(Features of GST)

Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal


How GST will work

Generally, the dealers registered under GST (Manufacturers, Wholesalers and retailers and service providers) charge GST on the price of goods and services from their customers and claim credits for the GST included in the price of their own purchases of goods and services used by them. While GST is paid at each step in the supply chain of goods and services, the paying dealers don't actually bear the burden of the tax because GST is an indirect tax and ultimate burden of the GST has to be taken by the last customer.



Features of GST


GST can be divided into the following features to understand it better:


1.    Charging Tax

The dealers registered under GST (Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Retailers and Service Providers) are required to charge GST at the specified rate of tax on goods and services that they supply to customers. The GST payable is included in the price paid by the recipient of the goods and services. The supplier must deposit this amount of GST with the Government.


2.    Getting Credit of GST

If the recipient of goods or services is a registered dealer (Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Retailers and Service Providers), he will normally be able to claim a credit for the amount of GST he has paid, provided he holds a proper tax invoice. This "input tax credit" is set off against any GST (Output), which the dealer charges on goods and services, which he supplies, to his customers.


3.    Ultimate Burden of Tax on Last Customer

The net effect is that dealers charge GST but do not keep it, and pay GST but get a credit for it. This means that they act essentially as collecting agents for the Government. The ultimate burden of the tax falls on the last and final consumer of the goods and services, as this person gets no credit for the GST paid by him to his sellers or service providers.


4.    Registration

Dealers will have to register for GST. These dealers will include the suppliers, manufacturers, service providers, wholesalers and retailers. If a dealer is not registered, he normally cannot charge GST and cannot claim credit for the GST he pays and further cannot issue a tax invoice.


5.    Tax Period

The tax period will have to be decided by the respective law and normally it is monthly and/or quarterly. On a particular tax period, which is applicable to the dealer concerned, the dealer has to deposit the tax if his output credit is more than the input credit after considering the opening balance, if any, of the input credit.


6.    Refunds

If for a tax period the input credit of a dealer is more than the output credit then he is eligible for refund subject to the provisions of law applicable in this respect. The excess may be carried forward to next period or may be refunded immediately depending upon the provision of law.

7.    Exempted Goods and Services

Certain goods and services may be declared as exempted goods and services and in that case the input credit cannot be claimed on the GST paid for purchasing the raw material in this respect or GST paid on services used for providing such goods and services.


8.    Zero Rated Goods and Services

Generally, export of goods and services are zero-rated and in that case the GST paid by the exporters of these goods and services is refunded. This is the basic difference between Zero rated goods and services and exempted goods and services.


9.    Tax Invoice

Tax invoice is the basic and important document in the GST and a dealer registered under GST can issue a tax invoice and on the basis of this invoice the credit (Input) can be claimed. Normally a tax invoice must bear the name of supplying dealer, his tax identification nos., address and tax invoice nos. coupled with the name and address of the purchasing dealer, his tax identification nos., address and description of goods sold or service provided.


10.  GST Administration

The Centre and the States would have concurrent jurisdiction for the entire value chain and for all taxpayers on the basis of thresholds for goods and services prescribed for the States and the Centre


11.  Accounts and GST Credit

The Central GST and State GST are to be paid to the accounts of the Centre and the States separately. It would have to be ensured that account-heads for all services and goods would have indication whether it relates to Central GST or State GST. Full input credit system would operate in parallel for the Central GST and the State GST. Taxes paid against the Central GST shall be allowed to be taken as input tax credit (ITC) for the Central GST and could be utilized only against the payment of Central GST. The same principle will be applicable for the State GST.


Cross utilization of input tax credit for goods and services would be allowed. However, no credit between CGST and SGST would be permitted, except in the case of inter-State supply of goods and services under the IGST model.


12.  Credit Accumulation

The White Paper on GST states that refund/adjustment of accumulated credit should be completed in a time bound manner. However, ideally, the problem related to credit accumulation on account of refund of GST should be avoided by both the Centre and the States except in the cases such as exports, purchase of capital goods, input tax at higher rate than output tax etc.


13.  Collection Procedure

To the extent feasible, uniform procedure for collection of both Central GST and State GST would be prescribed in the respective legislation for Central GST and State GST.


14.  Periodical Returns /PAN Based ID

The taxpayer would need to submit periodical returns, in common format as far as possible, to both the Central GST authority and to the concerned State GST authorities. Each taxpayer would be allotted a PAN-linked taxpayer identification number with a total of 13/15 digits.


15.  Assessment & Scrutiny

Functions such as assessment, enforcement, scrutiny and audit would be undertaken by the authority which is collecting the tax, with information sharing between the Centre and States. 



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