31st GST Council Meeting – Key Updates & Rate Revision
24 December 2018

The Key Updates of the 31st GST council meeting held on 22nd December 2018 at New Delhi are as listed below in this article. The important decisions pertains to the GST Rate cut and simplification of Return & Refund process.

Extension of various GSTReturn Due Dates Recommendation

  • GST annual return is required to be submitted in form GSTR-9 and the due date for filing GST annual return is 31st December of each year for the previous financial year ended on 31st March. The due date for GST annual return filing in Form GSTR-9, GSTR-9A and Audit Report in form GSTR-9C is to be extended for F.Y. 2017-18 to 30th June 2019. The due date, originally extended upto 31st March 2019, has been now further extended to 30th June 2019 by the GST Council in this meeting.
  • The council has decided that GSTR-8 to be filed by e-commerce operators for the period 1st October 2018 to 31st December 2018 will be extended to 31st January 2019.
  • Filing of ITC-04 for the months October 2018 to December 2018 to be extended to 31st March 2019.

Simplified GST Return Formats

  • For easy compliance, the GST portal will autopopulate all invoices pertaining to previous FY in Table 8A of FORM GSTR-9. 
  • HSN code may be declared only for those inward supplies whose value independently accounts for 10% or more of the total value of inward supplies. 
  • The Government had proposed a new simpler type of GST return. New return filing system to be started on a trial basis from April 1, 2019, and will be to be implemented by July 1, 2019 
  • Verification by a taxpayer who is uploading the reconciliation statement would also be included in FORM GSTR-9C.

Return filing compliance linked with E-Way Bill Generation

Taxpayers cannot generate e-way bill if they do not file GST returns for two consecutive tax periods.

Input Tax Credit availability time extended for F.Y. 2017-18

ITC in relation to invoices issued by the supplier during FY 2017-18 may be availed by therecipient till the due date for furnishing of FORM GSTR-3B for the month of March, 2019, subject to specified conditions.

Expedite GST Refund

  • Refund for excess payment of tax, if any, can be obtained through Form GST RFD-01.All the supporting documents/invoices in relation to a claim for refund in FORM GST RFD-01A can be uploaded electronically on the common portal at the time of filing of the refund application itself. Hence, there will be no requirement for the taxpayer to visit a tax office for submission of a refund application. 
  • Clarification will be shortly provided on certain refund related matters like refund of ITC accumulated on account of inverted duty structure, time allowed for availability of ITC on invoices, disbursal of refunds within the stipulated time ,refund of accumulated ITC of compensation cess.

GST Rate Changes

There is a rate cut in nearly 23 commonly used goods like, Television and Movie Tickets. After this changes, only 28 items will be left in the Highest Tax Slab of 28%.

GST Rate changes (to be effective after CBIC Notification is issued) can be understood as follows: