GST: The Goods and Service Tax

The Nation is all geared up for the implementation of one of the biggest indirect tax reforms in India. Are you? All you need to know about GST (Goods & services tax) which is all set to rule from 1st July 2017.

As the name itself suggests, Goods and Services Tax will be levied on “Supply” of goods and services. It is a comprehensive indirect tax on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services throughout India to replace the existing modes of taxation levied by the central and state governments.
Categories for levy and collection of GST:

– CGST- To be levied and collected by the Central Government
– SGST- To be levied and collected by the State Government
– IGST- To be levied on inter-State supply (including stock transfers) of goods or services. This would be collected by the Centre.
– UTGST – Union territories without legislature would levy Union Territory UTGST
– Import of goods would be treated as inter-State supplies and would be subject to IGST in addition to the applicable custom duties.

Applicability:

Every business carrying out a taxable supply of goods or services will be required to register as a normal taxable person under the GST regime.
GST will apply when turnover of the business exceeds Rs 20 lakhs (Limit is Rs 10 lakhs for the North Eastern States). That means that taxpayers with an annual turnover of Rs. 20 lakhs ( Rs. 10 for NE states) would be exempt from GST and need not require to get themselves registered.
However, they can opt for voluntary registration.

Goods & services come under the purview of GST:

GST would apply to all goods and services except Alcohol for human consumption. Tobacco and tobacco products would also be subject to GST to levy Central Excise duty.

Benefits to businesses:

Ease of starting business: Any new business needs to have a VAT registration from sales tax department. A business operating in many States has to face a lot of issues regarding the different procedures and fees in each state. GST will bring about a uniformity in process and centralised registration that will make starting business and expanding in different States much simpler.

Higher exemptions to new businesses: Under GST regime the upper limit for registration has been increased, composition scheme has been bought in and further rates of tax have also been comparatively reduced. This will bring respite from tax burdens to newly established businesses.

Simple taxation: There is no need to adhere to different regulations at different States any more. GST will simplify the process by integrating all taxes, making the process of paying tax simpler.

Respite for businesses in both sales and services: GST does not distinguish between sales and services, hence no need to calculate tax separately on goods and services. This will make the process much more time and cost effective.

Reduction in cost of commodities: Due to elimination of small border tax and checkpost issues, etc., Interstate movement will become cheaper and less time consuming. GST can reduce logistics costs of companies producing non-bulk goods (comprising all goods besides the primary bulk commodities transported by railways – coal, iron ore, cement, steel, food grains, fertilizers) by as much as 20 percent.

Also read about GST Returns and Compliances

Nikita Bhatia
Nikita Bhatia
Nikita Bhatia is the Co-Founder of VenturEasy, an online platform for Company Registration, Tax Consultancy, Trademark Registration, Annual Filings, Accounting and Business Compliances in India. A Chartered Accountant by profession, she has wide experience in the field of Audit, Accountancy, Taxation and Corporate Governance. Her exposure across a wide portion of economy gives her the edge to help startups scale up and guide them effectively in legal, compliances and tax related matters.

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