GST Council, the highest decision-making body of the Goods and Services Tax regime, on Friday has decided to use Aadhaar by businesses for registration under GST-Network.
The Council's meeting, chaired by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, also approved imposing a penalty of up to 10 percent of the profiteered amount on entities for not passing on benefits of GST rate cuts to consumers, as against the current norm of levying a maximum fine of Rs 25,000.
Speaking to reporters after the GST Council meeting in New Delhi, union revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that new GST returns filing system will be applicable from January 1, 2020.
In the face of difficulty faced by taxpayers as hundreds of amendments, notifications and circulars have made the act very complex, the GST Council has extended the deadline to file annual returns by two months to August 30, 2019.
Also, the date for barring non-filers of GST returns for two consecutive months from generating e-way bills for transporting goods has been extended by two months till August 21, 2019.
Pandey said the proposal to reduce GST rate on electronic vehicles to 5 percent from the current 12 percent and that on the electric charger to 12 percent from 18 percent to the fitment committee for fine-tuning.
The tenure of National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) has been extended by two years till November 30, 2021. Soon after the GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017, the government had approved setting up the NAA for two years to deal with complaints by consumers against companies for not passing on GST rate cut benefits.
The NAA came into existence on November 30, 2017, after its chairman BN Sharma assumed charge. So far, the NAA has passed 67 orders in various cases and complaints still keep coming in.
The Council also approved the rollout of an electronic invoicing system on a pilot basis from January 1, 2020, made it mandatory for GST-registered multiplexes to issue e-tickets, and also decided to seek Attorney General opinion on the issue of GST rate on lotteries.
Pandey said the Centre has shared details relating to the generation of fake invoices with the states, and the Council has given in-principle approval to launch a pilot project on e-invoices from January 1.
According to the proposal, entities with a turnover of more than Rs 50 crore will be required to generate electronic invoices on a government portal for B2B sales.
He said it would be mandatory for multi-screen cinema halls to issue e-tickets, which would ensure that the tax revenues accruing to Centre and states are deposited in the exchequer.Explaining the rationale behind seeking AG opinion on taxing lotteries, Sitharaman said the principle of taxation under GST is that it should be one rate across the country, whereas in case of lotteries there were two rates being charged. "Hence it was decided to obtain clarity on Article 340".
Currently, a state-organised lottery attracts 12 percent GST while a state-authorised lottery attracts 28 percent tax.
An eight-member group of state finance ministers could not reach a consensus on whether a uniform tax rate should be imposed on lotteries or the current differential tax rate system be continued.
(With inputs from PTI)