An agenda item for the GST Council meeting is the decriminalization of offences, the curbing of tax evasion in pan masala, and gutkha businesses

The GST Council meeting, which began on Saturday morning, is scheduled to discuss the decriminalization of GST law offences, setting up appellate tribunals, and curbing tax evasion by pan masala and gutkha businesses.

The GST on online gaming and casinos may also be discussed at the Council’s meeting. On Thursday, the Group of Ministers (GoM), which was established by the Chief Minister of Meghalaya last year to address the issue, submitted its report to the Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman.

In addition, the Council will consider a report prepared by the tax officers and provide clarity on the rates applicable to certain goods and services.

It is my pleasure to introduce Union Finance Minister Smt. According to the finance ministry, @nsitharaman chairs the 48th meeting of the GST Council via virtual mode in New Delhi today.

Considering the decriminalization of GST offences, the GST Council’s law committee, comprising tax officers from the Center and states, has recommended increasing the monetary threshold for prosecution.

In an effort to improve ease of doing business, the law committee has also proposed reducing the fee payable by taxpayers for compounding GST offences from 150 percent to 25 percent.

There has been a proposal to raise the threshold for launching prosecution from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore. When taxmen commence prosecution against an offender, legal proceedings are initiated.

Sources indicate that the GoM report on Pan masala and Gutkha companies tax evasion is likely to be discussed in the Council.

The GoM has suggested that the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTATs) comprise two judicial members, one technical member from each state and the Centre, in addition to a retired Supreme Court judge serving as President.

GSTATs GoM was formed in July under the chairmanship of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.
A 28 percent GST was agreed on by the GoM in its last meeting in November regarding online gaming, casinos, and horse racing.

However, since there was no consensus as to whether the GST should be imposed only on fees charged by the portal or on the entire consideration, including bet amounts, received from participants, the GoM referred all suggestions to the GST Council.

There is currently an 18 percent GST applied to online gaming. In this case, the tax is assessed on gross gaming revenue, which refers to the fees charged by online gaming portals.

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