February 23, 2023

Gift Vouchers are Neither Goods nor Services for GST

Gift vouchers, also known as gift cards, are a popular way of gifting. They are convenient, versatile and easy to give. In recent times, gift vouchers have gained popularity among businesses as well. It has become common practice for businesses to issue gift vouchers to their customers as a way of promoting their products or services. However, the taxation of gift vouchers has remained a grey area.

What are gift vouchers?

A gift voucher is a prepaid card or certificate that can be redeemed for goods or services from a particular business or a group of businesses. Gift vouchers can be physical or electronic. They can be issued by businesses or by third-party providers such as banks or retailers.

Gift vouchers and GST

GST or Goods and Services Tax, is a tax levied on the supply of goods and services in India. The GST regime came into effect from July 1, 2017. It replaced a host of indirect taxes such as excise duty, service tax, and value-added tax (VAT).

One of the most significant challenges in the GST regime has been the classification of gift vouchers. The GST law does not clearly define gift vouchers or their treatment under the GST regime. This has led to confusion and ambiguity among businesses and taxpayers.

Are gift vouchers goods or services?

Under the GST regime, goods and services are taxed differently. Goods are taxed under the CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) Act, 2017, while services are taxed under the IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax) Act, 2017.

The classification of gift vouchers as goods or services has been a matter of debate. The GST Council has clarified that gift vouchers are neither goods nor services. They are a means of payment and fall under the category of 'money' as per the GST law.

How are gift vouchers taxed under GST?

Gift vouchers are considered a means of payment, and as such, they are not subject to GST at the time of issuance. However, when the voucher is redeemed, the transaction is treated as a supply of goods or services, and GST is levied accordingly.

For example, suppose a customer purchases a gift voucher worth INR 500 from a restaurant. In that case, GST is not levied at the time of purchase since the voucher is considered a means of payment. However, when the customer redeems the voucher for food, GST is levied on the transaction at the applicable rate.


In conclusion, gift vouchers are neither goods nor services under the GST regime. They are a means of payment and fall under the category of 'money'. Businesses need to be aware of the GST implications of issuing and redeeming gift vouchers. When a gift voucher is redeemed, it is treated as a supply of goods or services, and GST is levied accordingly.


Input Tax Credit under CGST Act on unsold stocks by TRADERS
Immovable Property Renting- GST Law - Place of Supply Registration
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)