If you have experience of handling GST Compliance and looking for job in Goods and Services Tax then prepare well with our interview questions page. Goods and Service Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax} levied in India on the sale of goods and services. GST is levied at every step in the production process, but is refunded to all parties in the chain of production other than the final consumer. Goods and services are divided into five tax slabs for collection of tax - 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. There are many jobs in Goods and Services Tax some of them are manager, indirect tax specialist, tax analyst, accouter, head of financial accounting and accountant etc on wisdom jobs. please have a look at our goods and services tax jobs interview questions and answers page to win your job search.
The replacement of the existing taxes with the GST will lead to a revenue loss for the states. The states want compensation for this and the matter is how they will be compensated. So there are efforts to arrive at a formula that is acceptable to the states.
Most of the countries across the world have a GST in place. In fact by some estimates more than 140 countries have implemented the GST in their economies.
Income tax and Corporation taxes are direct taxes which means that they have to be paid by the person or entity on whom they are levied and cannot be passed on to someone else. They will remain as they exist currently but the change will occur in all indirect taxes present in the country.
Except for a specific list of exempted items all the other goods and services will be covered under the GST making this a comprehensive tax in the Indian Economy. In fact this will be the main tax on the indirect tax side in the economy.
There will be a standard rate present under the GST. This will make the impact different for various goods and services across the country depending upon the current or existing rate. If the existing rate is higher then the GST will lead to a lower rate but if the rate is lower than the rate will be higher. However it is expected that with multiple taxes eliminated it will ultimately lead to savings for the consumer.
The GST is collected at the point of sale so there is no confusion about when this has to be paid. Currently different taxes are collected at different stages of the process so there is a tax on manufacturing, one at the time of sale and even another one when goods move from one place to the other. Under the GST all of these will be eliminated making it easier to implement and follow.
The GST is an indirect tax which means that the tax is passed on till the last stage wherein it is the customer of the goods and services who bears the tax. This is the case even today for all indirect taxes but the difference under the GST is that with streamlining of the multiple taxes the final cost to the customer will come out to be lower on the elimination of double charging in the system.
The biggest benefit that will be witnessed with the introduction of the GST is that multiple taxes that currently exist will no longer remain in the picture. This means that taxes like octroi, CENVAT, central sales tax, state sales tax, entry tax, license fees, turnover tax etc will no longer be present and all that will be brought under the GST. Businesses thus will not have to deal with multiple taxes but will be able to undertake the tax compliance in an easy manner.
All the stages related to a good or a service is covered under the GST. This means that it is a levy that will cover the manufacture, consumption and sale of various goods and services. This will be undertaken at a national level, so it is comprehensive in nature.
The data is not disclosed yet but some hints suggest that the return online can be filed by the GST Portal.
The government has registered themselves in nonprofit organization Goods and services Network (GSTN) to share IT infrastructure and services to central and state government, stakeholders as well as taxpayers. The main agenda behind the formation of GSTN Goods and service tax network are that there will be a uniform and transparent interface readily available to all the members, taxpayers, stakeholders and government.
The GSTN will be a framework which will be used to create an elongated feature of various information regarding registrations, return and payments to taxpayers, and also having a server for backing up the states which encompass processing of returns, registrations, audits, assessments, and appeals.
All the governing bodies, accounting departments, RBI and banks are also making themselves ready for this new IT structure for the proper implementation of GST. It will be very helpful in self-assessing of the returns and there will be no manual filing of returns.
There are various layers in pricing factors in India which are currently prevailing at every step of transfer of Goods and Services from manufacturer/service provider to the end consumer.
By taking an example, let us understand that how the GST application will turn the scene for Indian consumers:-
Let's say, a Good of Rs. 100 including tax of Rs. 10 and all the raw material. After the total manufacturing of that product he adds Rs. 30 to his value
Now the total gross value of the product will be 100+30 = Rs. 130
At an assumed tax rate of 10%, the tax incurred upon the particular product will be thereby Rs. 13
But, here the twist of GST will be that the previous tax paid by him of Rs. 10 while taking the possession of raw materials would be waived off as a value chain
Therefore, the effective GST on the manufacturer will be applicable only 13-10 i.e. Rs. 3
Here the wholesaler obtains the product from the manufacturer for Rs. 130 and adds his margin of let's say Rs. 20
Now the gross value of the good would be jumped to 130 + 20 = Rs. 150
Here again, the tax applicability will be Rs. 15 as a 10% taxation rule but the GST regime will write off on his output i.e. Rs. 15 against the previously paid tax by the manufacturer of Rs. 13. So, therefore here again the GST regime will only applicable of 15-13 = Rs. 2
In this last stage, the retailer will take the product from the wholesaler from the given Rs. 150 and assume that he adds a value of Rs. 10 to his remuneration, making the gross value of Rs. 160 (150+10). Now here, the tax applicability arises of Rs. 16 but the previous included tax paid by him of Rs. 15 in his last purchase from the wholesaler will put the tax liability dropped down to Rs. 1 only
Thus, from the new GST taxation scheme, the total tax arises from the transactions sums only Rs. 10+3+2+1 = Rs. 16.
The Indian government is comprised of a dual federal structure and with this anatomy, there will be two components formation:-
Both of the components will levy the tax on their level across whole value chain. These components are responsible for collecting the taxes from their respective designated area of operation by applying the incurred GST. The input tax credit of CGST will be accessible for meeting the CGST liability on the outcoming at every stage. Similarly, the credit of SGST paid on inputs will be accessible for meeting SGST on output. However, there will be no overlapping usability of credits.
GST being an indirect tax levy that seeks to replace transaction taxes, the same would not have an impact on income tax, which is a tax on income. Therefore, income tax would continue to apply on the income of individuals and businesses as is being applied presently.
Customer can expect transparency as regards taxes levied. By way of illustration, today, a customer buying an IT hardware or consumer durable at a retail store is oblivious to the customs / excise duties built into the price. Further, given that GST seeks to eliminate cascading effect of taxes, in the medium to long run, GST should essentially result in price reduction with businesses opting to pass on tax efficiency to customers in the form of price reduction, subject of course to a reasonable GST rate being imposed on goods and services.
Key reasons for GST related opposition include:-
The Joint Working Group has also been entrusted the task of preparing draft legislation for CGST, a suitable Model Legislation for SGST and rules and procedures for CGST and SGST. Simultaneous steps have also been initiated for drafting of legislation for IGST and rules and procedures. As a part of this exercise, the Working Group will also address to the issues of dispute resolution and advance ruling.
A Joint Working Group has recently been constituted (September 30, 2009) comprising of the officials of the Central and State Governments to prepare, in a time-bound manner a draft legislation for Constitutional Amendment.
The Constitution provides for delineation of power to tax between the Centre and States. While the Centre is empowered to tax services and goods upto the production stage, the States have the power to tax sale of goods. The States do not have the powers to levy a tax on supply of services while the Centre does not have power to levy tax on the sale of goods. Thus, the Constitution does not vest express power either in the Central or State Government to levy a tax on the supply of goods and services. Moreover, the Constitution also does not empower the States to impose tax on imports. Therefore, it is essential to have Constitutional Amendments for empowering the Centre to levy tax on sale of goods and States for levy of service tax and tax on imports and other consequential issues.
As part of the exercise on Constitutional Amendment, there would be a special attention to the formulation of a mechanism for upholding the need for a harmonious structure for GST along with the concern for the powers of the Centre and the States in a federal structure.
Cross utilization of credit of CGST between goods and services would be allowed. Similarly, the facility of cross utilization of credit will be available in case of SGST. However, the cross utilization of CGST and SGST would generally not be allowed except in the case of inter-State supply of goods and services under the IGST model.
With Constitutional Amendments, both CGST and SGST will be levied on import of goods and services into the country. The incidence of tax will follow the destination principle and the tax revenue in case of SGST will accrue to the State where the imported goods and services are consumed. Full and complete set-off will be available on the GST paid on import on goods and services.
A Composition/Compounding Scheme will be an important feature of GST to protect the interests of small traders and small scale industries. The Composition/Compounding scheme for the purpose of GST should have an upper ceiling on gross annual turnover and a floor tax rate with respect to gross annual turnover. In particular there will be a compounding cut-off at Rs. 50 lakhs of the gross annual turnover and the floor rate of 0.5% across the States. The scheme would allow option for GST registration for dealers with turnover below the compounding cut-off.
Threshold exemption is built into a tax regime to keep small traders out of tax net.
This has three-fold objectives:-
It is difficult to administer small traders and cost of administering of such traders is very high in comparison to the tax paid by them.
The compliance cost and compliance effort would be saved for such small traders.
Small traders get relative advantage over large enterprises on account of lower tax incidence.
The present thresholds prescribed in different State VAT Acts below which VAT is not applicable varies from State to State. A uniform State GST threshold across States is desirable and, therefore, as already mentioned in Answer to Question 6, it has been considered that a threshold of gross annual turnover of Rs. 10 lakh both for goods and services for all the States and Union Territories might be adopted with adequate compensation for the States (particularly, the States in North-Eastern Region and Special Category States) where lower threshold had prevailed in the VAT regime. Keeping in view the interest of small traders and small scale industries and to avoid dual control, the States also considered that the threshold for Central GST for goods may be kept Rs.1.5 Crore and the threshold for services should also be appropriately high.
The Empowered Committee has decided to adopt a two-rate structure a lower rate for necessary items and items of basic importance and a standard rate for goods in general. There will also be a special rate for precious metals and a list of exempted items. For upholding of special needs of each State as well as a balanced approach to federal flexibility, it is being discussed whether the exempted list under VAT regime including Goods of Local Importance may be retained in the exempted list under State GST in the initial years. It is also being discussed whether the Government of India may adopt, to begin with, a similar approach towards exempted list under the CGST.
For CGST relating to goods, the States considered that the Government of India might also have a two-rate structure, with conformity in the levels of rate with the SGST. For taxation of services, there may be a single rate for both CGST and SGST.The exact value of the SGST and CGST rates, including the rate for services, will be made known duly in course of appropriate legislative actions.
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:-
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.
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.
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.
Revenue fairness for both the Union and the States individually would need to be attempted.
On application of the above principles, the Empowered Committee has recommended that the following Central Taxes should be, to begin with, subsumed under the Goods and Services Tax:
The following State taxes and levies would be, to begin with, subsumed under GST:
Purchase tax: Some of the States felt that they are getting substantial revenue from Purchase Tax and, therefore, it should not be subsumed under GST while majority of the States were of the view that no such exemptions should be given. The difficulties of the foodgrain producing States was appreciated as substantial revenue is being earned by them from Purchase Tax and it was, therefore, felt that in case Purchase Tax has to be subsumed then adequate and continuing compensation has to be provided to such States. This issue is being discussed in consultation with the Government of India.
Tax on items containing Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages would be kept out of the purview of GST. Sales Tax/VAT could be continued to be levied on alcoholic beverages as per the existing practice. In case it has been made Vatable by some States, there is no objection to that. Excise Duty, which is presently levied by the States may not also be affected.
Tax on Tobacco products: Tobacco products would be subjected to GST with ITC. Centre may be allowed to levy excise duty on tobacco products over and above GST with ITC.
Tax on Petroleum Products: As far as petroleum products are concerned, it was decided that the basket of petroleum products, i.e. crude, motor spirit (including ATF) and HSD would be kept outside GST as is the prevailing practice in India. Sales Tax could continue to be levied by the States on these products with prevailing floor rate. Similarly, Centre could also continue its levies. A final view whether Natural Gas should be kept outside the GST will be taken after further deliberations.
Taxation of Services: As indicated earlier, both the Centre and the States will have concurrent power to levy tax on goods and services. In the case of States, the principle for taxation of intra-State and inter-State has already been formulated by the Working Group of Principal Secretaries/Secretaries of Finance/Taxation and Commissioners of Trade Taxes with senior representatives of Department of Revenue, Government of India. For inter-State transactions an innovative model of Integrated GST will be adopted by appropriately aligning and integrating CGST and IGST.
The Central GST and the State GST would be levied simultaneously on every transaction of supply of goods and services except the exempted goods and services, goods which are outside the purview of GST and the transactions which are below the prescribed threshold limits. Further, both would be levied on the same price or value unlike State VAT which is levied on the value of the goods inclusive of CENVAT. While the location of the supplier and the recipient within the country is immaterial for the purpose of CGST, SGST would be chargeable only when the supplier and the recipient are both located within the State.
Illustration I: Suppose hypothetically that the rate of CGST is 10% and that of SGST is 10%. When a wholesale dealer of steel in Uttar Pradesh supplies steel bars and rods to a construction company which is also located within the same State for, say Rs. 100, the dealer would charge CGST of Rs. 10 and SGST of Rs. 10 in addition to the basic price of the goods. He would be required to deposit the CGST component into a Central Government account while the SGST portion into the account of the concerned State Government. Of course, he need not actually pay Rs. 20 (Rs. 10 + Rs. 10) in cash as he would be entitled to set-off this liability against the CGST or SGST paid on his purchases (say, inputs). But for paying CGST he would be allowed to use only the credit of CGST paid on his purchases while for SGST he can utilize the credit of SGST alone. In other words, CGST credit cannot, in general, be used for payment of SGST. Nor can SGST credit be used for payment of CGST.
Illustration II: Suppose, again hypothetically, that the rate of CGST is 10% and that of SGST is 10%. When an advertising company located in Mumbai supplies advertising services to a company manufacturing soap also located within the State of Maharashtra for, let us say Rs. 100, the ad company would charge CGST of Rs. 10 as well as SGST of Rs. 10 to the basic value of the service. He would be required to deposit the CGST component into a Central Government account while the SGST portion into the account of the concerned State Government. Of course, he need not again actually pay Rs. 20 (Rs. 10+Rs. 10) in cash as it would be entitled to set-off this liability against the CGST or SGST paid on his purchase (say, of inputs such as stationery, office equipment, services of an artist etc). But for paying CGST he would be allowed to use only the credit of CGST paid on its purchase while for SGST he can utilise the credit of SGST alone. In other words, CGST credit cannot, in general, be used for payment of SGST. Nor can SGST credit be used for payment of CGST.
India is a federal country where both the Centre and the States have been assigned the powers to levy and collect taxes through appropriate legislation. Both the levels of Government have distinct responsibilities to perform according to the division of powers prescribed in the Constitution for which they need to raise resources. A dual GST will, therefore, be in keeping with the Constitutional requirement of fiscal federalism.
The salient features of the proposed model are as follows:-
With the introduction of GST, all the cascading effects of CENVAT and service tax will be more comprehensively removed with a continuous chain of set-off from the producer's point to the retailer's point than what was possible under the prevailing CENVAT and VAT regime. Certain major Central and State taxes will also be subsumed in GST and CST will be phased out. Other things remaining the same, the burden of tax on goods would, in general, fall under GST and that would benefit the consumers.
The present threshold prescribed in different State VAT Acts below which VAT is not applicable varies from State to State. The existing threshold of goods under State VAT is Rs. 5 lakhs for a majority of bigger States and a lower threshold for North Eastern States and Special Category States. A uniform State GST threshold across States is desirable and, therefore, the Empowered Committee has recommended that a threshold of gross annual turnover of Rs. 10 lakh both for goods and services for all the States and Union Territories may be adopted with adequate compensation for the States (particularly, the States in North-Eastern Region and Special Category States) where lower threshold had prevailed in the VAT regime.
Keeping in view the interest of small traders and small scale industries and to avoid dual control, the States considered that the threshold for Central GST for goods may be kept at Rs.1.5 crore and the threshold for services should also be appropriately high. This raising of threshold will protect the interest of small traders. A Composition scheme for small traders and businesses has also been envisaged under GST as will be detailed in Answer to Question 14. Both these features of GST will adequately protect the interests of small traders and small scale industries.
The subsuming of major Central and State taxes in GST, complete and comprehensive set-off of input goods and services and phasing out of Central Sales Tax (CST) would reduce the cost of locally manufactured goods and services. This will increase the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in the international market and give boost to Indian exports. The uniformity in tax rates and procedures across the country will also go a long way in reducing the compliance cost.
GST will give more relief to industry, trade and agriculture through a more comprehensive and wider coverage of input tax set-off and service tax set-off, subsuming of several Central and State taxes in the GST and phasing out of CST.
The transparent and complete chain of set-offs which will result in widening of tax base and better tax compliance may also lead to lowering of tax burden on an average dealer in industry, trade and agriculture.
The present forms of CENVAT and State VAT have remained incomplete in removing fully the cascading burden of taxes already paid at earlier stages. Besides, there are several other taxes, which both the Central Government and the State Government levy on production, manufacture and distributive trade, where no set-off is available in the form of input tax credit.
These taxes add to the cost of goods and services through tax on tax which the final consumer has to bear. Since, with the introduction of GST, all the cascading effects of CENVAT and service tax would be removed with a continuous chain of set-off from the producer's point to the retailer's point, other major Central and State taxes would be subsumed in GST and CST will also be phased out, the final net burden of tax on goods, under GST would, in general, fall. Since there would be a transparent and complete chain of set-offs, this will help widening the coverage of tax base and improve tax compliance. This may lead to higher generation of revenues which may in turn lead to the possibility of lowering of average tax burden.
There was a burden of tax on tax in the pre-existing Central excise duty of the Government of India and sales tax system of the State Governments. The introduction of Central VAT (CENVAT) has removed the cascading burden of tax on tax to a good extent by providing a mechanism of set off for tax paid on inputs and services upto the stage of production, and has been an improvement over the pre-existing Central excise duty. Similarly, the introduction of VAT in the States has removed the cascading effect by giving set-off for tax paid on inputs as well as tax paid on previous purchases and has again been an improvement over the previous sales tax regime.
But both the CENVAT and the State VAT have certain incompleteness. The incompleteness in CENVAT is that it has yet not been extended to include chain of value addition in the distributive trade below the stage of production. It has also not included several Central taxes, such as Additional Excise Duties, Additional Customs Duty, Surcharges etc. in the overall framework of CENVAT, and thus kept the benefits of comprehensive input tax and service tax set-off out of the reach of manufacturers/dealers. The introduction of GST will not only include comprehensively more indirect Central taxes and integrate goods and services taxes for set-off relief, but also capture certain value addition in the distributive trade.
Similarly, in the present State-level VAT scheme, CENVAT load on the goods has not yet been removed and the cascading effect of that part of tax burden has remained unrelieved. Moreover, there are several taxes in the States, such as, Luxury Tax, Entertainment Tax, etc. which have still not been subsumed in the VAT. Further, there has also not been any integration of VAT on goods with tax on services at the State level with removal of cascading effect of service tax. In addition, although the burden of Central Sales Tax (CST) on inter-State movement of goods has been lessened with reduction of CST rate from 4% to 2%, this burden has also not been fully phased out. With the introduction of GST at the State level, the additional burden of CENVAT and services tax would be comprehensively removed, and a continuous chain of set-off from the original producer's point and service provider's point upto the retailer's level would be established which would eliminate the burden of all cascading effects, including the burden of CENVAT and service tax. This is the essence of GST. Also, major Central and State taxes will get subsumed into GST which will reduce the multiplicity of taxes, and thus bring down the compliance cost. With GST, the burden of CST will also be phased out.
Thus GST is not simply VAT plus service tax, but a major improvement over the previous system of VAT and disjointed services tax a justified step forward.
The major features of the proposed payments procedures under GST are as follows:-
The major features of the proposed returns filing procedures under GST are as follows:-
The major features of the proposed registration procedures under GST are as follows:-
The salient features of the Bill are as follows:-
For the implementation of GST in the country, the Central and State Governments have jointly registered Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) as a not-for-profit, non-Government Company to provide shared IT infrastructure and services to Central and State Governments, tax payers and other stakeholders. The key objectives of GSTN are to provide a standard and uniform interface to the taxpayers, and shared infrastructure and services to Central and State/UT governments.
In case of inter-State transactions, the Centre would levy and collect the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) on all inter-State supplies of goods and services under Article 269A (1) of the Constitution. The IGST would roughly be equal to CGST plus SGST. The IGST mechanism has been designed to ensure seamless flow of input tax credit from one State to another. The inter-State seller would pay IGST on the sale of his goods to the Central Government after adjusting credit of IGST, CGST and SGST on his purchases (in that order). The exporting State will transfer to the Centre the credit of SGST used in payment of IGST. The importing dealer will claim credit of IGST while discharging his output tax liability (both CGST and SGST) in his own State. The Centre will transfer to the importing State the credit of IGST used in payment of SGST.Since GST is a destination-based tax, all SGST on the final product will ordinarily accrue to the consuming State.
Keeping in mind the federal structure of India, there will be two components of GST . Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST). Both Centre and States will simultaneously levy GST across the value chain. Tax will be levied on every supply of goods and services. Centre would levy and collect Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), and States would levy and collect the State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) on all transactions within a State. The input tax credit of CGST would be available for discharging the CGST liability on the output at each stage. Similarly, the credit of SGST paid on inputs would be allowed for paying the SGST on output. No cross utilization of credit would be permitted.
GST is being introduced in the country after a 13 year long journey since it was first discussed in the report of the Kelkar Task Force on indirect taxes.
A brief chronology outlining the major milestones on the proposal for introduction of GST in India is as follows:-
The Parliamentary Standing Committee submitted its Report in August, 2013 to the Lok Sabha. The recommendations of the Empowered Committee and the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee were examined in the Ministry in consultation with the Legislative Department. Most of the recommendations made by the Empowered Committee and the Parliamentary Standing Committee were accepted and the draft Amendment Bill was suitabl revised.
At the Central level, the following taxes are being subsumed:-
At the State level, the following taxes are being subsumed:-
The benefits of GST can be summarized as under:-
For business and industry:
For Central and State Governments:
For the Consumers:
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