New Delhi: The GST Council at its next meet will focus on simplifying returns, incentivizing digital transactions and turning the GST Network (GSTN) into a majority-owned government entity.
The 27th meeting of the council, comprising state finance ministers, will meet through video-conferencing on May 4.
Measures to simplify returns to boost compliance have been on the cards for a long time. In March, the council had held discussions on the two models of GST returns and suggested that the group of ministers work on further simplification.
The official said an amendment to the law would also be taken up once the council clears the new return format.
One of the models presented before the council suggested provisional credit should not be granted unless the taxpayers file returns and pay the taxes. The second model stated that provisional credit can be granted to a taxpayer, but returns must be filed within three to four months.
After consulting with the stakeholders, the GoM earlier this month worked out a third model for returns under which credit could be extended once the invoice uploaded by the supplier is verified by the purchaser on the GSTN portal.
M. S. Mani, partner at Deloitte India, said, “In deciding the various return simplification models, it should be ensured that the buyer is not prevented from taking input tax credits on account of the seller’s non-payment of tax, leading to working capital blockages.”
Proposals to encourage digital transactions are likely to be placed before the GST Council, chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley.
According to the proposal being worked out by the revenue department, consumers paying through the digital mode would be offered a discount over the maximum retail price. The discount will be capped at Rs 100. Businesses, on the other hand, could get a cash-back based on the turnover through the digital mode.
Earlier this month, Jaitley had asked the revenue department to examine the possibility of converting the GSTN into a firm promoted by the government. This has been a long standing demand from several quarters who have argued that sensitive data, which the GSTN is handling, should be under government control for safety reasons.