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You can ask GST-related queries on Twitter

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-05-2017 Ashwini Kumar Sharma

Government is keen to implement the biggest indirect tax reform—Goods and Services Tax (GST), with effect from 1 July 2017. Though the tax rates—5%, 12%, 18% and 28%—have been prescribed under the Act for various services and goods, many individuals, businesspersons, and even tax experts have many questions about GST’s implications. To bring in more clarity, the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, Government of India has created the Twitter handle @askGST_GoI to answer GST-related queries from taxpayers. Let’s read more about it.

The twitter handle @askGST_GoI was launched on 28 May 2017. It will be managed by officers of the Ministry of Finance. As per the ministry’s press release: “All taxpayers and other stakeholders are welcome to direct their queries related to GST on the said twitter handle for early resolution and clarification.”

“To reply to queries on GST, a new twitter account is opened. My officers will give replies asap [as soon as possible]. @askGST_GoI Please send queries there now,” tweeted Hasmukh Adhia, revenue secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of India from his twitter handle @adhia03.

According to Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), “GST is a destination-based tax on consumption of goods and services. It is proposed to be levied at all stages right from manufacture up to final consumption with credit of taxes paid at previous stages available as setoff.

In a nutshell, only value addition will be taxed and the burden of tax is to be borne by the final consumer.”

Once GST is implemented, it will subsume various taxes that are currently applicable on different goods and services. For instance, taxes currently levied and collected by the Centre, such as central excise duty, additional duties of excise and customs, service tax, central surcharges and cesses will get subsumed into GST. At the same time, GST will also subsumed state taxes such as—state VAT (value added tax), central sales tax, luxury tax, entry tax (all forms), entertainment and amusement tax (except when levied by the local bodies), taxes on advertisements, purchase tax, taxes on lotteries, betting and gambling, and various state surcharges and cesses—so far as they relate to supply of goods and services.

Subsuming various indirect taxes of the Centre and the state into a single tax and allowing set-off of prior-stage taxes could mitigate the ill effects of cascading.

For consumers, the biggest gain that is expected from implementation of GST is that it will reduce the overall tax burden on goods, which is currently estimated at 25-30%.

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