On the completion of four years of GST i.e. Goods and Services Tax regime, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday said that more than 66 crore GST returns have been filed so far and the low tax rate has helped in increasing its compliance. Envisioning One Nation One Tax, GST was introduced on July 1, 2017. It included 17 local levies such as excise duty, service tax and VAT and 13 cess.
The GST has completed four years today.
The Finance Ministry tweeted that GST has replaced the complex indirect tax structure with a simple, transparent and technology-driven tax regime, thus integrating India into a common market. In a series of tweets, the ministry said that GST has simplified compliance for all taxpayers and the GST Council has also recommended several business beneficial clarifications in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh are exempted from tax under GST. Additionally, people with a turnover of up to Rs 1.5 crore can opt for the composition scheme and pay only 1 per cent tax.
A service provider having a turnover of up to Rs 50 lakh in a year can opt for composition scheme for services and pay only 6 per cent tax. Under GST, the lowest rate of tax on essential goods is 5 percent and the highest is 28 percent on cars. The other slabs of tax are 12 and 18 per cent.
Filing of “Nil” GST returns through SMS facility by registered mobile number has been introduced, which is expected to help around 22 lakh NIL return filing taxpayers. This is a big step towards increasing the convenience of the taxpayers.
Addressing the difficulties faced by small taxpayers, the GST Council has simplified the annual return and filing it has been made optional for small taxpayers whose turnover is in the financial years 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020- 2 crore in 21 was up to Rs.
The GST Composition Scheme was reformed during the last years. Service providers were covered under the scheme, and the limit for manufacturers and traders increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore per annum. More than 25 lakh taxpayers benefited from these measures. A total of 131 crore e-way bills have been generated since the inception of the GST system, of which about 40% pertain to inter-state movement of goods.