WHY GOODS & SERVICES TAX (GST) IS SO IMPORTANT ?

Currently, the Indian tax structure is divided into two – Direct and Indirect Taxes. Direct Taxes are levies where the liability cannot be passed on to someone else. An example of this is Income Tax where you earn the income and you alone are liable to pay the tax on it.  In the case of Indirect Taxes, the liability of the tax can be passed on to someone else. This means that when the shopkeeper must pay VAT on his sale, he can pass on the liability to the customer. So, in effect, the customer pays the price of the item as well as the VAT on it so the shopkeeper can deposit the VAT to the government. This means that the customer must pay not just the price of the product, but he also pays the tax liability, and therefore, he has a higher outlay when he buys an item.  This happens because the shopkeeper has paid a tax when he bought the item from the wholesaler. To recover that amount, as well as to make up for the VAT he must pay to the government, he passes the liability to the customer who has to pay the additional amount. There is currently no other way for the shopkeeper to recover whatever he pays from his own pocket during transactions and therefore, he has no choice but to pass on the liability to the customer.  Goods and Services Tax will address this issue after it is implemented. It has a system of Input Tax Credit which will allow sellers to claim the tax already paid, so that the final liability on the end consumer is decreased. When Goods and Services Tax is implemented, there will be 3 kinds of applicable Goods and Services Taxes:

CGST: where the revenue will be collected by the central government

SGST: where the revenue will be collected by the state governments for intra-state sales

IGST: where the revenue will be collected by the central government for inter-state sales

In most cases, the tax structure under the new regime will be as follows:

Transaction New Regime Old Regime Comments
Sale within the state CGST + SGST VAT + Central Excise/Service tax Revenue will now be shared between the Centre and the State
Sale to another State IGST Central Sales Tax + Excise/Service Tax There will only be one type of tax (central) now in case of inter-state sales.

Example :- A dealer in Maharashtra sold goods to a consumer in Maharashtra worth Rs. 10,000. The Goods and Services Tax rate is 18% comprising CGST rate of 9% and SGST rate of 9%. In such cases the dealer collects Rs. 1800 and of this amount, Rs. 900 will go to the central government and Rs. 900 will go to the Maharashtra government.  Now, let us assume the dealer in Maharashtra had sold goods to a dealer in Gujarat worth Rs. 10,000. The GST rate is 18% comprising of CGST rate of 9% and SGST rate of 9%. In such case the dealer has to charge Rs. 1800 as IGST. This IGST will go to the Centre. There will no longer be any need to pay CGST and SGST.

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