Edited By: Mohammad Haris
Last Updated: December 17, 2022, 16:03 IST
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday chaired the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode in New Delhi. Among the issues to be discussed in the meeting are setting up appellate tribunals, decriminalisation of offences under the GST law, and mechanism to curb tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses.
The GST Council is also expected to discuss the Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma-headed GoM’s report on the taxation of online gaming and casinos. Currently, online gaming attracts 18 per cent GST. The tax is levied on gross gaming revenue, which is the fees charged by online gaming portals.
“Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman chairs the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode, in New Delhi, today,” the finance ministry said on Saturday.
The Council, which is headed by the Union finance minister and comprises representatives of all states and UTs, will also consider a report of tax officers and give clarity on the rate applicability in certain goods and services.
Sitharaman will hold a media briefing on the outcomes of the 48th GST Council meeting in New Delhi at around 2 pm.
With regard to decriminalisation of offences, the law committee of the GST Council, comprising tax officers from the Centre and states, has suggested to the Council to increase the monetary threshold for launching prosecution for GST offences.
The law committee has also suggested that the fee payable by taxpayer for compounding of GST offences be lowered to 25 per cent of the tax amount, from up to 150 per cent currently, with a view to improving ease of doing business.
It has suggested raising the threshold of launching prosecution to Rs 20 crore, from Rs 5 crore at present. Launching of prosecution by taxmen means commencement of legal proceedings against the offender.
The report of the GoM on tax evasion by pan masala and gutkha companies is likely to be taken up for discussion in the Council, sources said.
With regard to setting up of Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTATs), the GoM has suggested that the tribunals should consist of two judicial members, and one technical member each from the Centre and states, besides a retired Supreme Court judge as President, sources said.
The GoM on GSTATs was set up in July under the chairmanship of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala. Once set up, the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (GSTAT) will ensure that businesses can approach the Tribunal instead of the high court for many matters.
With regard to taxation of online gaming, casinos and horse racing, the GoM, in its last meeting in November, had agreed on a 28 per cent GST on these segments.
However, in absence of consensus on whether the tax should be levied on only the fees charged by the portal or the entire consideration, including the bet amount, received from participants, the GoM had decided to refer all suggestions to the GST Council for a final decision.
(With Inputs From PTI)
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