What is GST? Goods And Services Tax Explained With Benefits & various
slabs of GST
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Question 1. What is GST? How does it work?
Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax for the whole nation which was introduced in India on 1 July 2017 which will make India one unified common market. It will replace multiple cascading taxes levied by the central and state governments. It was introduced as the Constitution (one hundred and first amendment) Act, 2016. The GST is governed by a GST Council and its Chairman is the Finance Minister of India.
GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services, right from the manufacturer to the consumer. The final consumer will thus bear only the GST charged by the last dealer in the supply chain with set-off benefits at all the previous stages.
Question 2. What are the benefits of GST?
- For Central and State Governments:
- Simple and easy to administer
- Better controls on leakage
- Higher revenue efficiency
- For the consumer:
- A single and transparent tax proportionate to the value of goods and services
- Relief in the overall tax burden
- For business and industry:
- Easy compliance
- Uniformity of tax rates and structures
- Removal of cascading
- Improved competitiveness
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Question 3. Which taxes at the Centre and State level are being subsumed into GST?
At the Central level, the following taxes are being subsumed:
- Central Excise Duty,
- Additional Excise Duty,
- Service Tax,
- Additional Customs Duty is commonly known as Countervailing Duty, and
- Special Additional Duty of Customs.
At the State level, the following taxes are being subsumed:
- Subsuming of State Value Added Tax/Sales Tax,
- Entertainment Tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies), Central Sales Tax (levied by the Centre and collected by the States),
- Octroi and Entry tax,
- Purchase Tax,
- Luxury tax, and
- Taxes on lottery, betting, and gambling.
Question 4. What are the rates under various slabs of GST?
14th GST Council Meeting was held on 18th May 2017 at Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, to define rates of certain goods. Under GST, goods and services are taxed at the following rates, Nil, 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.
List of various goods that have been classified under the above-mentioned slabs.
Nil (No tax Slab) –
There will be no tax on certain goods like, fresh milk, buttermilk,curd, eggs, meat, fresh vegetables, roots and tubers, natural honey, fruits (other than those in frozen or preserved state), coffee beans, all cereal goods (other than those put up in unit container and bearing a registered brand name), flour, soya beans, common salt, cane jaggery, groundnuts, puffed rice, bread, prasad, bindi, sindur, plastic bangles, wood charcoal, judicial-judicial stamps, newspaper, handloom, etc.
5% Slab –
This tax slab would involve articles like, fish fillets, frozen fish, Milk cream, Cream yogurt, Whey, Ultra-high temperature milk,Ivory, bark, dry plant, Herb , frozen or preserved fruits and vegetables, coffee, tea, natural gums, resins, Vegetable fats and oils, sugar, cane sugar, cocoa beans,beet, Mixes and doughs for the preparation of bread, Unroasted iron pyrites, Tobacco leaves, sulphur, All ores and concentrates, sulphonated castor oil, Kerosene, Building bricks, fish oil, Handmade safety matches, Kerosene, Lifeboats, etc.
12% Slab –
This includes items such as, Frozen meat, Butter and other fats, Cheese, Dry fruits, starches, Animal fats and oils, Sausages and similar products, of meat, meat offal or blood, Beverages containing milk, Fruit and vegetable juices, Soya milk drinks, Roasted chicory, Granite blocks, Biogas, Fertilizers, Medicinal grade Hydrogen peroxide, Marble, Fountain/ Ball pen ink, Toothpowder, Candles, Photographic plates and films, Agarbatti, Children’s picture/ drawing/ colouring books, Sand lime bricks, Umbrellas,Sewing Machines, Cell Phones etc.
18% Slab –
Items included in 18% tax slab are -Vegetable saps and extracts, Condensed Milk, Malt, Vegetable waxes, Glycerol,Pasta, Cornflakes, Refined sugar, Indian Katha, Waffles, Pastries and Cakes, Jams, Jellies, Sauces, Marmalades, Food mixes,Soups, Ice cream, Diabetic foods, Paraffin wax,Petroleum jelly, Bromine, Chlorine,Fluorine, Iodine, Printing ink, Artificial waxes,Colouring matter, Essential Oils, Insecticides,Safety fuses, Wood tar, Kitchenware, Tableware, Refractory bricks, Safety Headgears (Helmets), Camera, Monitors and Speakers, etc.
28% Slab –
Following are the products included in this tax slab – Chewing gum, Cocoa butter, Extracts, essences and concentrates of coffee, Non-alcoholic beverages, Aerated Water, Portland cement, Paints and Varnishes, Artist/ Student or signboard painter’s colours, Perfumes, Toothpaste, Fireworks, Sinks, Washbasins, Wallpaper/ coverings, Lamps, Lighting fittings, Pianos, Revolvers, Washing machines, Vacuum cleaners, Motorcycles, Aircraft for personal use, Yachts etc.
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