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FM Says No Late Fees on Registered Entities with Nil GST Return Filing between July 2017 & Jan 2020

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Image: Twitter/Ministry of Finance)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Image: Twitter/Ministry of Finance)

The council was also expected to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on tax revenues and decided on the framework for compensation payout to states, according to sources.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday said no late fees will be levied on registered entities with nil GST return filing between July 2017 and January 2020.

The decision was announced after a meeting of the GST Council.

The council was also expected to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on tax revenues and decided on the framework for compensation payout to states, according to sources.

The 40th meeting of the GST Council, headed by Sitharaman and comprising state counterparts, was held via video conferencing.

Although there would not be any change in tax rates, but the council will likely decide on ways to garner funds to compensate states for the revenue loss due to Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation.

The meeting would discuss the impact of the pandemic on revenues of the Centre and states and ways to breach the revenue gap, sources said.

Faced with dismal collection and extended deadline for filing returns, the government has refrained from releasing the monthly GST revenue collection figures for the months of April and May.

In the previous council meeting on March 14, 2020, Sitharaman had said that the Centre will look into the legality of GST Council borrowing from market to meet the compensation requirements. With states raising the issue of shortfall in compensation kitty, there were discussions on resorting to market borrowing to meet the revenue guarantee to states.

Under GST law, states were guaranteed to be paid for any loss of revenue in the first five years of the GST implementation from July 1, 2017. The shortfall is calculated assuming a 14 per cent annual growth in GST collections by states over the base year of 2015-16.

Under the GST structure, taxes are levied under 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent slabs. On top of the highest tax slab, a cess is levied on luxury, sin and demerit goods and the proceeds from the same are used to compensate states for any revenue loss.

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