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GST Council Meet: Tax rates changed for goods & services – Check what gets cheaper and costlier

Photo Credit: ANI

The GST Council announced several key recommendations on taxation, ITC claims, and demand notices during its recent session.

Among the decisions, a uniform GST rate of 12% was proposed for all types of milk cans, regardless of their material composition (steel, iron, aluminum), to avoid disputes over their classification. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman elaborated, “The Council has recommended a flat 12% rate for milk cans, irrespective of their intended use, to ensure clarity and uniformity.”

In other updates, services such as platform tickets provided by Indian Railways are now exempt from GST. Carton boxes and solar cookers will attract a 12% GST rate, as will all types of sprinklers, including fire sprinklers.

Additionally, hostels situated outside educational institutions will now be exempt from GST, provided they charge a monthly rent of up to Rs 20,000 per person and the stay is for a minimum of 90 days.

Further measures include an extension of the GSTR4 filing deadline to June 30 starting from the financial year 2024-25. The Council also introduced functionality in GSTR1A to rectify any omissions in GSTR1.

Regarding demand notices issued for the financial years 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20, interest and penalties will be waived if the taxes are paid by March 31, 2025. This move aims to reduce litigation, with specific limits set for filing appeals: Rs 20 lakh for appellate tribunals, Rs 1 crore for High Courts, and Rs 2 crore for the Supreme Court.

Abhishek Jain, indirect tax head & partner at KPMG, commented positively on the announcement, noting that the waiver of interest and penalties for tax demands under Section 73 would significantly reduce unnecessary litigation under GST. He emphasized its potential impact on cases linked to interpretative issues arising from the implementation of GST.

Overall, these recommendations reflect the Council’s efforts to streamline GST procedures and alleviate compliance burdens for businesses and taxpayers alike.

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