Simplification of Indirect Taxes under GST Regime

Simplification of Indirect Taxes under GST Regime

One of the most significant fiscal reforms to ever take place in our nation is the GST. This fundamental shift in the indirect tax structure had a huge impact on all enterprises, small and big. In a federal nation like India, policymakers have repeatedly emphasized the benefits of a unified taxation structure.

There is a large number of advantages cited for the GST regime, and one of those advantages is the elimination of the cascading tax impact. The phrase “cascading tax effect” simply refers to a tax on tax. A customer is forced to endure the burden of tax on tax and rising costs as a result of this circumstance.

Simplification of Indirect Taxes under the GST Regime

On July 1, 2017, India implemented its most significant tax overhaul to date. The government ultimately bit the bullet and combined more than two dozen indirect taxes into the Goods and Services Tax (GST) after years of deliberation. The undertaking was difficult since the nation was burdened with several taxes that made operating a corporation difficult.

Despite some issues, the GST system has brought about a fundamental shift in how business is conducted in India during the past four years. With the GST Council, made up of members from the states and the federal government, making practically all decisions by agreement, it has also enhanced the concept of cooperative federalism.

Not only has the GST made doing business in India simpler, but it has also sped up the launch of new businesses. Previously, the tax rate varied depending on the state. This resulted in significant inefficiencies and expensive compliance costs. India has been merged into a single common market as a result of the GST, which has replaced the indirect tax system with a straightforward, transparent, and technologically driven tax regime.

A business that wanted to operate in every state previously had to submit up to 495 documents to various government agencies. That number has been brought down to twelve under the GST.

The outcomes are already clear. Since several months ago, monthly GST receipts have exceeded Rs 1 trillion on a regular basis, demonstrating the tax system’s maturity and indicating that it would soon operate as a catalyst for speeding the Indian economy. In fact, despite many localized lockdowns to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, the GST mop-up reached a record high of Rs 1.41 trillion. The tax base has grown exponentially as tax rates have decreased and processes have become simpler over time.

There are four rates for the GST. The tax rate on necessities is either zero or merely five per cent. 12 per cent, 18 per cent, and 28 per cent are the other slabs. According to the Finance Ministry, the combined impact of value-added tax, excise taxes, and other taxes before the introduction of the GST was more than 31% for the average consumer. The administration is also considering ways to further streamline the GST rate structure.

Taxes Replaced by GST Regime

Central Excise Duty: India’s central excise duty was an indirect tax that applied to goods produced there and intended for domestic use. Once the goods are manufactured, manufacturing is the taxable event, and central excise duty is due.

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Service Tax: The national government of India collects a levy known as “service tax” on services. This is an indirect tax as per the Finance Act of 19941.

Additional Duties on Excise (ADE): An indirect tax known as Additional Duties on Excise (ADE) was paid to the federal government and individual states to finance Added Taxes on a variety of goods, including sugar, cotton, and tobacco.

Surcharge: In many nations, it is standard practice to increase a product or service’s base price in addition to a surcharge.

Cess: A cess is an extra tax that the federal government imposes.

Countervailing duty (CVD): It is a tax imposed by the import nation on products that have previously benefitted from export subsidies and tax exemptions in the country of origin (i.e., where it is manufactured and exported).

Central Excise Tax (CST): One such indirect tax is the Central Excise Tax (CST), which is levied on all interstate transactions. CST is not applied at any stage of manufacture or distribution when a product is sold within the same state. Only if the creator ships the item outside of the state is CST necessary.

Sales Tax: This tax is an indirect tax because it only applies to transactions taking place in India. It is money spent above the item’s original price.

Luxury Tax: It is imposed in the form of an ad valorem tax on goods and services that are not regarded as necessities.

Special Additional Duty: The imported goods were subject to a “Special Additional Duty” (SAD), which had to be paid. Upon the successful resale of the imported goods, the importer may ask for a SAD refund.

Value-added tax (VAT): It is a type of sales tax that is imposed at any point in the supply chain when the price of the final product increases. This tax is imposed on transactions that take place inside the same nation.

Changes brought by the GST Regime

Single Tax – The Central Goods and Services Tax Act of 2017 replaced the prior set of laws with a single indirect tax, simplifying the taxation of products and services. GST regime created a tiered tax framework for a wide range of consumer and commercial activities by splitting taxes into four bands 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. As a consequence, a simpler tax structure will help small company owners as well as their clients. After the Act was passed, there was a nationwide increase in tax compliance, which led to a record amount of money being collected in taxes for the government. The reduced cost of collection and detection increased the effectiveness of the tax authorities.

Uniformity – Tax rates are uniform under the GST regime, which divides taxes into four groups, or “slabs,” based on their place of origin. As a result, the affluent pay higher taxes on their excessive expenditure while the poor are able to pay less tax on the goods and services they utilize.

Introduction of Input Tax Credits – The GST structure includes input tax credits (ITC). It enables a refund of previously paid input taxes to be used as a credit towards the last output tax payment. Thus, the tax’s cascading impact is stopped. Credits for CST and other indirect taxes were not feasible under the previous tax system, but with the introduction of the Integrated Goods and Services Tax (GST), the concept of CST was eliminated. Additionally, it makes it easier to map out the value creation process from the acquisition of inputs through the delivery of the finished good. This strategy is also useful in minimizing evasion since tax evasion by one actor would prohibit other producers from benefiting from input credits and would force them to pay higher taxes.

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Shared Burden – Since all taxes are integrated and equally distributed between manufacturing and services with the implementation of the GST regime, the tax burden has decreased dramatically.

Cost to consumers – The tax burden has been moved from producers to end users as a result of the establishment of the Input Tax Credit scheme. As a result, production costs have decreased, increasing the competitiveness of American producers and service providers both domestically and internationally. Most significantly, the tax system has made sure that everyone pays their fair amount by taxing luxury products at a greater rate than necessities.

Simple process – The GST’s simplified approach, which has led to higher tax compliance and a rise in income, is entirely to blame for this. It becomes harder to evade paying taxes while also becoming easier to identify people who do so when there is a central database of information. In addition, policies like the Input Tax Credit offer producers incentives to maintain integrity.

Transparent Tax Administration – The GST regime, which streamlined the formerly complex tax system, is responsible for the high compliance rate. The tax’s IGST and ITC provisions also made it easier to find and prosecute anyone who tried to escape payment. Manufacturers and service providers have enhanced compliance, which has reduced the opportunity for unscrupulous tax authorities to make money. GST made the prior system more open and transparent. GST should only be collected at the point of consumption to prevent duplicate taxes. As a result, tax administration will be less corrupt and more transparent.


By incorporating a variety of different levies, the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a composite tax, has streamlined the tax code. It has enabled the nation to operate as a single, cohesive unit and as an economic superpower. This tax is very important and is one of the key things that might save the nation from its current political and economic corruption. To address issues like low tax compliance, competition between the centre and states, corruption in tax collection, opaque administration, tax burden, non-uniform tax structure, separate laws, etc., it introduces new initiatives like a single law, uniform rates of taxation, an input tax credit system, etc.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What are your views on simplification in indirect taxation through the implementation of GST?

    The GST regime's ability to simplify India's indirect tax system is one of its main benefits. Multiple indirect taxes have been replaced with the GST, creating a single tax system. Multiple tax compliance requirements have been eliminated as a consequence, lowering the burden of compliance on taxpayers.

  2. How has GST simplified the taxation system?

    Consumers pay the tax on the sale, and the vendor pays it to the government. It is included in the final price. Typically, a country will levy the GST at a single rate. GST is preferred by governments because it streamlines the tax code and lowers tax evasion.

  3. What are the benefits of GST in indirect taxation?

    • GST does away with the tax's cascading impact.
    • The greater bar for registration.
    • Scheme for the composition of small firms.
    • Straightforward online process.
    • Less compliances.
    • Operators in e-commerce are given specific consideration.
    • Increased logistical effectiveness.

  4. What is the role of GST in the implementation of tax?

    Excise duty, service tax, value-added tax (VAT), and other indirect taxes collected by the federal and state governments were all replaced by the GST. It eliminated the cascading impact of taxes by bringing about uniformity in the tax system throughout India.

  5. What are the indirect taxes existing before the implementation of GST?

    The federal and state governments both introduced the GST in 2017. The implementation involved combining many taxes, including service tax (ST), central excise duty (CED), value-added tax (VAT), and central sales tax (CST), among others.

  6. How has GST changed the indirect tax regime in India?

    The GST has simplified things for both companies and consumers by eliminating various taxes and bringing uniformity in tax rates across states.

  7. What are the recent changes in indirect tax?

    The normal VAT rate increased to 20% (from 18%) and the reduced VAT rate increased to 10% (from 8%), as announced on July 7, 2023, taking effect from July 10, 2023. The 1% lower VAT rate does not change. The application of the lower VAT rate also underwent adjustments.

  8. How does GST taxation work?

    A single tax on the provision of goods and services is known as the GST. Therefore, only the GST incurred by the final dealer in the supply chain will be paid for by the final customer. This is considered by many economists and professionals to be the most comprehensive tax overhaul since independence.

  9. What is an indirect tax regime?

    GST is an indirect tax on goods and services that is based on the manufacture, supply, sale, or acquisition of goods or the provision of services.

  10. What is an indirect tax, for example?

    Indirect tax is not assessed against taxpayers directly, as the term indicates. This tax is frequently imposed on products and services, which raises the cost of such items. Indirect taxes in India include value-added tax (VAT), government excise and customs charge, and service tax.

  11. What is the direct tax regime in India?

    Direct taxes are often assessed on an individual's income and are paid to the Indian government's tax authority directly by the taxpayer or an organization. This sort of tax cannot be transferred to another person or entity for payment by the concerned person or organization.

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