All About GST in India

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Given the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the Parliament (Rajya Sabha on 3 August 2016 and Lok Sabha on 8 August 2016), the Government of India seems committed to replace all the indirect taxes levied on goods and services by the Centre and States and implement GST by April 2017. As a next step, the Bill will need to be ratified by more than 50 perecnt state legislatures, before being put for the President’s assent.  

With GST, it is anticipated that the tax base will be comprehensive, as virtually all goods and services will be taxable, with minimum exemptions.

GST the game changer: GST will be a game changing reform for Indian economy by developing a common Indian market and reducing the cascading effect of tax on the cost of goods and services. It will impact the Tax Structure, Tax Incidence, Tax Computation, Tax Payment, Compliance, Credit Utilization and Reporting leading to a complete overhaul of the current indirect tax system.

GST will have a far reaching impact on almost all the aspects of the business operations in the country, for instance, pricing of products and services, supply chain optimization, IT, accounting, and tax compliance systems.


  • Latest on GST
    • Parliament clears Constitution Amendment Bill for GST. Read more
    • GST - Government outlines road map for GST roll-out by April 2017. Read more
    • The Constitution Amendment Bill for GST passed in the Rajya Sabha on 3 August. Read more
    • Union Cabinet approves changes in the Constitution Amendment Bill for GST. Read more
    • The release of the Model GST Law is a laudable effort and is an important milestone in the GST journey. Find out more

  • Are you ready for the change?

    GST would bring in significant change in doing business in India. Advocacy for best practices, gearing up for changes in processes, training teams and developing IT systems for being GST compliant are the key areas to be assessed.

  • Time is of the essence

    Government is committed to introduce GST by April 2017 and the tax payers need to be GST compliant to be able to test system changes in time. Depending on the operating geographies, size and sector and the changes would be substantial and may require a proactive planning with a time bound action plan.

    In order to prepare for the implementation of GST, the companies need to understand the GST policy development and its implications to scenario planning and preparing a transition roadmap.

  • Roadmap
    • Since the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha, the Bill will be needed to be passed by Lok Sabha and ratified by minimum of 15 States in their respective assemblies before the President can give its assent for its enactment.
    •  GST Council consisting of representatives from the Centre as well as State will be formed within 60 days of the enactment of the Bill. The council  will make  recommendations to the Union and the States on model Goods & Service Tax laws, the rates including floor rates with bands of goods & service tax, the Place of Supply rules and any other matter relating to GST as the Council may decideReports of Joint Committee constituted by Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers on business processes of payment, registration refund and return under GST have been released and put in public domain for suggestions.
    • The draft model GST Law was released and put in public domain in June 2016.
    • GST Network, an IT backbone of GST, which will facilitate online registration, tax payment and return filing will be launched.
    • States will frame their respective GST Legislations to enable them to implement GST. It will be in line with the Central GST Legislation.
  • Salient features of proposed Indian GST system
    • The power to make laws in respect of supplies in the course of inter-State trade or commerce will be vested only in the Union government. States will have the right to levy GST on intra-State transactions including on services.
    • Centre will levy IGST on inter-State supply of goods and services. Import of goods will be subject to basic customs duty and IGST.
    • GST defined as any tax on supply of goods and services other than on alcohol for human consumption.
    • Central taxes like, Central Excise duty, Additional Excise duty, Service tax, Additional Custom duty and Special Additional duty and State level taxes like, VAT or sales tax, Central Sales tax, Entertainment tax, Entry tax, Purchase tax, Luxury tax and Octroi will subsume in GST.
    • Petroleum and petroleum products i.e. crude, high speed diesel, motor spirit, aviation turbine fuel and natural gas   shall be subject to the GST on a date to be notified by the GST Council.
    • Provision for removing imposition of entry tax / Octroi across India.
    • Entertainment tax, imposed by States on movie, theatre, etc will be subsumed in GST, but taxes on entertainment at panchayat, municipality or district level to continue.
    • GST may be levied on the sale of newspapers and advertisements and this would give the government’s access to substantial incremental revenues.
    • Stamp duties, typically imposed on legal agreements by the state, will continue to be levied by the States.
    • Administration of GST will be the responsibility of the GST Council, which will be the apex policy making body for GST. Members of GST Council comprised of the Central and State ministers in charge of the finance portfolio.
  • EY advantage

    EY has been closely involved with the GST initiative through its Policy Advisory Group comprising of - a specialized team of experienced professionals, including former government officials who advise businesses as well as governments on diverse policy issues. The Group helps businesses anticipate policy changes, assess their impact on their operations, and engage in a constructive dialogue with the relevant authorities for remedial measures to address any concerns. The Group has diverse VAT and GST experience with extensive interactions with both the Centre and the State Governments in India and overseas engagements in various jurisdictions.


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EY - GST – the story so far


  • Understanding GST

    GST is a value added tax, levied at all points in the supply chain with credit allowed for any tax paid on inputs acquired for use in making the supply. It would apply to both goods and services in a comprehensive manner with exemptions restricted to a minimum.

    In keeping with the federal structure of India, it is proposed that GST be levied concurrently by the Centre (CGST) and the States (SGST). It is expected that the base and other essential design features would be common between CGST and SGST, across SGSTs for the individual States. Both CGST and SGST would be levied on the basis of the destination principle. Thus, exports would be zero-rated, and imports would attract the tax in the same manner as domestic goods and services. Inter-State supplies within India would attract an Integrated GST (aggregate of CGST and the SGST of the destination State).

    In addition to the IGST, in respect of supply of goods, an additional tax of up to 1% has been proposed to be levied by the Centre. The revenue from this tax is to be assigned to the origin states. This tax is proposed to be levied for initial two years or such longer period as recommended by the GST Council.

  • Benefits of GST

    GST has been envisaged as a more efficient tax system, neutral in its application and distributionally attractive. The advantages of GST are:

    • Wider tax base, necessary for lowering the tax rates and eliminating classification disputes
    • Elimination of multiplicity of taxes and their cascading effects
    • Rationalization of tax structure and simplification of compliance procedures
    • Harmonization of center and State tax administrations, which would reduce duplication and compliance costs
    • Automation of compliance procedures to reduce errors and increase efficiency

    Destination principle

    The GST structure would follow the destination principle. Accordingly, imports would be subject to GST, while exports would be zero-rated. In the case of inter-State transactions within India, the State tax would apply in the State of destination as opposed to that of origin.

    Taxes to be subsumed

    GST would replace most indirect taxes currently in place such as:

    Central Taxes
    • Central Excise Duty [including additional excise duties, excise duty under the Medicinal and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955]
    • Service tax
    • Additional Customs Duty (CVD)
    • Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD)
    • Central Sales Tax ( levied by the Centre and collected by the States)
    • Central surcharges and cesses ( relating to supply of goods and services)
    State Taxes
    • Value Added Tax
    • Octroi and Entry Tax
    • Purchase Tax
    • Luxury Tax
    • Taxes on lottery, betting & gambling
    • State cesses and surcharges
    • Entertainment tax (other than the tax levied by the local bodies)
    • Central Sales Tax ( levied by the Centre and collected by the States)
  • Impact on GST

    EY - Impact on GST

     

  • Summary of key business impacts

    Sourcing

    • Inter-State procurement could prove viable
    • This may open opportunities to consolidate suppliers/vendors
    • Additional duty/CVD and Special Additional duty components of customs duty to be replaced.

    Distribution

    • Changes in tax system could warrant changes in both procurement and distribution arrangements
    • Current arrangements for distribution of finished goods may no longer be optimal with the removal of the concept of excise duty on manufacturing
    • Current network structure and product flows may need review and possible alteration

    Pricing and profitability

    • Tax savings resulting from the GST structure would require repricing of products
    • Margins or price mark-ups would also need to be re-examined

    Cash flow

    • Removal of the concept of excise duty on manufacturing can result in improvement in cash flow and inventory costs as GST would now be paid at the time of sale/supply rather than at the time or removal of goods from the factory.

     

    System changes and transaction management

    • Potential changes to accounting and IT systems in areas of master data, supply chain transactions, system design
    • Existing open transactions and balances as on the cut-off date need to be migrated out to ensure smooth transition to GST
    • Changes to supply chain reports (e.g., purchase register, sales register, services register), other tax reports and forms (e.g., invoices, purchase orders) need review
    • Appropriate measures such as training of employees, compliance under GST, customer education, and tracking of inventory credit are needed to ensure smooth transition to the GST regime

    The key imperatives for companies are:

    • Understand key areas of impact in their business.
    • Prepare different scenarios for the design and application of GST.
    • Continually track policy development regarding GST and update prepared scenarios.
    • Identify any areas of adverse impact and prepare contingency measures.
    • Identify issues and concerns needing representations to the authorities and develop a strategy for effective advocacy.

To find out more about the services we offer in this area, please contact

EY - Satya Poddar

Satya Poddar

Senior Tax Advisor
Tax Policy Group

+91124 464 4750

EY - Harishanker Subramaniam

Harishanker Subramaniam

Partner and Leader
Indirect Taxes

+91 124 464 4103

EY - Neel Goyal

Neel Goyal

Partner
Advisory Services

+ 91 124 464 4000

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