What is GST?

GST stands for Goods and Service Tax, which by virtue of its launch, has replaced the previous structure of multiple taxes levied by the state and central government. It is a consumption based indirect tax which is charged on sale, manufacturing and consumption on goods and services at the national level. Exports and direct taxes like income tax, corporate tax and capital gain tax will not be affected by GST. The much-awaited GST has a dual tax system comprising of – • Central GST or CGST – To be charged by the central government. • State GST or SGST – To be charged by the state government. • Integrated GST or IGST – To be charged by central government on the inter-state supply of various goods and services.

Impact of GST

Since India has different GST tax rates compared to a single GST rate in most prosperous nations across the globe, the national economy would undergo a major shift from the times of multiple taxes. From a common man to the riches, the word GST will have a significant bearing. While some goods and services would become cheaper, others may just take out more from the pocket of the consumers. The game changer, however, could be the input tax credit that the manufacturers can avail, which hopefully should benefit the consumers at large. The manufacturers can claim tax credit for the raw materials they procure, as well as for using the services like advertising, marketing and training. Similarly, the service providers can avail the credit for the goods they procure.

When Did GST Arrive in India?

Finally, the landmark event in India's taxation history arrived on July 1, 2017, when GST (Goods and Services Tax) became the reality. The biggest reform, which is expected to simplify the Indian tax structure, was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Central Hall of Parliament in the wee hours of 1st July. Jammu & Kashmir, previously, was not the part of the GST regime. But with the state assembly passing the bill despite a boycott by the opposition, the GST in J&K has become a reality now. The GST scheme consists of a four slab structure under which the proposed goods and services will be taxed accordingly. The four slabs are 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. The five services, which feature a taxation of 28% under GST, include five-star hotels, racing, movie tickets and betting on casinos and racing. Education and healthcare are exempted from the tax regime and will continue to remain unaffected. The majority of the services form the part of the 18% tax slab. The scheme is expected to have a mixed effect on the industry as the impact of the same will be visible in the upcoming few years.

Which Indirect Taxes Would GST not include

The GST is expected to include a bundle of indirect taxes. However, a few of them would be out of GST ambit. Which follows as- • Export Duty • Basic Customs Duty • Toll Tax • Stamp Duty • Property Tax • Road & Passenger Tax • Electricity Duty

Guidelines to File GST Returns

As it is not clear regarding the rates to be charged for various goods and services, people, especially business persons and small traders are confused as well as scared of the complex procedure of filing the GST Returns. When it comes to GST Returns, a lot of misconceptions regarding the same have created a bad impression of the complexity around it. But, you will be glad to know that filing the GST Returns is an easy procedure. All you need to do is just read the post further as we have listed below the basics for you.

Those Who Need Not to Bother

• Those who are having a turnover below ₹20 Lakh need not to file any return. They don't need to worry with the GST rollout.
• Those with a turnover of more than ₹ 20 Lakh but below ₹75 Lakh, they need to file one return in three months, which means four returns in a year.
• Not only this, the individuals don't need to give any details of the invoices. However, if someone has opted for a composition scheme, they need to deposit a lump sum amount in the tax without giving much details to the government. All they need to do is just disclose the total turnover.

Form GSTR-1:

Those who are having a turnover of more than ₹75 Lakh and are B- to- C enterprise (business to consumer, including most of the retail sector) will need to file one return GSTR-1, disclosing total sales turnover and nothing else.

Form GSTR-2:

It is actually not a return, rather a computer generated account of all the invoices as furnished by the suppliers. Here, people don't need to file any return but make sure that all their business reflects in GSTR-2, which is not a return but the details of the purchases due to which individuals will get their input tax credit. However, GSTR-2 is not supposed to be filed by an individual as it automatically gets generated when the suppliers file their own GSTR-1.

Form GSTR-3:

It is also not a return but a combination of GSTR-1 and GSTR-2 and is computer generated. Basically, it gives the summary of the total output tax liability and input tax credit. Moreover, the difference between the two is the final tax liability of the month. It is for your review purpose and if you find all the details being reflected correctly, all you need to do is just approve the same. Thus, you just need to file one return, and the government will send you two computer-generated returns with additional information so that you can check and approve the same.

However, talking about the invoices to be filed under GST, only suppliers to resellers (B2B suppliers) not under the composition scheme have to file invoice-wide details. When it comes to composition scheme (paying tax at a flat rate without input credits), it is available for service providers and manufacturers, enjoying an annual turnover of upto Rs.75 Lakh . For the seamless transition into the new indirect tax regime, the GST Return filing process has been simplified with Form GSTR-3B, containing only summary details. Well, for the acclimatization of the taxpayers with the new tax regime, the same form has been provided to all classes of taxpayers.
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