What Is GST?

What Is GST?

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Introduction to GST and the objectives of implementing this indirect tax.

Key Takeaways

  • The Government of India introduced the Goods and Service Tax in July 2017.
  • The objective of GST is to eliminate cascading effect of taxes.
  • GST allows curbing tax evasions.
  • CGST, SGST, IGST, and UGST are the four types of Goods and Service Tax.
  • Small businesses can avail of benefits from the GST Composition Scheme.

Taxes form an integral part of a nation’s economy. Without taxes, it would be impossible for a country to function, take up infrastructure development projects, or finance public sector operations. Like Income Tax, taxpayers also pay tax on goods and services that they consume. In India, economists replaced the previous tax-on-tax system with an improved regime known as GST. Keep reading to know more.

What is GST?

The Goods and Service Tax is a type of indirect tax introduced to make India a single unified common market. The GST Act was passed by the Indian parliament on 29th March 2017, and it came into effect on 1st July 2017. GST is a single domestic tax on the supply of goods and services from manufacturers to consumers.

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Objectives of GST

One Nation, One Tax

GST has replaced numerous indirect taxes of the previous tax regimes. Implementing a single tax model means that every Indian state abides by the same tax rate for products or services. The Central Government decides the GST rates and policies, and taxpayers need not worry about filing multiple return forms.

Eliminating the Cascading Effect

In the previous tax-on-tax regime, taxpayers were unable to set off tax credits of one tax against another, also known as the cascading effect of taxes. GST eliminates this effect and allows tax credits to flow across goods and services seamlessly.

Minimise Tax Evasion

Taxpayers can claim tax credit only when the supplier uploads their invoices. This way, the number of individuals claiming tax credits against fake invoices reduces significantly.

Increase overall productivity and efficiency

By subsuming indirect taxes like entry taxes, the overall productivity of businesses may increase.

4 Types of GST

  1. Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) which The Central Government collects on intra-state transactions of goods and services.
  2. State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) which state governments collect on intra-state transactions of goods and services.
  3. Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) which is a shared tax collected by the Centre and the State on the inter-state transactions of goods and services.
  4. Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (UGST) which is collected by Tax authorities of the respective Union Territories on transactions of goods and services of that UT

Advantages of GST

Uniform Tax Structure

As a result of GST, the entire nation is under one and only one tax regime allowing uniformity in processes, tax rates, and laws across India.

Online Process of GST

All GST registration and filing processes can be done online, thereby encouraging new businesses to register for the GST process hassle-free.

Composition schemes for small businesses

Businesses with annual turnover in the INR 20 Lakh and INR 75 Lakh range are eligible to become beneficiaries of the GST Composition Scheme which reduces taxes on such respective businesses.

Bottom Line

The indirect GST tax has eliminated the various cesses and charges we paid on consuming goods and services. The tax rate depends on the product or service consumed and differs based on whether it is necessary or a luxury.

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*Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. We recommend you get in touch with your income tax advisor or CA for expert advice.

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