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GST is an indirect tax which includes excise duty and VAT. The act was passed by the parliament on 29th March and it was implemented on 1st July 2017. GST replaces the indirect taxes that were applied previously by the central and state government. For new businesses with annual turnover of Rs.40 lakhs for goods and Rs.20 lakhs for services in India, GST registration is required. The GST tax law in India is a comprehensive, multi-stage, and destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition to the customers.
Under GST any business that has a sale of goods with an annual turnover of Rs. 40 Lakhs and service with an annual turnover of Rs.20 lakhs will require GST registration in India. GST is levied on the supply of goods and services. The GST tax law in India is a comprehensive, multi-stage, and destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition. Hence, we can say that GST is a single domestic indirect tax law for the entire country.
The shopkeepers, customers pay the Goods and Service Tax and as a result, the government gets indirect revenue. The final price of all the goods or services have GST included in it. The Goods and Service tax has replaced all the indirect taxes that are imposed by the central and state government previously.
With the government’s push to promote e-commerce in India, many businesses are now selling their products on popular online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. If you are planning to start selling online, it is important to be aware of the GST compliance requirements.
All businesses selling products or providing services in India must register for GST. If your annual turnover is below INR 20 lakhs, you can opt for the composition scheme and pay a fixed rate of tax.
You must issue a tax invoice to customers for all sales made through your business. The invoice should include the following details:
Persons who are required to register for GST include:
As per the guidelines of the government, the following people can register under the new GST regime.
Basing the nature of the entities and business ownerships, an individual is required to submit a different set of documents to obtain GST registration.
Following documents are required to be submitted for sole proprietorships:
Here is a list of documents that is to be submitted to obtain GST registration for a public or a Private Limited company:
Documents required for a partnership firm:
For a HUF the following documents are required:
The Goods and Services Tax in India is divided into four types: State goods and Services Tax, Central Goods and Services Tax, Integrated Goods and Service Tax, and Union Territory Goods and Services Tax. There are four different rates of taxation.
» Central Goods and Services Tax is imposed by the central government on the inter-state supply of goods and services. This service is regulated and held by the central government.
» State Goods and Services Tax is a tax levied on sales of goods or services within a state but not outside that state. It is collected and administered by the respective state.
» Integrated Goods and Services Tax is a tax in India and it is applicable on the goods and services that are supplied from one state to another. This tax is also applicable in the case of imports from India and export from India. The IGST tax is collected by the government of India.
» Union Territory Goods and Services Tax is a consumer tax levied in the federal union territories of India. Most union territories, such as Delhi and the Chandigarh Capital Region, apply both this tax and the Central GST. The tax is collected by the territorial government. UTGST and CGST are levied together.
As a result, if businesses have registered under the new GST regime, then they would be required to pay these taxes.
For the sake of simplifying GST, it has been divided into four divisions. Zero rates, lower GST rates, standard GST rates, and higher GST rates.
Zero rate Tax: The Nil rate tax applies to goods and services. It is a type of tax which is equivalent to tax exemption and does not affect the price of the product.
The zero rate GST slabs keep the cost of essential items under check.
Lower rate tax: This is 5% of the tax rate which is applied to the consumer price index basket and mass consumption.
Standard rate tax: Here the rate of tax is between 12% and 18%.
Higher rate tax: The tax rate is 28% on goods like washing machines, air conditioners, soft drinks, etc. Earlier due to the cascading effect this tax which was just 27% was increased to 30-31%. But due to the higher tax rate under the GST scheme, it has become fixed to 28%.
As we saw that the structure of GST includes 4 slab rates the products and services that come under the GST are also divided under these 4 slab rates 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% respectively. Since the 0% slab is the exemption slab it does not come under the tax rate list.
5%- Consumables like sugar, coffee, tea, edible oil, footwear, milk food, apparel for kids, etc.
12%- butter, ghee, processed /packed food, almonds, mobile, computer, umbrella, etc.
18%- Hair oil, toothpaste, Industrial intermediaries, soap, ice cream, toiletries, corn flakes, etc.
28%- Small card, High- end motorcycle, AC, fridge, Luxury items, and cigarettes, etc.
Exempted goods under GST
Food: Cereals, edible fruits, and vegetables, edible roots and tubers, fish and meat, tender, coconut, jaggery, tea leaves, coffee beans, seeds, ginger, turmeric, betel leaves, papad, flour, aquatic feeds, and supplements.
Raw material: Raw silk, silk waste, wool, khadi fabrics, the cotton used for khadi yarn, raw jute fiber, firewood, charcoal, and handloom fabrics.
Tools: Hearing aids, hand tools (such as spades and shovels), tools used for agricultural purposes, handmade musical instruments.
Exempted Services under GST
Agricultural services: Agricultural services include harvesting, cultivating, packaging, renting, purchase, or leasing machinery for agriculture, warehousing, the supply of farm labor are all exempted under the GST regime.
Transportation Services: Transport of merchandise by inland waterways, transportation of travelers via air, transportation by non-AC vehicles, movement of rural production like milk, salt, or food grains.
Educational services: Include student and faculty transportation, mid-day meal program, catering services, security, housekeeping, and services during admission, examination, etc.
Medical services Include the services provided by a vet, clinics, or paramedics, services by ambulances, charity homes, and organizations that facilitate religious pilgrimages.
A Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax in India. GST replaced many indirect taxes levied by the Central Government and the State Governments in India such as sales tax, service tax, excise duty etc.
It has a single rate for most goods and services but there are certain goods which have been kept outside its purview. These include alcohol for human use, petroleum products such as petrol, diesel, jet fuel etc., tobacco products, real estate, electricity bills, stamp duties and judicial & legal service.
The main objective behind introducing GST is to remove cascading or double taxation on value addition which takes place in the production of any good or service. For example: When a car manufacturer buys various raw materials required to manufacture a car such as steel & rubber from other companies and when he sells the finished car to an automobile dealer who sells it further to a customer; all these entities charge tax on the value addition at each stage of sale. So at each stage there is a tax on tax effect which results in higher prices of automobiles for final consumers compared to inter-state sales in other countries where VAT (value added tax) is charged only once but not twice unlike India where excise duty is charged on top of VAT @ 14 %. GST removes this cascading effect on sale and purchase of goods and services because it charges one single rate for most goods and services but there are certain goods which have been kept outside its purview including alcohol for human use, petroleum products such as petrol , diesel , jet fuel etc., tobacco products , real estate , electricity bills , stamp duties & judicial & legal services.
The main disadvantage of GST is that it is too complex to understand especially for small businessmen. This has resulted in delayed filing of GSTR 3B by most small businessmen leading to filing fine amounting upto Rs 1 lakh per month per person . While this may create some problems initially but once things settle down it will definitely lead to better compliance than present scenario where there are numerous taxes that need be paid.
In addition GST has removed exemptions from taxes which were enjoyed by different sections like agriculture , educational institution etc . These exemptions have resulted in lower revenue collections from these sectors since they were not liable to pay taxes earlier under VAT regime. This was done mainly due to political reasons so now these sectors will pay their fair share of tax leading to increased revenue collections by government and overall better fiscal health.
Apart from GST return filings, several new GST regimes have been introduced.
Introduced on 1st April 2018 for inter-state and 15th April 2018 for intrastate movement of goods, e-way bill can be generated by manufacturers, traders, and transporters with ease. The system benefits tax authorities by reducing time spent at check posts and thus reducing the chances of tax evasion.
The E-invoicing system was announced on the 1st of October 2020 for the businesses that have an annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.500 crore in any preceding financial year(2017-2018). On the 1st of January 2021, it will take effect. There is a special provision for those with an annual aggregate turnover of more than Rs.100 crore. E-invoicing has allowed interoperability of invoices and helps reduce data entry errors.
The application of Goods and Services Tax in India has been a revolutionary act as it is a step towards the development of the Indian Economy. It has helped India to bring rich and poor on the same platform and improve the country's ranking in the list of developed nations.
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