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 set off. In a nutshell, only value addition will be taxed and burden of tax is to be borne by the final consumer.
The tax would accrue to the taxing authority which has jurisdiction over the place of consumption which is also termed as place of supply.
The GST would replace the following taxes:
Taxes currently levied and collected by the Centre:
State taxes that would be subsumed under the GST are:
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.
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:
Article 366(12A) of the Constitution as amended by 101 st 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, electricity has been kept out of GST .
The existing taxation system (VAT & Central Excise) will continue in respect of the above commodities.
Tobacco and tobacco products would be subject to GST. In addition, the Centre would have the power to levy Central Excise duty on these products.
It would be a dual GST with the Centre and States simultaneously levying it on a common tax base. The GST to be levied by the Centre on intra-State supply of goods and / or services would be called the Central GST (CGST) and that to be levied by the States would be called the State GST (SGST). Similarly Integrated GST (IGST) will be levied and administered by Centre on every inter-state supply of goods and services.
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.
Centre will levy and administer CGST & IGST while respective states / UTs will levy and administer SGST / UTST.
Currently, the fiscal powers between the Centre and the States are clearly demarcated in the Constitution with almost no overlap between the respective domains. The Centre has the powers to levy tax on the manufacture of goods (except alcoholic liquor for human consumption, opium, narcotics etc.) while the States have the powers to levy tax on the sale of goods. In the case of inter-State sales, the Centre has the power to levy a tax (the Central Sales Tax) but, the tax is collected and retained entirely by the States. As for services, it is the Centre alone that is empowered to levy service tax.
Introduction of the GST required amendments in the Constitution so as to simultaneously empower the Centre and the States to levy and collect this tax. The Constitution of India has been amended by the Constitution (one hundred and first amendment) Act, 2016 recently for this purpose. Article 246A of the Constitution empowers the Centre and the States to levy and collect the GST.
Introduction of GST would be a very significant step in the field of indirect tax reforms in India. By amalgamating a large number of Central and State taxes into a single tax and allowing set-off of prior-stage taxes, it would mitigate the ill effects of cascading and pave the way for a common national market. For the consumers, the biggest gain would be in terms of a reduction in the overall tax burden on goods, which is currently estimated at 25%-30%. Introduction of GST would also make our products competitive in the domestic and international markets. Studies show that this would instantly spur economic growth. There may also be revenue gain for the Centre and the States due to widening of the tax base, increase in trade volumes and improved 10 11 tax compliance. Last but not the least, this tax, because of its transparent character, would be easier to administer.
Source : Central Board of Excise and Customs