GST is a type of value added tax and a proposed comprehensive indirect tax levy on manufacture, sale and consumption of goods as well as services at the national level. It will replace all indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Indian central and state governments. Further, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is considered to be one of the biggest reforms in India’s indirect tax structure.
THE NEED FOR GST
Suppose Mr. A sells goods to Mr. B and charges sales tax; then Mr. B re-sells those goods to Mr. C after charging sales tax. While Mr. B was computing his sales tax liability, he also included the sales tax paid on previous purchase, which is how it becomes a tax on tax.
This was the case with the sales tax few years ago. At that time, VAT was introduced whereby every next stage person gets credit of the tax paid at earlier stage. This means that when Mr. B pays tax of Rs. 11, he deducts Rs. 10 paid earlier.
Similar concept came in Excise Duty and Service Tax also, which is called Cenvat credit scheme. To a huge extent, the problem of cascading effect of taxes is resolved by these measures.However, there are still problems with the system that have not been solved till date.
GST will solve this problem. Let us see how.
- Sale in one state, resale in the same state
In the example illustrated below, goods are moving from Mumbai to Pune. Since it is a sale within a state, CGST and SGST will be levied. The collection goes to the Central Government and the State Government as pointed out in the diagram. Then the goods are resold from Pune to Nagpur. This is again a sale within a state, so CGST and SGST will be levied. Sale price is increased so tax liability will also increase. In the case of resale, the credit of input CGST and input SGST (Rs. 8) is claimed as shown; and the remaining taxes go to the respective governments.
- Sale in one state, resale in another state
In this case, goods are moving from Indore to Bhopal. Since it is a sale within a state, CGST and SGST will be levied. The collection goes to the Central Government and the State Government as pointed out in the diagram. Later the goods are resold from Bhopal to Lucknow (outside the state). Therefore, IGST will be levied. Whole IGST goes to the central government.
- Sale outside the state, resale in that state
In this case, goods are moving from Delhi to Jaipur. Since it is an interstate sale, IGST will be levied. The collection goes to the Central Government. Later the goods are resold from Jaipur to Jodhpur (within the state). Therefore, CGST and SGST will be levied.
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