• Notification Date: 17-12-2022
  • Notification No: N/A

GST Council Meet to Decriminalise Some Offences

The GST Council is expected to decide on a number of issues like decriminalisation of offences under the GST law, setting up appellate tribunals and mechanism to curb tax evasion in pan masala and gutkha businesses in its meeting on Saturday. Apart from that, GST on online gaming and casinos can also come up for deliberations since the Group of Ministers (GoM), chaired by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, submitted its report on the matter to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday. 
Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 48th GST Council meeting through a video call from New Delhi on 18 Dec 2022. The meeting will be attended by MoS Finance along with the Finance Ministers of States & UTs & Senior officers from Union Government & States, the Finance Ministry tweeted. The Council would also consider a report submitted by the tax officers and give clarity on the rate applicability in certain goods and services. 
About decriminalisation of offences, the law committee of the GST Council has suggested to increase the monetary threshold for launching prosecution for GST offences. The law committee has also suggested that the fee that is payable by taxpayer for compounding of GST offences should be lowered to 25 percent of the tax amount, from the current rate of 150 percent. This move is expected to improve ease of doing business. 

the Council has suggested raising the threshold of launching prosecution to Rs 20 crore from the current amount of Rs 5 crore. The term “launching of prosecution by taxpayers” means commencement of legal proceedings against the offender. 
According to the sources, 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. 
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. 
The GoM on GSTATs was set up in July under the chairmanship of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala. About the taxation of online gaming, casinos and horse racing, the GoM had agreed on a 28 per cent GST on these segments in its last meeting in November. 

However, as there is no 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.