What is GST?

GST, or Goods and Services Tax, is a comprehensive indirect tax that was introduced in India on July 1, 2017. It replaced a complex system of multiple indirect taxes that were levied at the central and state levels. GST is a destination-based tax, meaning it is levied at the final point of consumption.
Key features of GST include:

1. Unified Tax System:

GST subsumed various indirect taxes such as Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), Central Sales Tax, and more.
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2. Dual GST Model:

GST is implemented as a dual system, comprising Central GST (CGST) levied by the central government and State GST (SGST) levied by individual states.

3. Integrated GST (IGST):

For transactions involving inter-state supply of goods and services, IGST is levied. It is collected by the central government and then distributed to the concerned states.

4. Destination-Based Tax:

GST is a destination-based tax, meaning it is levied at the place where goods or services are consumed. This ensures that revenue goes to the state where the final consumption takes place.

5. Input Tax Credit:

One of the significant advantages of GST is the input tax credit mechanism. Businesses can claim credit for taxes paid on inputs, which helps in eliminating the cascading effect of taxes (tax on tax).

6. Four-Tier Tax Structure:

GST has a four-tier tax structure: 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Additionally, certain goods and services are exempted or taxed at a lower rate, and some goods attract a cess for specific purposes.

7. GST Council:

The GST Council is a constitutional body responsible for making recommendations on issues related to GST, including rates, exemptions, and amendments. It consists of representatives from the central and state governments.
GST has simplified the tax structure, reduced the tax burden on consumers, and streamlined compliance for businesses. It aims to create a common market, enhance ease of doing business, and curb tax evasion. The implementation of GST represents a significant reform in India’s taxation system.