Still Confused about GST? Know everything in the simplest way.
THE CENTRAL GST (GOODS AND SERVICES TAX), 2017
In this article, we are going to deal and discuss each and every aspect of the newly introduced and well-debated GST (Goods and Services Tax). As many commerce students are worried over the confusions associated with the topic, we feel that it is the need of the hour.
Till now, the structure of indirect taxes has been very complex in India. There are so many types of taxes that are levied by the central and state governments on goods and services.
We have to pay ‘entertainment tax’ for watching a movie. We have to pay value added tax (VAT) on purchasing goods and services. And there are excise duties, import duties, luxury tax, central sales tax, service tax etc.
As of today some of these taxes are levied by the central government and some by the state governments. The master concept of GST is brought to introduce a unified tax system instead of all these taxes.
What is GST?
It has been a pending issue since long to streamline all the different types of indirect taxes and implement a ‘single taxation’ system. This system is called GST.
The main expectation from this system is to abolish all indirect taxes and only GST to be levied. As the name suggests, GST will be levied on both – goods and services. GST is a tax that we need to pay for the supply of goods and services. Any person, who is supplying goods and/or service(s), is liable to charge GST. This unified tax is governed by GST Council and presently its chairman is the Union finance minister of India – Arun Jaitley.
TEN FACTS ABOUT GST (IMPORTANT FOR ALL COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION)
- It extends to the whole of India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Telangana becomes 1st state and Bihar becomes 2nd state to pass GST bill.
- Petroleum & Liquor products are exempted from GST.
- Maximum rate prescribed under IGST is 40%.
- Customs duty and IGST under Section 3 of Customs Tariff Act, 1975 will be leviable on imports.
- Threshold Limit of turnover for opting composition scheme under GST- Not exceeding Rs 50 lacs
- Rate applicable for a composition dealer, being a manufacturer- Not exceeding 2.5%
- Rate applicable for a composition dealer, being a person other than a manufacturer?- Not exceeding 1%
- Cut off turnover limit for compulsory registration under GST? – Exceeds Rs 20 lacs (10 lacs for North Eastern & Hill states)
- There will be no expiration (Valid till it is cancelled) of the registration certificate.
- Within 60 days from the date liable for registration, A person should apply for registration
ADVANTAGES OF GST
- Will increase the number of taxpayers.
- Ease in legal complexity.
- The uniform tax system in the country.
- Helpful for Investor & E-commerce Service providers.
- One Nation, One Tax, One Market- Drive/ Sell/ Purchase without state boundaries.
For consumers, GST will help to bring in the following benefits:
- Uniformity in computing taxes for goods and service – GST will lead to elimination of multiple excises, CST, VAT, service tax calculations
- Uniform tax regime – for both goods and services and less confusion in determining what constitutes a good or what is a service
- Elimination of double taxation – Double taxation means the consumer pays for an item, on which the government has already collected tax, from the manufacturer under some other head
- More transparent pricing – Currently hidden taxes actually push up the taxes on a majority of goods to anywhere in the 27% to 32% range. But with GST coming in, the percent tax number is proposed to be much lesser – however, the number has not been finalised yet.
Now, let’s know why GST is needed?
Goods and services tax is proposed indirect tax in India. GST arose from:
- The need to cut down multiple indirect taxes including excise duty, VAT, octroi, entry tax, luxury tax, etc and have a uniform indirect tax across the country
- The need to reduce the impact of taxes being imposed on taxes and thereby limit the overall inflationary impact on the common man
- The need to create a single common market by eliminating distortion caused by varying tax rates in different states
- The need to have a destination based on consumption tax
How is GST levied?
- GST is levied on supply of goods and services (other than alcohol) for human consumption
- The word ‘Goods’ denotes every kind of movable property excluding money and securities but including actionable claims. ‘Services’ include things other than goods, excluding money and securities
- Supply can either be within a state or between states
- Supply within a state attracts Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) while supply between states is subject to Integrated GST (IGST)
- Taxation of GST is governed by three separate laws, viz. SGST act, CGST act and IGST act along with accompanying rules
- The proposed rates are: Nil, 5%, 12%, 18%, 28%
- Exports would be zero rated meaning that the taxes paid on inputs would be refunded
- Information technology infrastructure is provided by GST network
When will GST become applicable?
GST would be applicable after the enactment of the three separate laws. The law is expected to come into force from 1st July 2017.
Who will be subject to GST and who will administer GST?
Aggregate all India turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs in a financial year would make a person subject to GST. Threshold limit for special category states is Rs. 10 lakhs. The turnover includes supplies made as an agent, exempt supply, exports and inter-state stock transfers.
The supplier is required to pay GST while for specific goods/services the recipient will be required to pay GST on reverse charge basis. The further recipient will be required to pay GST for supply received from an unregistered supplier.
GST will be administered by central and state governments. Central excise and services tax department at the central level and commercial taxes department at the state level would be re-designated for implementing GST. The administration will be divided on mutual agreement based on turnover.
What will happen to the existing indirect taxes after GST becomes the law?
Most of the existing indirect taxes would be subsumed under GST.
Proposed GST Regime
Proposed GST will replace the terms manufacture, sale, provision of service, import & export, entry of goods with one term – ‘Supply’.
|Intra-state taxable supply||Excise and service tax will be known as CGST||Local VAT and other taxes will be known as SGST|
|Inter-state/UT taxable supply||CST will be replaced by Integrated GST (IGST)||Approx. the sum total of CGST & SGST|
|Import from outside India||Custom duty||In place of CVD and SAD, IGST will be charged|
Challenges while implementing Goods & Services tax system:
- To implement the bill, a lot of changes would have to be made at the administration level. Information technology integration has to happen, Sound IT infrastructure is needed, the state governments have to be compensated for the loss of revenues (if any) and much more
- GST being a consumption-based tax, states with higher consumption of goods and services will have better revenues. So, the cooperation from state governments would be one of the key factors for the successful implementation of GST
Payment of Tax
- Deposit made towards tax interest, penalties shall be paid online using debit/credit cards, NEFT etc. which will be credited to electronic cash ledger account
- Self – assessed ITC claimed in the return shall be credited to electronic credit ledger account
- Payment towards tax, interest, penalties can be made from electronic cash or credit ledger accounts subject to the rules, conditions prescribed
- Interest period shall be counted from the first day such tax was due to be paid
- Specified persons shall deduct TDS @1% of the contract value where it exceeds Rs. 10 lakhs
- TDS deducted shall be paid within 10 days at the end of the month of deduction and the certificate to be furnished within 5 days of payment of tax.
- The late fee for the furnishing of the certificate is Rs. 100/- per day subject to 5000
- Refund for an amount can be claimed within a period of 2 years from the relevant date
- Refund to be granted on the Principal of unjust enrichment. If the amount claimed is less than Rs. 5000, then only self – declaration to be made, otherwise documentary evidence to be furnished to establish no unjust enrichment
- The said limitation doesn’t apply in case of payments made under protests
IMPACT OF GST ON INFLATION
Let us understand the relation of GST with Inflation. Comparing the scenario, Before GST vs After GST
COMPREHENSIVE COMPARISION- Comparision between multiple indirect tax laws and proposed one.
MANUFACTURER TO WHOLESALER
WHOLESALER TO RETAILER
RETAILER TO CONSUMER
Inpux tax credit available to the wholesaler is Rs. 980 and Rs. 3360 in the case of without GST and with GST respectively.
Likewise Input tax credit available to the retailer is Rs. 2156 and Rs. 3696 in the case of without GST and with GST respectively.
In case, VAT rate is also considered to be 12%, the saving to consumer would be 1.15%
Impact of GST
The positive impact of GST on the common man:
- A unified tax system removing a bundle of taxes
- Less Tax compliance
- Removes cascading effect of taxes
- Manufacturing cost will be reduced, hence prices of consumer goods likely to come down
- Due to reduced costs, some products like cars, FMCG, etc. will become cheaper
- Lower prices will increase demand/consumption. Increased demand will lead to increase in supply. Hence rise in production of goods. The increased production will lead to more job opportunities in the long run. But, this can happen only if consumers actually get cheaper goods.
- A unified tax regime will lead to less corruption which will indirectly affect the common man.
Hence, this is possible only if the benefit is actually passed on to the customers. There are other factors also like the seller’s profit margin that determine the final price of goods.
The negative impact of GST on the common man:
- Services will become expensive, e.g. Telecom, banking, airline, etc.
- Being a new tax, it will take some time for the people to understand its implications.
- It is easier said than done. There are always some complications attached.
- If the actual benefit isn’t passed to the consumer and seller increases his profit margin, the prices of goods can also see a rising trend.
However, GST is a long term strategy and the positive impact shall be seen in the long run. This can happen if GST is introduced at a nominal rate (hope so) to reduce the overall tax burden on the final consumers.
The rate of GST also plays a crucial role in deciding the actual impact of GST on the common man.
Let us hope this “One Nation, One Tax, One Market” scheme proves to be beneficial to the common man.
Source: Model GST Law
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