Learn and Understand, What is GST (Goods and Services Tax)?
First, take analysis GST Full Form is Goods and Services Tax. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption. The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services. In effect, GST provides revenue for the government. Also learn, the Concept of Financial Decisions, What is GST (Goods and Services Tax)?
What is GST? GST (Goods and Services Tax) is the biggest indirect tax reform of India. GST is a single tax on the supply of goods and services. It is a destination based tax. GST has subsumed taxes like Central Excise Law, Service Tax Law, VAT, Entry Tax, Octroi, etc. GST is expected to bring together state economies and improve overall economic growth of the nation.
Before learning more about Goods and Sevice Tax, let’s try to understand how taxes in India work. The Government of any country needs money for its functioning and taxes are a major source of revenue for a Government. The taxes thus collected are spent by Govt. on the public.
History of GST:
The goods and services tax (GST) is an indirect federal sales tax that is applied to the cost of certain goods and services. The business adds the GST to the price of the product; a customer who buys the product pays the sales price plus GST, and the GST portion is collected by the business or seller and forwarded to the government.
France was the first country to implement the GST in 1954, and since then an estimated 160 countries have adopted this tax system in some form or another. Some of the countries with GST include Canada, Vietnam, Australia, Singapore, UK, Monaco, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Brazil, and South Korea. India is set to join the GST group on July 1, 2017.
Most countries with a GST have a single unified GST system, which means that a single tax rate is applied throughout the country. A country with a unified GST platform merges central taxes (e.g. sales tax, excise duty tax, and service tax) with state-level taxes (e.g. entertainment tax, entry tax, transfer tax, sin tax, and luxury tax) and collects them as one single tax. These countries tax virtually everything at a single rate.
Only a handful such as Canada and Brazil have a dual GST structure. Compared to a unified GST economy where tax is collected by the federal or central government and then distributed to the states, in a dual system, the federal GST is applied in addition to the state sales tax. In Canada for example, the federal government levies a 5% tax and some provinces/states also levy a provincial state tax (PST) which varies from 7 to 10%. In this case, a consumer’s receipt will clearly have the GST and PST rate that was applied to his or purchase value.
India is proposed to have a dual GST set up in 2017, which will be the biggest reform in the country’s tax structure in decades. The main objective of incorporating the GST is to eliminate the tax on tax i.e. double taxation which cascades from the manufacturing level to the consumption level.
Brief History of GST in India:
Introduction of GST is considered to be a significant step in the reform of indirect taxation in India. Amalgamating of various Central and State taxes into a single tax would help mitigate the double taxation, cascading, a multiplicity of taxes, classification issues, taxable event, etc., and leading to a common national market.
VAT rates and regulations differ from state to state. On the other hand, GST brings in uniform tax system across all the states. Here, the taxes would be divided between the Central and State government.
The current system with no GST implies that tax is paid on the value of goods and margin at every stage of the production process. This would translate to a higher amount of total taxes paid, which is carried down to the end consumer in the form of higher costs for goods and services. Implementing the GST system in India is, therefore, a measure that will be used to reduce inflation in the long run, as prices for goods will be lower.
These taxes are broadly classified into two types: Direct Tax and Indirect Tax
Direct Tax – Direct Tax is imposed on the Income of an individual. The amount of Tax payable varies on the income earned by the individual from various sources such as salary, house rent income etc. So, the more you earn, the more tax you pay to the Government which essentially means the rich pay more tax in comparison to the poor.
Indirect Tax – Indirect tax is not imposed directly on the income of individuals. Instead, it is imposed on goods and services which in turn increase the cost MRP) of Goods and Services. Unlike the direct tax, an indirect tax should be borne by the end customer, rich and poor alike., There are many indirect taxes. Some of these are levied by the Central Government whereas some are levied by the State Government making the indirect tax system an extremely complicated system.
GST has been introduced to replace multiple indirect taxes levied by State and Central Governments in order to simplify the indirect tax system. GST has replaced almost 17 of the existing state and central indirect taxes (more to come in the future) such as central excise duty, additional customs duty, VAT, entertainment tax, service tax etc.
It is called as Goods and Services Tax because it is applicable to the supply of both Goods and Services. Click for understanding GST with a simple example.