February 25, 2023

GST - Goods  Services Tax GST - What is GST? - Indirect Tax Law

Goods and Services Tax, popularly known as GST, is a revolutionary indirect tax law that was implemented in India on July 1, 2017. GST was implemented with the aim of replacing multiple taxes like VAT, Service Tax, and Excise Duty, among others. The introduction of GST was a historic tax reform in India that brought in a uniform tax system across the country, replacing the earlier complicated indirect tax structure.

What is GST?

GST is a comprehensive indirect tax that is levied on the manufacture, sale, and consumption of goods and services across India. GST is charged at every stage of the supply chain, with credit being provided for taxes paid earlier in the process. GST is levied on both goods and services, and it is a destination-based tax, which means that the tax is collected where the consumption of goods and services takes place.

Under GST, there are four tax rates- 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The products and services are classified under these brackets based on their nature and usage. GST is administered by the GST Council, which comprises the Finance Ministers of the Central and State Governments.

Benefits of GST

GST has brought about several benefits to the Indian economy. Some of the key benefits are:

  • Elimination of double taxation: GST has eliminated the cascading effect of taxes, which was prevalent in the earlier tax structure. This means that there is no tax on tax, which has reduced the overall tax burden on businesses.
  • Uniform tax structure: GST has brought in a uniform tax structure across India, which has eliminated the inter-state tax barriers. This has made it easier for businesses to operate across the country.
  • Increased compliance: GST has made it mandatory for businesses to maintain proper records and file regular returns. This has increased the compliance levels among businesses and brought in greater transparency in the tax system.
  • Boost to the economy: The introduction of GST has led to the formalization of the economy, which has resulted in increased tax revenues for the government. This has, in turn, led to increased spending on infrastructure and welfare schemes.

New Compliances Under GST

With the implementation of GST, there are several new compliances that businesses need to adhere to. Some of the key compliances are:

  • GST Registration: All businesses with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs for NE and hill states) need to register under GST.
  • GST Returns: Registered businesses need to file monthly, quarterly, and annual returns under GST. The returns need to be filed electronically through the GST portal.
  • GST Invoicing: Under GST, businesses need to issue GST compliant invoices, which need to contain certain mandatory details like the GSTIN of the supplier and recipient, HSN/SAC codes, and the tax rate and amount.
  • GST Payment: Businesses need to pay the GST liability on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on their turnover. The payment needs to be made electronically through the GST portal.


GST has been a game-changer for the Indian economy, bringing in a much-needed uniform tax system. While there have been some initial teething problems, GST has been successful in streamlining the indirect tax structure in India. With the introduction of new compliances, businesses need to ensure that they maintain proper records and adhere to the new tax system to avoid any penalties or legal issues.


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