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Updated FAQ on GST as on 1st January 2018

Posted on 06 January 2018,    
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1. Overview of Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Q 1. What is Goods and Services Tax (GST)?

Ans. It is a destination based tax on consumption of goods and services. It is proposed to be levied at all stages right from manufacture up to final consumption with credit of taxes paid at previous stages available as setoff. In a nutshell, only value addition will be taxed and burden of tax is to be borne by the final consumer.

Q 2. What exactly is the concept of destination based tax on consumption?

Ans. The tax would accrue to the taxing authority which has jurisdiction over the place of consumption which is also termed as place of supply.

Q 3. Which of the existing taxes are proposed to be subsumed under GST?

Ans. The GST would replace the following taxes:

(i) taxes currently levied and collected by the Centre:

a. Central Excise duty
b. Duties of Excise (Medicinal and Toilet Preparations)
c. Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance)
d. Additional Duties of Excise (Textiles and Textile Products)
e. Additional Duties of Customs (commonly known as CVD)
f. Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD)
g. Service Tax
h. Central Surcharges and Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services

(ii) State taxes that would be subsumed under the GST are:

a. State VAT
b. Central Sales Tax c. Luxury Tax
d. Entry Tax (all forms)
e. Entertainment and Amusement Tax (except when levied by the local bodies) f. Taxes on advertisements g. Purchase Tax
h. Taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling
i. State Surcharges and Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services

The GST Council shall make recommendations to the Union and States on the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Centre, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed in the GST.

Q 4. What principles were adopted for subsuming the above taxes under GST?

Ans. The various Central, State and Local levies were examined to identify their possibility of being subsumed under GST. While identifying, the following principles were kept in mind:

(i) Taxes or levies to be subsumed should be primarily in the nature of indirect taxes, either on the supply of goods or on the supply of services.

(ii) Taxes or levies to be subsumed should be part of the transaction chain which commences with import/ manufacture/ production of goods or provision of services at one end and the consumption of goods and services at the other.

(iii) The subsumation should result in free flow of tax credit in intra and inter-State levels. The taxes, levies and fees that are not specifically related to supply of goods & services should not be subsumed under GST.

(v) Revenue fairness for both the Union and the States individually would need to be attempted.

Q 5. Which are the commodities proposed to be kept outside the purview of GST?

Ans. Article 366(12A) of the Constitution as amended by 101st Constitutional Amendment Act, 2016 defines the Goods and Services tax (GST) as a tax on supply of goods or services or both, except supply of alcoholic liquor for human consumption. So alcohol for human consumption is kept out of GST by way of definition of GST in constitution. Five petroleum products viz. petroleum crude, motor spirit (petrol), high speed diesel, natural gas and aviation turbine fuel have temporarily been kept out and GST Council shall decide the date from which they shall be included in GST. Furthermore, distribution and transmission of electricity and sale and purchase of real estate will also be kept out by way of exemptions.

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