During the 27th meeting, the GST Council approved the new return filing design as per recommendation of the Group of Ministers and has simplified the return filing process. Besides this, the Council has also approved making GST-Network a government entity by allowing takeover of 50 per cent stakes that are currently held by private entities.

Today, the GST Council held their 27th meeting and after the meeting, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the council has approved a new and simplified set of rules for filing returns, which were recommended by the Group of Ministers (GoM). The first and foremost change in the rules is that all taxpayers, except a few special cases like composition dealer will need to file monthly returns. The return filing date will be staggered as per the turnover of the taxpayer – which will distribute the workload for the IT Department. Also, composition dealers and those with no transactions are facilitated with permission to file returns quarterly.

Second, there will be unidirectional flow of invoices uploaded by the sellers and will be arranged as per time – which means, all uploaded invoices can be accessed by users. These invoices will be a valid proof to avail input tax credits from the buyer. Another visible change in the return filing process is a simplified return design, easy-to-use IT interface online and offline to upload invoices. Also, B2B taxpayers will have to upload their outward invoices and tax liable on the will be automatically calculated.  Similarly, the input tax credit will be calculated automatically by the system based on invoices uploaded by his sellers; and user will be acknowledged about this.

Looking into digitalisation factor and pushing towards a cash-free economy, the GST Council is looking into proposal of providing 2% concession on GST rates for B2C supplies, for which payment is made through cheque or digital mode. While some of these changes are welcomed, the inability of users to upload missing invoices or take provisional credit, could lead to losses for businesses where the suppliers are not traceable and tax has been paid to them – might impact the tax payments.