Amidst the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Goods and Services Tax Council held its 43rd council meeting in New Delhi on May 28th, 2021. They discussed various concerns, including new Covid-19 relief measures, changes in tax rates, simplification of annual returns, etc. Here are the highlights of the 43rd GST council meeting.
COVID-19 relief measures
Covid-19 relief measures for certain goods and services as well as for taxpayers were approved.
Goods and Services
Purchase of specific items like medical oxygen, oxygen concentrators, other oxygen storage or oxygen transport equipment, diagnostic test kits, and Covid-19 vaccines has been recommended for a total exemption from Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST). However, these exemptions are applicable only if the goods are imported with the intent to donate to the Government or are purchased on the recommendation of State Authorities for donating to a relief agency. Additionally, this exemption is only valid for three months until the end of August 2021.
t present, IGST and Basic Custom Duty exemption were applicable only when certain COVID-19 relief goods were imported to distribute but were free of cost. This exemption is now applicable till the end of August 2021.
Keeping in line with the current COVID-19 relief measures implemented earlier in May, the GST council has recommended the following relief measures for taxpayers.
For taxpayers with an annual turnover of up to ₹5 crores.
The interest rate on late furnishing of GSTR3B or late filing of PMT06 challan for the tax periods of March and April 2021 are reduced to NIL for the first 15 days. Additionally, the interest rate was brought down from 18% to 9% for 45 and 30 days thereafter. The late fee for furnishing GSTR3B for the tax periods of March and April 2021 is waived off for 60 and 45 days from the due date of furnishing the tax return form.