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Full Form of GST: Everything a Taxpayer Should Know

Full Form of GST: Everything a Taxpayer Should Know

The Goods and Services Tax, or GST, went into force on July 1st, 2017. Indirect taxes like this are typically covered by the final customer. Numerous other indirect taxes, including excise duty, VAT, service tax, entry tax, and luxury tax, have been superseded by GST. To put it briefly, the supply of goods and services is subject to this tax. It is computed using the cost of any good. In India, the Goods and Services Tax is a multi-stage, destination-based tax that is applied to every value addition. It is a comprehensive tax. To comprehend what GST is, let's examine the meanings of these terminologies.


Table of Contents


Features of GST

The products and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive tax system that applies to both products and services. To ensure that the cascading impact of taxes is used, taxes on goods and services have been combined with the simultaneous introduction of GST at the federal and state levels. The following are the key features of GST: 

Single Indirect Tax

Introduced as a unified tax reform, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) replaced a number of previous indirect taxes, including the Central Excise Duty, Service Tax, Octroi & Entry Tax, State VAT/Sales Tax, and others, with a single tax. In addition to making tax compliance for firms easier, the simplification of these indirect taxes also removed the cascading effect—better known as tax-on-tax.

Four-Tier Tax Structure

There are four tax tiers under the Goods and Services Tax (GST): 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. All goods and services must, by law, be taxed in conformity with this tax structure. Nonetheless, certain goods, including food items (such as pasteurised and fresh milk, rice that isn't marked or packaged, unbranded natural honey, etc.), do fall inside the GST's purview and are therefore subject to 0% GST. Two of this 4-tier structure's primary benefits are more transparency and less expensive goods and services.

Input Tax Credit System

The advantage of input tax credit (ITC) is one of the most well-liked aspects of GST. This occurs when producers avoid double taxation by having their input tax subtracted from the total output tax bill that they have paid through purchases. There are a few things you need to do to receive an input tax credit. Among them are: 

  • Only those who have registered, such as distributors of input services 

  • Only valid on purchases made for business-related goods and services 

  • The supplier's legitimate tax invoice or debit note is required for the person claiming ITC, and the input and output invoices must exactly match. 

This reduces the propensity for tax evasion and removes the cascading impact by wiping out "tax-on tax."

Composition Scheme

The  GST composition programme is available to small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) with an annual turnover of Rs 1.5 crores or less (Rs 75 lakhs for special category States, i.e. North-Eastern States). This programme assists business sectors in paying a set Goods and Services Tax rate of 1% on their revenue. If businesses employ the GST composition method, they will not be able to benefit from the input tax credit. But whether a corporation chooses to employ the composition system or take advantage of input tax credit benefits (a one-time choice only) is totally up to them.

Why GST was Implemented in India?

GST is the largest tax reform in the economy since independence because it combines several different Central and State levies into one. GST is an indirect tax that is included in the MRP of the items that are purchased or the service fee that an individual pays. The main justifications for the introduction of the GST in India were as follows: 

  • Eliminating the tax cascade effect: In the old tax system, taxes were imposed on top of taxes, which caused a tax cascade that raised the price of products and services. The smooth credit method of GST removes this cascading impact, lowering the cost of goods and services.

  • Simplifying the tax system: The tax structure under the former system was intricate and multi-layered, making it challenging to comprehend and adhere to. Businesses have a lower compliance burden and find it simpler to comprehend and pay taxes thanks to the GST's streamlined tax system.

  • Encouraging ease of doing business: The implementation of GST has simplified operations for companies operating in various Indian states. Businesses' burden of complying with many state-specific tax requirements was exacerbated under the previous tax structure. Businesses now have a standard tax system throughout India thanks to the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

  • Increasing economic growth: Goods and Services Tax (GST) is anticipated to do so through improving tax compliance, decreasing tax evasion, and encouraging the formalisation of the sector. Additionally, more taxes are anticipated, which would help the government fund social welfare programmes and the construction of infrastructure.

Indirect Taxes Covered Under GST

  • Service Tax

  • Central Sales Tax (CST)

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

  • Central Excise Duty

  • Additional Excise Duty

  • Special Additional Duty of Customs (SAD)

  • Additional Customs Duty or Countervailing Duty (CVD)

  • Purchase Tax

  • Octroi

  • Entertainment Tax

  • Entry Tax (all forms)

  • Luxury Tax

  • Taxes on lotteries, betting, and gambling

  • Taxes on advertisements

Implications of GST on the Indian Taxation System

Indirect taxes have been significantly impacted by GST. It has resulted in a more effective and transparent tax system by replacing several indirect taxes with one tax. Additionally, it has promoted ease of doing business and helped lower operating costs. The Indian economy has undergone significant transformation as a result of its effects on the tax system. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has streamlined the tax system, increasing its efficiency and transparency by substituting several indirect taxes with one.

Taxes Levied Under GST

  • CGST: The Central Government levies the Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) on intrastate supplies of goods and services in accordance with the CGST Act. The central government receives the money gathered under the CGST.

  • SGST: State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) is levied on supplies of goods and services inside the state. It is regulated by the 2017 SGST Act. The state government receives the money obtained under the SGST. 

  • IGST: The integrated goods and services tax, or GST, is levied on all imports as well as interstate sales of products and services. Both the federal government and the state governments receive a portion of the IGST revenue.

  • TGST: The GST system includes the Territory Goods and Services Tax (TGST). It is imposed on the Union Territories' supply of goods and services. The previous taxes imposed by Union Territories were replaced by this one. 

  • UTGST: Union Territory Goods and Services Tax (UTGST) is charged on the provision of goods and services within the Union Territories. This tax is comparable to SGST. It took the place of the Union Territories' taxes.


Thus, as you can see from the above ideas and conversations on the characteristics, definition, and full form of GST, India has been greatly impacted by it since 2017. It is applied to products, services, and even necessities that are needed on a daily basis. Through intermediaries such as manufacturers, suppliers, sellers, and service providers, this tax is indirectly paid to the government. The likelihood of tax evasion has been significantly reduced by its one-point tax method.


Q1. How does GST work?

A destination-based tax known as GST is applied at every point in the supply chain. It replaces many indirect taxes and is predicated on value addition at every level.

Q2. Who actually pays GST?

When a customer buys a product or uses a service, they are responsible for paying GST. 

Q3. What are the different types of GST?

Based on how it is used and the types of transactions it involves, GST is divided into several categories. Integrated Goods and Services Tax, Union Territory Goods and Services Tax, State Goods and Services Tax, and Central Goods and Services Tax are the four main categories of GST.

Q4. Why are there different types of GST?

When combined, these forms of GST guarantee a smooth, tax-free flow of goods and services across state borders. Depending on the kind of transaction, the Central Government and the corresponding State/UT Governments split the taxes collected under the GST system, which guarantees that they are only collected at the point of final consumption.

Q5. What are the benefits of GST implementation?

Benefits of the GST implementation include the abolition of cascading taxes, streamlining of the tax code, heightened tax compliance, and the development of a single national market.

Q6. What are the different GST rates applicable to goods and services?

The GST slab rates come in four varieties. These amounts are 12%, 18%, 28%, and 5%. To guarantee that these products are priced effectively, the GST Council reviews these rates. These are the different GST slabs along with the numerous products and services that fit into each of these categories.

Q7. What is GST registration?

Businesses that generate more than Rs. 40 lakh, Rs. 20 lakh, or Rs. 10 lakh in revenue, depending on the situation, are required to register as regular taxable individuals under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). This procedure is known as "GST registration." A few types of enterprises need to register for GST.  

Q8. How to register for GST?

Each individual or company needs to register for GST. Applying through the Goods and Services Network is required (GSTN). You will obtain a Goods and Services Tax Identification Number upon registering. After completing registration, each state will receive a 15-digit number.

Q9. How does GST differ from the previous tax regime in India?

Unlike the previous tax regime, which had multiple indirect taxes levied by the central and state governments separately, GST is a single, comprehensive tax that subsumes various indirect taxes, including excise duty, service tax, and VAT.

Q10. How does GST benefit businesses and consumers?

For businesses, GST simplifies tax compliance, reduces tax cascading, promotes transparency, and facilitates interstate trade. Consumers benefit from GST through lower prices of goods and services, as tax cascading is eliminated, and the tax burden is reduced.

Q11. What are the different GST rates applicable in India?

GST rates in India vary depending on the type of goods or services. They are categorized into four slabs: 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Additionally, certain goods and services may be exempted from GST or taxed at a concessional rate.

Q12. How does GST impact small businesses and startups in India?

GST has both positive and negative implications for small businesses and startups. While it simplifies tax compliance and promotes a level playing field, smaller enterprises may face initial challenges in adapting to the new tax system and complying with GST regulations.

Q13. What are the key components of a GST invoice, and why is it important for businesses?

A GST invoice must include details such as the supplier's name, address, GSTIN (Goods and Services Tax Identification Number), invoice number, date of issue, description of goods or services, and applicable GST rates. It is essential for businesses to issue GST-compliant invoices to claim input tax credit and comply with GST regulations.

Q14. How does GST impact the prices of essential goods and services in India?

GST aims to rationalize the tax structure and reduce the tax burden on essential goods and services consumed by the masses. While certain essential items may be exempted or taxed at lower rates under GST, any changes in tax rates can affect the prices of essential goods and services, thereby impacting consumers.

Q15. What is the role of the GST Council in India, and how does it function?

The GST Council is a constitutional body comprising representatives from the central and state governments responsible for making recommendations on GST-related matters, including tax rates, exemptions, and administrative issues. It operates on the principle of consensus and aims to foster cooperative federalism in tax administration.

Q16. How does GST contribute to the formalization of the economy and curbing tax evasion?

GST encourages businesses to operate within the formal economy by requiring them to register for GST, do regular GST return filing, and comply with tax regulations. This helps in widening the tax base, reducing tax evasion, and promoting transparency in transactions, ultimately leading to improved tax compliance and revenue collection.

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