India will adopt a dual GST which will be imposed concurrently by the Centre and States, i.e. Centre and States will simultaneously tax goods and services. GST is an integrated tax which works on the concept of “One Nation One Tax”. The biggest benefit of GST implementation would be removal of cascading effect of multiple taxes and seamless flow of Input Tax credit. For example, presently a dealer is eligible to take input tax credit of VAT paid on inputs but not of the service tax paid on input services utilised.
However, under GST regime, a dealer will be eligible for availing credit of taxes paid both on inputs or input services, as the case may be. This will ultimately reduce the final cost of goods/services to the end consumers. Centre will have the power to tax intra-State sales & States will be empowered to tax services. GST will extend to whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Dual GST Model Introduced in India
Since India is a union of states, dual model of GST has been adopted.
- State Taxes to be Subsumed in SGST (State Goods and Services tax)/UTGST (Union territory GST) for intra (within) State or Union Territory supplies of goods or services
- Central Taxes to be subsumed in CGST (Central Goods and Service Tax) for intra state supply of goods or services.
While SGST directly goes to the State, CGST is directly collected by the Central government. However in terms of the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission, 42% of the CGST also is required to be disbursed to the State.
- While CGST, UTGST and SGST are charged for intra State supply of goods and/or services, IGST (Integrated Goods and Service Tax) is chargeable for:
- (a) Inter-State supplies (supply between two different States),
- (b) Imports, and
- (c) Exports
- Apart from CGST, SGST/UTGST, IGST compensation cess is leviable on certain luxury goods. Exports are however, zero rated.
GST is a destination based tax applicable on all transactions involving supply of goods and services for a consideration subject to exceptions thereof. GST in India will comprise of Central Goods and Service Tax (CGST) – levied and collected by Central Government, State Goods and Service Tax (SGST) – levied and collected by State Governments/Union Territories with State Legislatures and Union Territory Goods and Service Tax (UTGST) – levied and collected by Union Territories without State Legislatures, on intra-State supplies of taxable goods and/or services. Inter-State supplies of taxable goods and/or services will be subject to Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST). IGST will approximately be a sum total of CGST and SGST/UTGST and will be levied by Centre on all inter-State supplies.
India has adopted “Concurrent dual GST” model. The need for Dual GST model is based on the following premise:
- In the pre GST framework, both levels of Government, that is, Centre and State, as per Constitution held concurrent powers to levy tax on domestic goods and services.
- The Concurrent Dual GST model would be a dual levy imposed concurrently by the Centre and the States, but independently;
- Both Centre and State will operate over a common base, that is, the base for levy and imposition of duty/tax liability would be identical.
Under the Concurrent Dual GST Model taxes shall be levied as per place of supply of goods and services. In case of supplies within the State or Union Territory –
- (a) Central GST (CGST) is payable to the Central Government (
- (b) State GST (SGST) or Union Territory GST(UTGST) is payable to the State Government or Administrator of Union Territory (as applicable)
CGST and SGST will also apply in Union Territories having legislature, i.e. Delhi and Puducherry.
Area upto 12 nautical miles inside the sea is part of State or Union Territory which is nearest, so SGST or UTGST will be payable.
There is single legislation – CGST Act, 2017 – for levying CGST. Similarly, Union Territories without State legislatures [Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Chandigarh] will be governed by UTGST Act, 2017 for levying UTGST. States and Union territories with their own legislatures [Delhi and Puducherry] have to enact their own GST legislation for levying SGST. Though there would be multiple SGST legislations, the basic features of law, such as chargeability, definition of taxable event and taxable person, classification and valuation of goods and services, procedure for collection and levy of tax and the like would be uniform in all the SGST legislations, as far as feasible. This would be necessary to preserve the essence of dual GST
In GST regime, tax (i.e. CGST and SGST/UTGST for intraState supplies and IGST for inter-State supplies) shall be paid by every taxable person and in this regard provisions have been prescribed in the law. However, for providing relief to small businesses, a simpler method of paying taxes and accounting thereof is also prescribed, known as Composition Scheme. Along with providing relief to small-scale business, the law also contains provisions for granting exemption from payment of tax on specified goods and/or services.
Goods & Service Tax Network (GSTN)
Resultantly, Goods and Services Network (GSTN) – a Special Purpose Vehicle – has been set to provide a shared IT infrastructure and services to Central and State Governments, taxpayers and other stakeholders for implementation of GST. The functions of the GSTN, inter alia, include:
- facilitating registration;
- forwarding the returns to Central and State authorities;
- computation and settlement of IGST;
- matching of tax payment details with banking network;
- providing various MIS reports to the Central and the State Governments based on the taxpayer return information;
- providing analysis of taxpayers’ profile;
- and running the matching engine for matching, reversal and reclaim of input tax credit
Taxes to be subsumed in GST Regime
Central levies to be subsumed
- Central excise duty (Cenvat)
- Additional duties of excise
- Excise Duty under Medicinal and Toilet Preparation Act
- Service Tax
- Additional Customs Duty (CVD)
- Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD)
- Central Surcharge and Cess
State levies to subsumed
- State VAT/Sales Tax
- Central Sales Tax [levied by Centre but collected by State]
- Octroi and Entry Tax
- Luxury Tax
- Taxes on Lottery, Betting and Gambling
- State Cess and Surcharge
- CVD and SAD are customs duties charged on import of goods but in lieu of excise duty and vat respectively.
- Amongst Customs duties, only CVD and SAD have been subsumed into GST, but basic customs duty has not been subsumed into GST.
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