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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is GST?
Goods and Services Tax is destination-based. It is levied in the State where actual consumption of goods and/or services, takes place. It is applied on all stages, starting from the manufacturing up to the final consumption. Here, the taxes paid at different stages of receipt of goods or services is available as a set-off against the GST payable on the supply of goods or services. To make it short, only value addition, occurring at various stages, is taxed and the final consumer has to bear the burden of the tax.
2. What is meant by Destination Based Tax?
Tax is accrued in the state where final consumption of the product is taking place, under GST. The final consumer is to bear this, so the tax amount is to be submitted to the State government, where this final consumer is based.
3. What indirect taxes have been replaced by GST?
Taxes by Centre:

  • Central Excise Duty,
  • Duties of Excise (Medicinal & Toilet Preparations,
  • Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special importance),
  • Additional Duties of Excise (Textiles and Textile Products),
  • Additional Duties of Customs (commonly known as CVD),
  • Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD),
  • Service Tax,
  • Central Surcharges & Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services.

Taxes by State:

  • State VAT
  • Sales Tax
  • Luxury Tax
  • Entry Tax (all forms)
  • Entertainment & Amusement Tax (except when levied by the local bodies)
  • Taxes on advertisements
  • Purchase Tax
  • Taxes on lotteries, betting, and gambling
  • State Surcharges & Cesses so far as they relate to supply of goods and services

5. What is meant by Dual GST? And why?
In India, Dual GST has been implemented with the Centre and States simultaneously levying it on a common tax base. Those business providing intra-state supply of goods and/or services are to apply GST under the Central GST by the Centre. And those business operating within one state are to pay SGST (or the State GST). And Integrated GST (or the IGST) is being levied and administered by the Centre on every inter-state supply of goods and services.
In the Federal Structure of the Indian Constitution, both Central, as well as State governments, have separate responsibilities to perform. For this they need resources. Dual GST helps both governments to collect taxes.
6. Which authority levies GST?
Central Government levies CGST & IGST.
State Government levies SGST
7. Who is Liable for GST online registration?
A supplier of goods, with an annual turnover of Rs. 40 lakh (Rs. 20 lakhs for special category States), must apply for GST registration. There are certain cases where the taxable person is liable to pay GST even though his turnover has not crossed this limit.
Those providing services must get GST registration, once their turnover crosses Rs.20 lakhs and in case of Special Category States at Rs 10 lakhs.
8. Do I have to apply GST if my turnover is less than the limit prescribed?
Below categories of suppliers are to file an application for GST number compulsorily, irrespective of turnover:

  • If you are involved in interstate supplies,
  • You are a Casual taxable person or a Non-Resident taxable person,
  • you are liable to pay tax under Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM),
  • You are supplying on behalf of a taxable person,
  • Input service distributor (ISD),
  • Selling on e-commerce platforms,
  • You are an e-commerce operator,
  • You supply online information and database access or retrieval services from outside India to an unregistered person in India,
  • You are responsible for deducting TDS.

9. What are the Special Category States?
(a) Arunachal Pradesh, (b) Assam, (c) Sikkim, (d) Meghalaya, (e) Tripura, (f) Mizoram, (g) Manipur, (h) Nagaland, and (i) Himachal Pradesh. These states can opt for tax payable at a concessional rate.
10. Commodities outside the Purview of GST?
Alcohol, for human consumption, and five petroleum products namely Crude Petroleum, Petrol (motor spirit), High-speed Diesel, Natural Gas, and Aviation Turbine Fuel were kept out, but only temporarily. GST Council has the power to decide when the concerns involved in this business would need GST registration. Also, electricity has been kept out of GST. VAT & Central Excise, as per earlier taxation system will continue on those.
11. What is HSN?
Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) code is used for the classification of goods. A 2-digit code is to be used, in the invoices, by the Taxpayers with a turnover of above Rs. 1.5 crores but below Rs. 5 crores. While the taxpayers whose turnover is over Rs. 5 crores are to use 4-digit code. Taxpayers with turnover below Rs. 1.5 crores are not required to mention any HSN Code. Services are classified in the Services Accounting Code (SAC).
12. What goods or services have been exempted under GST?
Food (such as Cereals, Fruits & Vegetables, milk, etc), Raw Materials (Raw Material, Yarn, Fiber etc), Medical Tools & Instruments (Hearing Aids, or aids used by physically challenged people), Handtools(such as spades, shovels), Newspapers, Books, Beehives, Human Blood, chalk sticks, contraceptives, earthen pots, props used in pooja (including idols, bindi, kumkum), kites, organic manure, and vaccines. etc.
Services related to Agriculture, cultivation, harvesting etc. Transportation Services by road or bridge. Services by RBI, foreign diplomatic missions, postal services, etc.
13. What is GSTN?
Goods & Service Tax Network (GSTN) was set up to cater to the needs of GST. The aim was to provide a shared IT infrastructure and services to Central and State Governments, tax-payers and other stakeholders for implementing GST. The functions of the GSTN include:

  • ease registration of GST online;
  • computing and settling IGST;
  • forwarding the taxes to Central and State authorities;
  • matching tax payment details with the banking network;
  • providing MIS reports to the Central and the State Governments based on the return information;
  • running the network for reversal and reclaim of the input tax credit.

14. Is there a time limit to apply GST online?
A person must apply GST within 30 days from the date on which he becomes liable to registration. The manner and conditions of the GST application must follow the Registration Rules laid by GST Council.
A Casual taxable person and a Non-Resident taxable person must get their GST registration, at least 5 days before the commencement of business.
15. What is meant by a Casual Taxable Person?
It means a person who operates in a taxable territory only occasionally but has no fixed place of business.
16. Who is a Non-Resident Taxable Person?
A taxable person, with no fixed place of business in India. Residing abroad, and undertaking transaction in India, only occasionally.
17. What is a voluntary GST application?
A person who is not liable, still files for GST application, can get registered. However, then, it becomes essential for him to file Returns, after getting a GST number. Else, he will have to pay a penalty, as applicable.
18. Conditions for obtaining GST registration online under different governments?
A business with operations in various states needs to get GST, separately for each state. The same number would not be valid for all the states.
19. What is the validity of GST Registration Number?
GST certificate is granted for the lifetime of the business unless canceled, suspended, revoked or surrendered.
Only those certificates, as issued to the Casual taxable person, and Non-Resident taxable persons have a validity period fixed by the Authorities.
20. Who is entitled to collect GST?
As soon as you have received GST online, you can start charging this tax from your customers.
21. How to get GST certificate online?
Once your application for GST number has been approved, you can download a copy from the GST common portal.
22. Which State to get my GST registration from?
GST registration has to be obtained for each branch/office/place of from where you are operating. So you need to apply GST for the states you are operating in, as well as, those where you intend to conduct business.
23. Taxation of Imports under GST?
All Imports are treated as inter-state supplies and IGST is levied. The destination principle is followed and the tax revenue accrues to the State where the imported goods and services are consumed. GST paid on the imports is completely set-off, though.
24. Taxation of Exports under GST?
Exporters of goods and/or services, with GST registration, don’t need to pay any tax on their export. All exports are treated as zero-rated supplies. Still, a credit of input tax credit will be available and same is available as a refund to them. They can either pay tax on the output and claim a refund of IGST or export under Bond without paying IGST and claim a refund of Input Tax Credit (ITC).