golf cart charges as well as employee stock options from payment of tax, while reworking the system to register for the tax regime to check frauds by bogus entities.
While hostels run by education institutions were already exempt from GST, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said now all hostels will be exempted from the levy provided the monthly charges are under Rs 20,000 per person and the occupant stays at the facility for at least 90 days.
The move will also benefit thousands of students and working people staying in paying guest accommodations. There was relief for corporate guarantees, reinsurance, where certain clarifications have been issued, and for e-commerce players, too, as the tax collected at source on net taxable supplies will be halved to 0.5%.
There were clarifications allowing 12% tax on all types of milk cans, solar cookers and paper cartons. Further, compensation cess on supply of aerated beverages and energy drinks to authorised customers by defence canteens have also been exempted.
The all-powerful body comprising the Union and state FMs also recommended amendments to the CGST Act for not levying tax on extra neutral alcohol used for manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption.
Amnesty scheme for defaulters to make life easier for businesses: FM
There were clarifications allowing 12% tax on all types of milk cans, solar cookers and paper cartons. Further, compensation cess on supply of aerated beverages and energy drinks to authorised customers by defence canteens have also been exempted.
The all-powerful body comprising the Union and state FMs also recommended amendments to the CGST Act for not levying tax on extra neutral alcohol used for manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption. Earlier, the Centre had decided to forgo its power to levy tax on ENA.
The council also recommended a phased rollout of biometric-based Aadhaar authentication for registration of GST payers, for which pilots had been conducted in Gujarat and Puducherry. The move meant to combat fraudulent input tax credit claims made through fake invoices will require registration at GST Suvidha Kendras or facilitation centres, which, Sitharaman said, should not take more than 15 minutes or so.
She also said that several items related to review of tax rates were not taken up in Saturday’s meeting but there were a host of changes, including an amnesty scheme for defaulters, to make life easier for businesses.
A big relief will come in the form of the Centre’s decision to fix thresholds for appealing to GST Appellate Tribunal (Rs 20 lakh), high courts (Rs 1 crore) and Supreme Court (Rs 2 crore). Govt does not intend to file an appeal in case the amount involved, other than policy issues, is under the threshold, said revenue secretary Sanjay Malhotra.
Similarly, the pre-deposit amount for taxpayers to file appeals has also been cut.
Further, interest and penalty will be waived, in case a taxpayer who was served a notice under Section 73 of the CGST Act during FY18 to FY20 agreed to clear the demand by March. The section deals with cases where full tax has not been paid or was erroneously refunded or where input tax credit was wrongly availed or utilised for any reason, other than fraud. There were several other procedural relaxations that were cleared by the council.
“Dispute resolution requires a multi-faceted approach. We advocate for an amnesty scheme, a national authority for advance rulings, and full appointment of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal. Industry engagement and audit efficiency can be improved through sectoral committees and standardised compliance manuals,” said Saurabh Agarwal, tax partner at consulting firm EYIndia.





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