India Loosens Tax Rules for Small Businesses, Exporters

Modi said that GSTN has accepted initial returns for August in GSTR-3B without any major glitch being reported and so far over 4.35 million businesses have filed it for August.

The Council chose to clear all tax refund claims of exporters for July by 10 October and for August by 18 October.

"We will strive to start the e-wallet facility as soon as possible, by April 1, 2018 definitely", he said.

The scheme allows small businesses, including eateries, to pay 1-5 percent tax without having to deal with the three- stage filing process. It will be initiated on 1 April 2018.

Exporters are likely to get some relief after the all powerful Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meet on Friday which has been called after widespread criticism and complaints from businessmen about implementing the massive tax reform.

Eating out is set to become cheaper with the GST Council agreeing to reduce the GST rate from the current 18 percent to 12 percent.

The GST rate on some stationery items, diesel engine parts has also been reduced to 18 per cent from the earlier 28 per cent. Service providers can not however opt for the composition scheme. GST rate on some handicrafts may also be cut to 5 per cent from 12 per cent, the report said.

Food packets given to school kids under Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) will attract 5 per cent tax instead of 12 per cent.

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- GST on sliced dried mangoes reduced from 12 per cent to 5 per cent.

Man-made yarn to be now taxed at 12%, it was earlier at 18%.

The council may also consider reducing the burden on cars that were leased before July 1 and where the tax rate has risen to up to 50 per cent.

Director-general Datuk Seri T. Subromaniam said the latest amendments to the GST Act had been submitted to the Finance Ministry and are expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat later this month.

Under this, registered taxpayers had to pay tax on purchasing goods from non-registered suppliers. Ajay Sahai, head of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation, told the news agency that he expected the government to allow its 25,000 small and medium-sized members to file tax returns quarterly.

Printing job work will now be taxed at 5%.

For manufacturers and restaurants, Jaitley said traders would pay 1 per cent, 2 per cent and 5 per cent respectively under the composition scheme.

The restaurants - which are of less than Rs. 1 crore turnover and which are bigger than that, that are air conditioned, they take 18 per cent tax; they claim the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), but have they decreased their claim with the ITC.

  • Sonia Alvarado