• The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council took a slew of decisions aimed at reducing the tax and compliance burden on small and medium enterprises, including increasing the threshold limit below which companies are exempt from GST, extending the composition scheme to small service providers, and allowing small companies to file annual returns.
  • The limit for eligibility for the composition scheme would be raised to an annual turnover of ₹1.5 crore from April 1, 2019.
  • Companies opting for the scheme would be allowed to file annual returns and pay taxes quarterly from April 1 onwards.
  • The scheme now allows companies with an annual turnover of up to ₹1 crore to opt for it, and file returns on a quarterly basis at a nominal rate of 1%.
  • So far, only manufacturers and traders were eligible for this scheme.
  • It was decided to extend the scheme to small service providers with an annual turnover of up to ₹50 lakh, at a tax rate of 6%.
  • The GST Council also decided to allow Kerala to levy a cess of up to 1% for up to two years on intra-State supplies to help finance the disaster relief efforts following the recent floods.