The rumour mills have gone on an overdrive mode since the launch of GST.
Here’s a reality check by ET Wealth for both GST supporters and its detractors.
1. Now it’s one nation one tax
Myth : Since GST will replace all other taxes on all goods and services, we are in a single tax regime.
Reality : Though this was the original idea, petroleum products—petrol, diesel—are still outside GST’s ambit and, therefore, their tax rates vary significantly across states.
For example, petrol is still sold in Mumbai at Rs 74.30 per litre (as on 5 July) compared to Rs 63.12 in New Delhi. Similarly, some other items, such as liquor, have also been kept out of GST for now.
2. Small businesses will suffer
Myth : The life of small businessmen will become difficult under GST because of computerised billing, need for Internet connectivity.
Reality : Shops can do manual billing under GST and Net connectivity is needed only at the time of filing monthly return and can be managed from a cyber cafe.
3. Prices will shoot up
Myth : Personal expenses will go up on account of GST making it inflationary because tax rates have been fixed at higher levels—18%, 28%.
Reality : Though the GST rates seem high, it is only because the entire tax is now visible to the consumer. Earlier most taxes—central and state excise, additional excise, purchase tax, etc.—did not reflect on your bill. If one adds up all the taxes, it would have been more for most items (ie effective tax rates will be lower for most products).
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