GST stands for Goods and Service Tax and the bill to introduce the uniform tax regime was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6th May 2015. It is an indirect federal sales tax that is applied to the cost of certain goods and services. The GST, in the form of tax, is added to the price of a product and then it is forwarded to the government through the business owner. GST has been divided into two parts i.e. state GST and Central GST. For different products and services, the Centre has prepared a dedicated slab and the value of the tax differs from product to product.
The structure of GST was established in India in 2017 as a part of the biggest tax reform in the tax structure of the country in decades. The structure of the GST comprises of the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) and Integrated Goods and Service Tax (IGST). It has been basically classified into four slabs that are 5 per cent, 12 per cent, 18 per cent and 28 per cent respectively. A certain percentage of tax is levied upon different products, depending upon which slab they fall into.
Here are the Central taxes that fall under GST:
- Service Tax
- Central Excise Duty
- Additional Excise Duty
- Additional Customs Duty
- Surcharges and cesses such as taxes on tea, coffee etc.
- Special Additional Duty of Customs(SAD) 4%
Similarly, a number of State taxes fall under GST:
- State VAT/Sales Tax
- Taxes of Lottery
- Luxury Tax
- Entertainment Tax
- Tax on advertisements
- Betting and Gambling
- State Cesses
As per the bill proposed in the parliament, products like alcohol and tobacco have a separate excise duty in addition to GST. When GST was introduced in the parliament, the government suggested that it could boost the Indian GDP by as much as 2 per cent. Another slab with a value of 0.25% has been included that is levied upon products like cut and semi-polished stones. A Nil category was also included in the slab after the 37th GST Council meeting.
The services that fall under Nil Category are:
- Chargeable services offered on Basic Savings Bank Deposit (BSBD) account opened under the PMJDY (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana)
- Hotel accommodation for transaction value per unit per day being Rs. 1000 or less.