In a big relief to traders, the government has notified three important changes to GST rules, including GST return filing and exemption limit deadlines and composition scheme limit. In a notification issued Thursday, the government declared April 1’2019 as the last date for the implementation of doubling of GST exemption limit to 40 lakhs. This will benefit a large number of small and medium enterprises. April 1 ‘2019 has also been set as the last date for traders to avail higher turnover cap of Rs 1.5 crores for availing the composition scheme. As per the notification, service providers and suppliers of both goods and services with a turnover up to Rs 50 lakhs are now eligible for opting the GST composition scheme and pay a tax of 6% from the start of the next financial year (starting April 1’2019).

These decisions, which have now been made official in the notification, were taken by the GST Council on January 10. The meeting was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprised of his state counterparts. The finance ministry confirmed in a statement that these decisions would come into effect from April 1’2019. “There would be two threshold limits for exemption from registration and payment of GST for the Suppliers of Goods i.e. Rs 40 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs. States would have an option to decide about one of the limits. The Threshold for Registration for service providers would continue to be 20 lakhs and in case of Special Category States Rs 10 lakhs,” the notification said.

Under the GST Composition Scheme, small traders and businesses pay a 1% tax based on their turnover. This can now be availed by businesses with a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore from April 1. Earlier, this was available against Rs 1 crore turnover.

As per the GST rules, the filing of annual return in FORM GSTR -9 and FORM GSTR-9A is mandatory. The last date for filing the Annual Return for the Financial Year 2017-18 has now been extended to June 30, 2019. In an official release, the Ministry of Finance said, “It is being informed to the trade and industry that the form is now available on the common portal for filing and taxpayers are requested to file their returns at the earliest. Taxpayers may please exercise caution while filing this return as the facility to revise the FORM GSTR -9 and FORM GSTR-9A is not available.”

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CA. Bharat Poplani