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GST Council meet today for first-time post lockdown. Top 5 agendas on the table

The 40th GST council meeting will be held on Friday under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Members of the GST Council will discuss the issues over videoconferencing for the first time post the Covid-19 lockdown.

These are issues GST Council may discuss today: 1) A downward revision of late fee for not filed old returns would be considered in the meeting. At present, the fine is ₹50 per day subject to ₹10,000 if an entity does not file the GST return for six months. There is huge pressure on the traders due to the penalty for not filing of GST returns. 2) GST Council is expected to consider revising late filing fee for returns from July 2017 to January 2020. Some other compliance-related relief measures are also expected to be taken up in the meeting. The government has already waived late fee for filing GSTR-3B returns from February 2020 to May 2020. 3) The impact of Covid-19 on states may also come up during the discussions in the meeting as states are facing a paucity of funds. 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. 4) The GST Council is not likely to discuss the rate tweaks, 1) Increase in the tax rate can hamper the economic recovery. 2) Decrease in the tax rate can be a deterrent to much needed fund in the govts' coffers. 5) The meeting would discuss the impact of the pandemic on revenues of the Centre and states and ways to breach the revenue gap. 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.

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