Goods and Service Tax (GST)
Goods and Service Tax (GST) is an indirect tax levied on the supply of goods and services and it has come into existence w.e.f. 01 July 2017. This law has replaced many indirect tax laws (such as service tax, VAT, excise, octroi, etc.) that previously existed in India. GST is one indirect tax for the entire country. It is expected that GST will lead to following advantages: elimination of multiplicity of taxes, tax structure rationalization, wider tax base, reduction in compliance efforts, etc.
GST is a comprehensive, multi-stage, destination-based tax that is levied on every value addition. Goods and services are divided into five tax slabs for collection of tax – 0%, 5%, 12%,18% and 28%. However, petroleum products, alcoholic drinks, electricity, are not taxed under GST and instead are taxed separately by the individual state governments, as per the previous tax regime. The tax rates, rules and regulations are governed by the GST Council which consists of the finance ministers of all the states and the central government.
On the compliance front, all registered persons have to file monthly returns in Form GSTR-3B (containing a summary of outward and inward supplies) by the 20th of the succeeding month. Additionally, an invoice-wise return of outward supplies needs to be submitted in Form GSTR-1 by the 10th of the succeeding month. Taxpayers with turnover upto INR 1.5 crores can file Form GSTR-1 on quarterly basis. The Government has suspended the requirement of filing Form GSTR-2 (containing details of inward supplies) and GSTR-3 (a consolidated statement of inward and outward supplies). There is also a provision in GST for the tax payer to carry electronic way bill (e-way bill) if the consignment value exceeds a particular threshold. E-way bill can be generated through various modes such as online, mobile app, API-based site-to-site integration, etc. The e-way bill system has become effective for inter-state as well as intra-state movement of goods.