The GST Council may consider a proposal to make biometric check must for all new registration. It is also likely to recommend cutting TCS (Tax Collected at Source) rate to half on e-commerce operators.

These are part of multiple items expected to be taken up during the meeting scheduled to take place on June 22. It will be chaired by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. This is first meeting after last October.

Sources said that tax evasion through fake entity and identity is big concern. Keeping this in mind, a pilot project for biometric-based Aadhaar authentication initiated in Gujarat last July. Later, it was extended to Puducherry and then to Andhra Pradesh. Initially, it was said that such an exercise would be done for applicants seeking GST registration, has opted for authentication of Aadhaar number and have been identified as high risk.

Under this, verification of the original copy of the documents uploaded with the application would be done at one of the facilitation centres. Also, the applicant would be required to give biometric for to complete Aadhaar authentication. Now, the proposal is to apply the scheme at all-India basis. As of now there are 1.46 crore registered tax payers.

Relief to e-commerce operators?

Another proposal is to lower the rate of TCS on e-commerce operators to 0.5 per cent from 1 per cent. As of now, every electronic commerce operator collects an amount calculated at a rate not exceeding 1 per cent (0.5 per cent CGST and 0.5 per cent SGST, In case of inter-State transactions, 1 per cent under IGST Act). TCS will be calculated of the net value of taxable supplies.

As per the explanation, “net value of taxable supplies” means the taxable supplies returned to suppliers are subtracted from the gross value of taxable supplies.

The council is likely to consider sunset clause for anti-profiteering cases. The sunset date could be April 1, 2025. Also, present cases may be handed over to Principal Bench GST Appellate Tribunal. It is believed that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has expressed inability to handle anti-profiteering cases. Earlier, the cases were handed over to CCI from National Anti-Profiteering Authority.

One of the key issues to be watched would be a review of 28 per cent GST on online gaming, casinos and horse racing as decided last year. It is expected some measures will be discussed to correct the allegation or retrospective taxation.  In its meeting dated July 11 last year, the Council recommended that actionable claims supplied in casino, horse racing, and online gaming are leviable to a GST rate of 28 per cent and recommended to carry out amendments in the law to remove any ambiguity. Despite protests from some States, in the subsequent meeting, it was decided to continue with an earlier recommendation.

Later, the law was amended, and then there was a spurt in the issuance of show-cause notices. Though the government said that amendments in law are clarificatory in nature and has always maintained that the 28 per cent rate is applicable from July 1, 2017, online gaming companies alleged that the amendment in law is retrospective and, accordingly, show-cause notices have been issued.