GST Council recommends to decriminalise certain offences, increase in threshold of tax amount for prosecution

The GST Council on Saturday recommended decriminalising certain offences and doubled the threshold for launching prosecution from Rs one crore to Rs two crore, except for the offence of issuance of invoices without supply of goods or services or both.

Moreover, it also recommended reducing the compounding amount from the present range of 50 per cent to 150 per cent of tax amount to the range of 25 per cent to 100 per cent.

Measures for facilitation of trade also included recommendation on decriminalising certain offences including obstruction or preventing any officer in discharge of his duties; deliberate tempering of material evidence and failure to supply the information.

Speaking on the deliberations at the Council’s meeting, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that no new taxes have been brought.

The 48th GST Council met under the Chairmanship of Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman via virtual mode in New Delhi on Saturday. The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary besides Finance Ministers of States & UTs (with legislature) and senior officers of the Ministry of Finance and states/ UTs.

“Union Finance Minister Smt. @nsitharaman chairs the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode, in New Delhi, today, the finance ministry tweeted.

Moreover, the Council has clarified on what constitutes an SUV and the tax applicable for such categories of automobiles. The council clarified that vehicle SUVs with an engine capacity exceeding 1,500 cc and length exceeding 4,000 mm with a ground clearance of 170 mm or above will attract a 22 per cent compensation cess.

Revenue Secretary Sanjay Malhotra said GST on online gaming and casinos was not discussed as the report of a Group of Ministers (GoM) on the issue submitted its report only a couple of days back.

It was also clarified that goods falling in the lower rate category of 5 per cent under schedule I of notification No. 1/2017-CTR imported for petroleum operations will attract a lower rate of 5 per cent and the rate of 12 per cent shall be applicable only if the general rate is more than 12 per cent.

As a relief measure, the Council decided to regularise the intervening period starting from the date of issuance of Circular (3.08.2022) in respect of GST on ‘husk of pulses including chilka and concentrates including chuni/churi, khanda’ on “as is basis” on account of genuine doubts.

It also said that no GST is payable where the residential dwelling is rented to a registered person if it is rented it in his/her personal capacity for use as his/her own residence and on his own account and not on account of his business.

The GST Council could not discuss the taxation on tobacco and gutkha due to paucity of time on Saturday. No decision has been taken on the next meeting of the GST Council, said officials.

20221217-162601

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