GST: FAQs Series 2

Overview of Goods and Services Tax (GST)…..Continue

Q 11. Why was the Constitution of India amended recently in the context of GST?

Ans. 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 entirelyby 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 for this purpose. Article 246A of the Constitution empowers the Centre and the States to levy and collect the GST.


Q 12. How a particular transaction of goods and services would be taxed simultaneously under Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST)?

Ans. 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 setoff 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.


Q 13. What are the benefits which the Country will accrue from GST?

Ans. 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 tax compliance. Last but not the least, this tax, because of its transparent character, would be easier to administer.


Q 14. What is IGST?

Ans. Under the GST regime, an Integrated GST (IGST) would be levied and collected by the Centre on inter-State supply of goods and services. Under Article 269A of the Constitution, the GST on supplies in the course of inter- State trade or commerce shall be levied and collected by the Government of India and such tax shall be apportioned between the Union and the States in the manner as may be provided by Parliament by law on the recommendations of the Goods and Services Tax Council.

Q 15. Who will decide rates for levy of GST?

Ans. The CGST and SGST would be levied at rates to be jointly decided by the Centre and States. The rates would be notified on the recommendations of the GST Council.


Q 16. What would be the role of GST Council?


Ans. A GST Council would be constituted comprising the Union Finance Minister (who will be the Chairman of the Council), the Minister of State (Revenue) and the State Finance/Taxation Ministers to make recommendations to the Union and the States on

(i) the taxes, cesses and surcharges levied by the Centre, the States and the local bodies which may be subsumed under GST;
(ii) the goods and services that may be subjected to or exempted from the GST;
(iii) the date on which the GST shall be levied on petroleum crude, high speed diesel, motor sprit (commonly known as petrol), natural gas and aviation turbine fuel;
(iv) model GST laws, principles of levy, apportionment of IGST and the principles that govern the place of supply;
(v) the threshold limit of turnover below which the goods and services may be exempted from GST;
(vi) the rates including floor rates with bands of GST;
(vii) any special rate or rates for a specified period to raise additional resources during any natural calamity or disaster;
(viii) special provision with respect to the North- East States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and
(ix) any other matter relating to the GST, as the Council may decide.


Q 17. What is the guiding principle of GST Council?

Ans. The mechanism of GST Council would ensure harmonization on different aspects of GST between the Centre and the States as well as among States. It has been provided in the Constitution ( one hundred and first amendment) Act, 2016 that the GST Council, in its discharge of various functions, shall be guided by the need for a harmonized structure of GST and for the development of a harmonized national market for goods and services.

Q 18. Who is liable to pay GST under the proposed GST regime?

Ans. Under the GST regime, tax is payable by the taxable person on the supply of goods and/or services. Liability to pay tax arises when the taxable person crosses the turnover threshold of Rs.20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs for NE & Special Category States) except in certain specified cases where the
taxable person is liable to pay GST even though he has not crossed the threshold limit. The CGST / SGST is payable on all intra-State supply of goods and/or services and IGST is payable on all inter- State supply of goods and/or services.

The CGST /SGST and IGST are payable at the rates specified in the Schedules to the respective Acts.


Q 19. What are the benefits available to small tax payers under the GST regime?

Ans. Tax payers with an aggregate turnover in a financial year up to [ Rs.20 lakhs & Rs.10 Lakhs for NE and special category states] would be e x empt f r om tax. Further, a person whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year is less than Rs.50 Lakhs can opt for a simplified composition scheme where tax will payable at a concessional rate on the turnover in a state.
[Aggregate turnover shall include the aggregate value of all taxable supplies, exempt supplies and exports of goods and/or services and exclude taxes viz. GST.] Aggregate turnover shall be computed on all India basis. For NE States and special category states, the exemption threshold shall be [Rs.10 lakhs]. All taxpayers eligible for threshold exemption will have the option of paying tax with input tax credit (ITC) benefits. Tax payers making inter-State supplies or paying tax on reverse charge basis shall not be eligible for threshold exemption.

Q 20. How will the goods and services be classified under GST regime?

Ans. HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) code shall be used for classifying the goods under the GST regime. Taxpayers whose turnover is above Rs. 1.5 crores but below Rs. 5 crores shall use 2-digit code and the taxpayers whose turnover is Rs. 5 crores and above shall use 4-digit code.Taxpayers whose turnover is below Rs. 1.5 crores are not required to mention HSN Code in their invoices. Services will be classified as per the Services Accounting Code (SAC)

Disclaimer:

This FAQ on GST compiled by NACEN and vetted by the Source Trainers is based on the CGST/SGST/UTGST/IGSTAct(s). This FAQ is for training and academic purposes only.

The information in this blogger is reproduced from FAQ on GST publised by CBEC updated on 31 March 2017 and is not intended to be treated as legal ad vice or opinion. For greater details, you are requested to refer to the respective CGST/SGST/UTGST/IGST Acts.

The FAQs refer to CGST and SGST Acts as CGST/SGST as CGST Act and SGST Act are identical in most of the provisions. CGST Act has been introduced in the Parliament. The SGST Acts will be passed by respective state legislatures. A few provisions may be specific to state and may not be in CGST Act.

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