GST council meet
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs the 50th meeting of the GST Council in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on Tuesday | Pc: Twitter/Ministry of Finance

50th GST Council meet begins; online gaming, movie tickets on agenda

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The 50th GST Council meeting opened in New Delhi on Tuesday and it is likely to discuss a host of issues including taxation of online gaming, definition of utility vehicles and tightening of norms for registration and claiming of ITC (input tax credit).

The GST Council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprises ministers from every state and Union Territory.

The Council is also likely to clarify on GST rates applicable on food and beverages sold in multiplexes and exempt GST on import of cancer drug Dinutuximab and Food for Special Medical Purposes (FSMP) used in the treatment of rare diseases.

It is also expected to finalise contours for setting up an appellate tribunal, and industry’s demand for reimbursement of full Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and 50 per cent Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) in 11 hill states for budgetary support.

Also, mandatory physical verification of the business premises of “high risk” applicants before granting of GST registration as well as reduced time for submitting PAN-linked bank account details to GST authorities is expected to be deliberated.

Also read: Traders’ body CAIT seeks task force to simplify, rationalise GST system

Input Tax Credit

A new rule in GST law under which businesses would be required to explain the reasons for excess input tax credit (ITC) claimed or deposit the amount with the exchequer is slated to be discussed.

The Law Committee, comprising tax officers from Centre and states, have opined that where the ITC availed in GSTR-3B return exceeds the amount of ITC available in accordance with the auto-generated statement GSTR-2B by a specified threshold, the registered person may be intimated on the portal about such difference and be directed to either explain the difference or pay the excess ITC along with interest.

The committee has suggested that the provision should kick-in, if the difference is more than 20 per cent and more than Rs 25 lakh.

The GST Council is likely to take a final call on the recommendation of the committee in its 50th meeting.

The report of the panel of eight state finance ministers, convened by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, on taxation of online gaming, horse racing and casinos will also be discussed.

Also read: GST collections up 12 per cent, touch Rs 1.61 lakh crore in June

Online games

The GoM (group of ministers) had a broad agreement that a 28 per cent GST should be levied on all the three supplies, but a consensus eluded on taxability of online games, with Goa suggesting that an 18 per cent tax should be levied only on platform fees and contribution to prize pool should be tax exempt.

A clarity on taxation of Multi Utility Vehicles (MUV) or multipurpose vehicles or Crossover Utility Vehicles (XUVs) for levy of a 22 per cent compensation cess over and above the 28 per cent GST rate is also expected.

The fitment committee, comprising Centre and state tax officers, has recommended that all utility vehicles, by whatever name called, would attract a 22 per cent cess provided they meet three parameters — length greater than 4-metre, engine capacity greater than 1,500 cc and ground clearance in un-laden condition of more than 170 mm.

The fitment committee has also suggested to the GST Council to clarify that food and beverages served in cinema halls be taxed at 5 per cent and not 18 per cent as was being done in some multiplexes.

However, if the sale of cinema ticket and supply of eatables such as popcorn or cold drinks are clubbed and sold together, the entire supply should be treated as composite supply and taxed as per the applicable rate of the principal supply, which in this case is cinema ticket.

Also read: GSTN under PMLA: Promising but perilous path in battle against money laundering

Movie tickets

Currently, movie tickets below Rs 100 are taxed at 12 per cent while those above the threshold attract an 18 per cent GST.

Import of cancer medicine Dinutuximab (Qarziba) by individuals for personal use attracts a 12 per cent IGST. The fitment committee said the medicine, which costs Rs 36 lakh, should be exempted from GST as patients usually raise money through crowdfunding.

Among other things, the Council is likely to decide on TCS liability of suppliers engaged in e-commerce trading through the governments Open Network for Digital Commerce.

Also, satellite launch services by private players are likely to be exempt from GST.

At the start of the meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released a short film titled GST Council — 50 steps Towards a Journey. “The 50th meeting is a milestone which indicates success of cooperative federalism and establishment of a good and simple tax regime,” a tweet said.

(With agency inputs)

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