February 25, 2023

How Will GST Impact Your Personal Finances?

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been a hot topic of discussion ever since it was introduced in India in 2017. The GST is a single tax that aims to simplify the tax system by replacing all indirect taxes with a single tax. This means that the GST will impact business owners, consumers and even smokers.

What is GST?

GST is a single, comprehensive tax that is levied on goods and services at every stage of the supply chain. It has replaced all previous indirect taxes like VAT, excise duty, service tax, entry tax and customs duty. GST is levied at multiple rates depending on the goods or services being supplied.

Impact on Smokers

The GST has had a significant impact on the tobacco industry, especially smokers. Under the GST regime, cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products are taxed at a much higher rate than before. This is because the GST has replaced the earlier excise duty and VAT taxes, which were relatively lower. The GST rate varies depending on the type of tobacco product, but all of them are taxed at a higher rate than before.

For instance, earlier, the excise duty on cigarettes was around 40% to 50% of the retail price, and VAT was around 14.5%. However, under the GST regime, cigarettes attract a GST rate of 28%, plus additional cess of around 12%. This means that the total tax rate on cigarettes is around 40%, which is higher than before.

Similarly, other tobacco products like cigars, bidis, and chewing tobacco also attract a higher tax rate under the GST regime. This has led to an increase in prices, making smoking an expensive habit.

Impact on Personal Finances

The GST has had a mixed impact on personal finances. On the one hand, it has led to a reduction in the prices of certain goods and services due to the elimination of multiple taxes. This has benefited consumers, especially those who purchase essential goods and services like food items, clothes, and personal care products.

On the other hand, the high GST rates on certain goods like luxury cars, cigarettes, and alcohol have increased their prices, making them expensive. This has affected the purchasing power of consumers who buy such goods.

Additionally, the GST has also impacted the cost of services like healthcare, education, and travel. Under the GST regime, certain services like healthcare and education have become more expensive, while others like travel and hospitality have become cheaper. This has led to a mixed impact on personal finances.


In conclusion, the GST has had a significant impact on personal finances, especially on smokers. The high tax rates on tobacco products have made smoking an expensive habit, while the impact on other goods and services has been mixed. It is important to understand the impact of GST on personal finances and plan accordingly.


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