GST - Goods and Services Tax in India
Last Updated : 16 Jul 2020

The GST Act bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 6 August 2016 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on 8 August 2016. The act was implemented on 1 July 2017. GST is a comprehensive, destination-based and multi-stage tax charged on each value addition.

Types of GST

Based on the kind of transaction, there are four types of GST, viz. Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), State Goods and Services Tax (SGST), Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST), and Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (UTGST).

GST Rates

The GST Council has assigned GST rates to different goods and services. While some products can be purchased without any GST, there are others that come at 5% GST, 12% GST, 18% GST, and 28% GST. GST rates for goods and services have been changed a few time since the new tax regime was implemented in July 2017. The last GST council meeting was held in February this year and was chaired by then Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley.

GST Registration

Here is the GST Registration procedure for taxpayers:

GST Return

A GST Return is basically a document that contains information regarding the income that a taxpayer must file with the authorities. This information is used to compute the taxpayer’s tax liability. Under the Goods and Services Tax, registered dealers must file their GST returns with details regarding their purchases, sales, input tax credit and output GST. Businesses are expected to file 2 monthly returns as well as an annual return.

GST Calculator

Calculating the amount that needs to be paid as GST when filing your returns can be quite tedious. A number of aspects and factors must be taken into consideration, such as ITC, exempted supplies, reverse charge, etc. Failure to pay the entire GST amount can see you slapped with an 18% interest on the shortfall, thereby making it necessary to ensure that you pay the right amount towards GST.

The GST Calculator makes it relatively simple for taxpayers to calculate the amount that needs to be paid as GST. You will have to enter all the required details such as the month for which you are calculating GST, the due date for filing returns for the particular month, the actual date on which the returns are filed, the tax liability for the month, the purchases that attract Reverse Charge Mechanism, the opening balance of your cash ledger as well as your credit ledger and the eligible ITC.

Here is an example showing how you can calculate your GST liability:

Particulars Amount
Overall value of interstate sales Rs.20 lakh
Overall value of intrastate sales Rs.25 lakh
Advance received Rs.8 lakh
SGST Rs.25 lakh x 9% = Rs.2.25 lakh
CGST Rs.25 lakh x 9% = Rs.2.25 lakh
IGST Rs.20 lakh x 18% = Rs.3.6 lakh Rs.8 lakh x 18% = Rs.1.44 lakh Total = Rs.5.04 lakh

Tax Laws Before the Implementation of GST

The main of implementing the GST was to implement a much simpler tax structure in the country. The concept of Goods and Service Tax was to implement the concept of one tax across all parts of the country.

There was a lot of speculation at the time of implementation as some of the previous tax systems did not work out as well as it was anticipated. Listed below are some of the important difference between GST and tax system that was followed prior to the implementation of GST:

Benefits of GST

The following are the benefits of the Goods and Services Tax:

History of GST in India

The Goods and Services Tax was implemented in India on 1 July 2017. However, the process of implementing the new tax regime commenced a long time ago. In 2000, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, then Prime Minister of India, set up a committee to draft the GST law. In 2004, a task force came to the conclusion that the new tax structure should be implemented to enhance the tax regime at the time.

In 2006, P. Chidambaram, then Finance Minister of India, proposed the introduction of GST on 1 April 2010, and the Constitution Amendment Bill was passed in 2011 to enable the introduction of the GST law. In 2012, the Standing Committee started discussions regarding GST, and tabled its report on GST a year later. In 2014, the new Finance Minister at the time, Arun Jaitley, reintroduced the GST Bill in Parliament, and the bill was passed in Lok Sabha in 2015. However, the implementation of the law was delayed as it was not passed in Rajya Sabha.

GSTN went live in 2016, and the amended model GST law was passed in both the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha. The President of India also gave assent to the law in 2016. 2017 saw the passing of 4 supplementary GST Bills in Lok Sabha as well as the approval of the same by the Cabinet. Rajya Sabha then passed 4 supplementary GST Bills and the new tax regime was implemented on 1 July, 2017.

GSTN – Goods and Service Tax Network

The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) is responsible for managing the IT system in regard to the GST Portal. It is a non-profit, non-government organisation and is the database for the official GST Portal.

The current structure of the GST Network can be summed up as follows:

Features of GSTN

The salient features of the GST Network can be listed as follows:

Functions of GSTN

The main functions of the GST Network or GSTN can be summed up as follows:

Frequently Asked Questions On GST

  1. Is it necessary for all traders to register under the Goods and Services Tax?

    All traders who earn turnovers in excess of Rs.20 lakh in a financial year will have to register under the Goods and Services Tax.

  2. Do small traders have a separate scheme to pay taxes?

    Yes, small traders can make the most of the composition levy in case their turnover is less than Rs.75 lakh. For certain special states, this limit is Rs.50 lakh.

  3. What are the states with a turnover limit at Rs.50 lakh for composition levy?

    Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Mizoram.

  4. What is the composition levy tax rate?

    The rate of tax applicable under the composition levy is 1% of the turnover earned in the state, with 0.5% going towards Central Goods and Services Tax and 0.5% going towards State Goods and Services Tax.

  5. Who is not eligible for the composition scheme?
    • Establishment that supply services, apart from restaurants.
    • Those involved with making inter-state outward supplies of products.
    • Those involved in making supply of products that are not chargeable to GST.
    • Suppliers who make supply of products via e-commerce operators and are mandated to collect tax at source.

News About GST

  • GST collections for June reach Rs.90,917 crore

    The GST (Goods and service tax) collections for the month of June has been reported to be clocked Rs.90,917 crore at gross levels. This is around 9% lower than the month of June last year. The collections however, are higher than the ones recorded in the month of April and the month of May. April had clocked a GST collection of Rs.32,294 crore and May’s GST collection stood at Rs.62,009 crore.

  • No interest payments on GST for small taxpayers

    All small taxpayers who have an aggregate turnover of around Rs.5 crore will now get a waiver of their late fees and also their interest, if these taxpayers file form GSTR-3B for all supplies that have been affected during May, June and July. This should be done by September 2020. These taxpayers will also not have to bear the burden of paying an interest for late furnishing of their GST returns right until 6 July. The interest rates have now been reduced to 9% and this will stay 30 till September 2020.

  • GSTN now allows new registration functionality for all insolvency resolution professionals

    The Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) had announced that they have now enabled a new registration functionality on the portal of GST for registered firms which are now debtors under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

    The new facility was launched to benefit all entities which are going through a corporate insolvency resolution process and their management have now been undertaken by resolution professionals (RPs) or interim resolution professionals (IRPs).

    In order to make use of the new functionality, the IRP/RP will have to select the reason for getting the new registration as “corporate debtor undergoing the corporate insolvency resolution process by IRP/RP”. This should be done while they are applying for the registration on the official portal. The CBIC in March had said that all corporate debtors will be liable to avail the new registration via RP or IRP.

    The IRP/RPs will have to apply for the registration on behalf of the debtors within by 1 June 2020, or 30 days from the appointment whichever is later. The corporate debtor will have to furnish the GST returns, and also make payment of tax. They must also meet other GST compliances. These debtors will be treated as a distinct person and will be liable to take up this new registration via IRP/RP.

  • Central Board of Indirect Taxes clears Rs 10,700 crore GST, customs duty refund in 16 days

    Close to Rs.10,700 crore worth refunds in GST and custom duty between April 8 to April 23 has been cleared by The Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC). In the 'Special Refund and Drawback Disposal Drive', the CBIC officers have cleared over 1.07 lakh Goods and Services Tax and IGST refund claims worth Rs 9,818.12 crore.

    The Finance Ministry had on April 8 said it will issue all pending GST and custom refunds in order to provide relief during COVID-19. The move will benefit around 1 lakh business entities, including MSME.

    The total refund granted will be approximately Rs 18,000 crore, it had said.

    The CBIC had earlier asked its field officers to not ask for physical submission of documents from entities who are claiming GST and customs refunds and instead use official email for all communication purposes.

  • Government planning a GST relief package for worst-hit sectors

    The government of India, according to reports, is considering a GST relief package to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 on the country’s economy and help it recover. The package may include a six-month suspension of GST payments for the sectors which were the worst hit in this crisis such as the food and beverage industry, hospitality along with the aviation industry. The package will also include a lower rate of GST for the real-estate sector which also suffered.

    There have been other proposals which include switching to a cash-based principle of levying tax instead of the current invoice-based system. Along with this, providing GST relief on sales for which the payment has not been received due to the lockdown and treating them as bad debts have also been considered.

    The measures which could be included in the package will be expected to ease the pressure of liquidity on the businesses which are struggling for money. The final decision on the various proposals will be taken by the GST council. There has been a demand for the complete exemption of tax, however, the government is inclined towards suspending tax as it can work better.

  • Prices of mobile phones may rise by 10% due to an increase in GST

    Mobile phone manufacturers who are looking at a 6% GST increase from 1 April 2020 will hardly be given any relief even though the government gave an extension for the filing of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) returns.

    According to a senior accountant, even though mobile manufacturers may be given relief as far as the date is concerned, they will be charged 18% GST from April. According to industry experts, mobile manufacturers will not be provided any relief until there is a rollback of the GST hike. According to several experts, mobile phone prices may increase by up to 10% as various smartphone brands may not be able to absolve the economic slowdown and the lockdown due to the coronavirus is affecting their demand and supply. On 24 March 2020, the Finance Minister announced that there could be a delay in the TDS deposit and the penalty is reduced to 9%. According to the President of the All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA), Arvinder Khurana, the government should consider rolling back the GST hike, as sales have dropped. He further added that the sales have dropped by 50% in March and may not increase in the coming months due to the lockdown.

  • Change in GST filing dates and indirect tax settlement dates of Sabka Vishwas Scheme

    The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has announced an extension in the deadline of filing GST returns in view of the lockdown in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. The last date for the filing of GST returns for March, April, and May is now 30 June 2020. Although staggered dates will be announced later, all of these will be in the last week of June. Companies having less than Rs.5 crore turnover will not have to pay late fee, interest, or penalty. Companies having more than Rs.5 crore turnover will have to pay interest of 9%. The date for settlement of disputes under the indirect tax regime has also been extended to 30 June 2020. This is called the Sabka Vishwas Scheme.

  • GST collection for the month of February up by 8%

    Rs.1.05 lakh crore has been collected by the government as GST revenue for the month of February. GST collection has seen an 8% increase when compared to the same time last year.

    However, the GST collection for the month of February has reduced when compared to January. The collection of GST revenue for the month of January was at Rs.1.10 lakh crore. According to the Finance Ministry, the gross GST revenue that has been collected for the month of January is at Rs.1,05,366 crore. The number of GSTR 3B returns that have been filed from the month of January till 29 February 2020 is at 83 lakh. Rs.22,586 crore and Rs.16,553 crore have been settled by the government towards CGST and IGST. The GST revenue for domestic transactions for the month of February has increased by 12% when compared to the same time last year. However, GST import on goods has seen a 2% fall when compared to the same time last year.

  • Interest generated from GST late payments will be calculated on net tax liability

    According to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the interest that must be paid due to late payment of GST will be calculated on the next tax liability from now on. The CBIC further said that the laws are being amended so that the new rules can be brought forward.

    Regarding the Rs.46,000 crore that the government looks to recover in unpaid interest, the CBIC said that the state and central governments have amended the GST Acts, so the interest is collected on the net tax liability. Currently, the interest is calculated on the gross tax liability. Businesses, apart from those under the composition scheme, that are registered under GST, must file their returns by the 11th of every month and pay their taxes by the 20th of every month. There have been many cases where taxes have been paid after the due date, but no interest has been paid. However, there have been various doubts about whether the interest will be calculated on the net tax liability or gross tax liability. The CBIC has said that the interest that must be paid can be done via cash or income tax credit

  • Rs.46,000 crore to be raised by the Centre as interest for GST late payment

    A new revenue stream has been discovered by the government so that the shortfall in the GST collection can be made up. The government is aiming to collect Rs.46,000 crore as interest due to late payment of GST.

    However, the number has been disputed by tax experts as the government had promised taxpayers that the interest and penalties would be waived-off under the new indirect tax regime. According to various tax experts, the government is looking into various harsh measures to improve its tax kitty. The move to charge interest could face challenges from taxpayers. According to the letter sent by the Special Secretary and Member of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, A.K. Pandey, to all central tax commissioners and principal chief commissioners, taxpayers who have delayed their tax payments are liable to pay interest. As per the letter that is dated on 1 February 2020, the GSTIN wise list of the registered individuals who have not paid interest while filing the GSTR 3B returns has been mentioned. The report also states that Rs.45,996 crore has not been paid to the government as interest. According to a senior GST officer, they have received the letter. However, there are reservations in regard to the amount of interest that has to be paid.

  • Data analytics is used to plug loopholes in the GST system

    On 8 February 2020, the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Central Government is using technology to ensure that the loopholes in the Good and Service Tax (GST) are plugged.

    The government is looking to ensure an 8% growth rate. She further added that complaints can be made by Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in case loans are rejected by banks without a reason being provided. According to the Finance Minister, the GST collection over the last three months has been more than Rs.1 lakh crore. She further added that the revenue has not been increasing due to the loopholes present in the system. According to the Revenue Secretary, Ajay Bhushan Pandey, GST collection for November, December, and January were at Rs.1,04,000 crore, Rs.1,03,000 crore, and Rs.1,11,000 crore, respectively. The Revenue Secretary further added that various steps are being taken by the government to check where the taxes have not been paid. He further added that in case the tax due difference is huge, tax officials and taxpayers are notified of the same. The government will use artificial intelligence and data analytics to check these details as well.

  • Collection of GST crosses Rs.1.1 lakh crore in the month of January

    Due to the plugging of evasion and improved compliance, GST collections for the month of January crossed the Rs.1 lakh crore mark for the third consecutive month.

    According to various sources, the provisional numbers have quoted that the GST revenue for the month of January was at Rs.1.1 lakh crore. The GST collection meets the target that was set by Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the Revenue Secretary, with senior tax officials earlier in January. The GST collection for the month of December is at Rs.1.03 lakh crore. According to the provisional numbers, the domestic GST collection saw a growth of 11.5%. The growth in IGST has seen a 6% growth. Until 30 January 2020, the GSTR 3B is at 82.8 lakh. In January, the target set by the government for GST revenue for the remainder of the fiscal year is Rs.1.1 lakh crore. The government has also requested taxmen to step up their efforts in order to achieve this goal. Over 40,000 companies have been notified by the government for availing excess ITC. According to various sources, the focus would be on these taxpayers out of the 1.2 crore GST registrants.

  • States could face a revenue gap of over Rs.1 lakh crore after withdrawal of GST compensation

    States are staring at a consolidated revenue gap of up to Rs.1.23 lakh crore due to the withdrawal of compensation once the five-year GST transition period ends on 20 June 2022.

    When the GST was implemented on 1 July 2017, the Central Government had promised states that compensation will be provided in case revenue is lost for the duration of five years. The amount of compensation that is provided will be based on an agreed formula. According to a report, the consolidated revenue gap could range between Rs.1,00,700 crore and Rs.1,23,646 crore if it is withdrawn. The release of GST compensation has been discussed between central and state governments because of the shortfall in GST collection. The report further added that the withdrawal of GST compensation will have a major impact on the finances in states such as Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Odisha, and Punjab. Meghalaya, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh are some of the minor states where a huge revenue gap is expected. Many states have requested for a GST compensation extension for another three years. The GST Compensation Cess (GSTCC) was launched along with the GST in order to provide compensation to states. The fund is managed by the Union Government.

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