Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on GST and their answers which would help the readers to know and understand about the concept and nuances of proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) and its models.
These FAQs have been compiled with sole objective of providing a means of better understanding of GST. For details, readers may refer to Government portals / literature.
Q.23 What is Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST)
Ans. Under the Central Goods and Services Tax, the two levels of Government would combine their levies in the form of a single National GST, with appropriate revenue sharing arrangements among them. The tax could be controlled and administered by the Central Government. There are several models for such a tax. Australia is the most recent example of a National GST, where it is levied and collected by the Centre, but the proceeds are allocated entirely to the States.
In the case of a Central GST (where all goods and services are taxed by the Central government only), the Centre will collect most of the country’s total tax revenue, leaving very little for the sub-national Governments. As against this, the present proposal is to have a dual GST.
Q.24 What is State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) ?
Ans. In State GST, the States alone can levy GST and the Centre withdraws from the field of GST or VAT completely. It can be a desirable option given the mismatch in resources and responsibilities of the States. In this case, the State GST will work as the redistributing mechanism. The loss to the Centre from vacating this tax field could be offset by a suitable compensating reduction in fiscal transfers to the States. This would significantly enhance the revenue capacity of the States and reduce their dependence on the Centre.
Q.25 What is Inter-state Goods and Services Tax (IGST) ?
Ans. According to Model IGST Law, IGST shall mean the tax levied under the IGST Act on the supply of any goods and / or services in the course of inter-state trade or commerce. IGST Act shall apply to whole of India.
Q.26 How will IGST work ?
Ans. Central Government would levy IGST (which would be CGST plus SGST) on all inter-State transactions of taxable goods and services with appropriate provision for consignment or stock transfer of goods and services. The inter-State seller will pay IGST on value addition after adjusting available credit of IGST, CGST, and SGST on his purchases. The Exporting State will transfer to the Centre the credit of SGST used in payment of IGST. The Importing dealer will claim credit of IGST while discharging his output tax liability in his own State. The Centre will transfer to the importing State the credit of IGST used in payment of SGST.
Q.27 How will revenue from IGST be apportioned between Centre and States ?
Ans. Revenue from IGST will be apportioned among Union and States by Parliament on basis of recommendation of Goods and Service Tax Council [Proposed Article 269A(2) and Article 270 (1A) ofConstitution of India]. The apportionment will be required as input tax credit of IGST can be used for SGST and vice versa. Since IGST will be on ‘supply of goods or services’, IGST will be payable on stock transfers, branch transfers and even when goods are dispatched inter-state job work and return.
Q.28 How will the rules for administration of CGST and SGST be framed?
Ans. The Joint Working Group (Empowered Committee) has also been entrusted the task of preparing draft legislation for CGST, a suitable Model Legislation for SGST and rules and procedures for CGST and SGST. Simultaneous steps have also been initiated for drafting of legislation for IGST and rules and procedures. As a part of this exercise, the Working Group will also address to the issues of dispute resolution and advance ruling. The model law and draft business processes have already been released.
Q.29 How would a particular transaction of goods and services 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 ₹ 100, the dealer would charge CGST of ₹ 10 and SGST of ₹ 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 ₹ 20 (Rs. 10 + ₹ 10 ) in cash as he would be entitled to set-off 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 ₹ 100, the ad company would charge CGST of ₹ 10 as well as SGST of ₹ 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 ₹ 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 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.
Q.30 What is the rate structure proposed under GST?
Ans. The Empowered Committee has decided to adopt a two-rate structure –a lower rate for necessary items and items of basic importance and a standard rate for goods in general. There will also be a special rate for precious metals and a list of exempted items. For upholding of special needs of each State as well as a balanced approach to federal flexibility, it is being discussed whether the exempted list under VAT regime including Goods of Local Importance may be retained in the exempted list under State GST in the initial years. It is also being discussed whether the Government of India may adopt, to begin with, a similar approach towards exempted list under the CGST.
For CGST relating to goods, the States considered that the Government of India might also have a two-rate structure, with conformity in the levels of rate with the SGST. For taxation of services, there may be a single rate for both CGST and SGST.
The exact value of the SGST and CGST rates, including the rate for services, will be made known duly in course of appropriate legislative actions.