32nd GST council meet: GST registration exemption threshold increased to Rs. 40 lakhs for small traders

The 32nd Goods and Services Tax (GST) council meet held on 10th January 2019 approved some major changes in the GST law to give relief to the small traders (MSME) and service providers. The GST council meet was chaired by the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley. The changes made by the GST council will become effective from 1st April 2019.

In the previous GST council meet, rates of 17 goods and 6 services were reduced. By doing this, the council has restricted the 28% GST rate to only 27 items which mainly consists of demerit goods such as tobacco products, luxury goods such as cars and automobile parts etc.

Continuing the theme from the previous meets, the council has provided major relief to the small traders and service providers. Given below are the changes approved in the GST council meet.

Increase in exemption threshold limit for registration and payment of GST:

The council has increased the annual turnover threshold limit for giving the exemption from registration and payment of GST has been raised to Rs. 40 lakhs. However, such increase in threshold limit is only for the supplier of goods and not for service providers. Further, the existing threshold limit of Rs. 20 lakhs is still present and the states have an option to opt from the two threshold limits i.e. whether to keep the existing threshold of Rs. 20 lakhs or to raise the limit to Rs. 40 lakhs.

Please note that the threshold for registration and payment of GST for service providers continues to be Rs. 20 lakhs.

Increase in turnover limit for composition levy scheme for supplier of goods:

The annual turnover limit for opting for the composition levy scheme by supplier of goods has been increased to Rs. 1.5 crore. The composition scheme is a simplified way of payment of GST. Click here to read more about the composition scheme under the GST regime.

Further, the compliance procedure under the composition scheme has also been simplified. Previously, under the composition scheme, a quarterly return had to be filed along with the payment of taxes. Now, only 1 annual return has to be filed under the composition scheme. However, the taxes are still to be paid quarterly to the government.

Introduction of composition scheme for service providers:

The council has introduced the option of payment of taxes under the composition scheme to the service providers as well. The annual turnover limit for opting for the composition scheme by service providers has been set to Rs. 50 lakhs i.e. a service provider having a turnover less than Rs. 50 lakhs can opt for the composition scheme. The tax rate for service providers under the composition scheme has been set to 6% (3% CGST and 3% SGST).

Further, the service provider will be liable to pay taxes quarterly and file one annual return as well.

These were the broad changes approved at the 32nd GST council meet. The official press release for the 32nd GST council meet is attached here.

Udit Goswami

A finance enthusiast, Udit Goswami is a Chartered Accountant and an undergraduate from University of Delhi having worked in the field of Mergers & Acquisitions (Tax) for over 3 years.

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