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Benefits of GST on Household Appliances, Phones & Daily Consumer Goods

The implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) has streamlined taxation, reducing cascading effects and promoting transparency in the supply chain for household appliances, phones, and daily consumer goods.

  • 2,381 Views | Updated on: Mar 21, 2024

Among the numerous tax reforms that have shaped economies worldwide, India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) stands as a game-changer. This paradigm shift transformed the nation’s tax structure and altered the course of its economic journey.

The Goods and Services Tax has been called a transformative force, simplifying tax compliance and the vision of “One Nation, One Tax.” Yet, it has also faced its share of criticism, with questions raised about its impact on various sectors, its complexities and challenges.

Understanding the Emergence of Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India

GST is an all-around indirect tax imposed on the supply of goods and services all over India. Introduced on July 1, 2017, GST has simplified the complex web of previous taxes and brought significant benefits to various sectors, including household appliances, phones, and daily consumer goods.

The Kelkar Task Force on Indirect Taxes first suggested the idea of a national GST in India in 2000. The goal was to replace the current complex and fragmented tax structure with a unified system to make compliance easier, lessen tax cascading, and encourage economic integration. The First Discussion Paper, developed by the Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers, was published in 2009. The 2011 introduction of the Constitution Amendment Bill was met with opposition over issues such as state compensation.

GST laws took effect on July 1st, 2017, replacing a complex network of Central and State taxes. The Indian GST divides goods and services into four different tax brackets: 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The new GST rates list can be viewed on the official website of the Indian government.

Benefits of GST in India

With its far-reaching implications, GST has revolutionized how government collects revenue, streamlines trade, and fosters an environment of fair taxation. Let us explore different benefits that come along with GST:

Streamlined Tax Structure

Before GST, the Indian tax system was plagued with a labyrinth of taxes like VAT, excise duty, and service tax, leading to a cascading effect of taxes that burdened manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. GST streamlined this tax structure by subsuming multiple taxes into a single tax, making it easier to understand and comply with. As a result, manufacturers and suppliers can now focus on innovation and cost-saving measures, ultimately benefiting consumers by lowering prices.

Elimination of Multiple Taxation Points

Previously, goods were taxed multiple times as they moved from the manufacturer to the retailer, accumulating taxes at each stage. This tax-on-tax effect increased the overall cost of the product. With GST rates, the cascading effect is eliminated as the tax is only applied to the value addition at each stage of the supply chain. Consequently, this reduces prices for household appliances, phones, and daily consumer goods, making them more affordable for the average consumer.

Input Tax Credit (ITC) Benefits

One of the most significant GST benefits for businesses is the Input Tax Credit (ITC) mechanism. Under the ITC, businesses can claim credits for the GST paid on their purchases and utilize it to offset their GST liability. This encourages businesses to source raw materials and inputs from GST-compliant suppliers, which fosters a more organized and formal economy. As a result, manufacturers can pass on the benefit of reduced tax liability to consumers in the form of lower prices for goods.

Increased Market Competitiveness

GST has eliminated inter-state barriers and harmonized tax rates, resulting in a more uniform tax structure across the country. This has encouraged manufacturers to expand their operations and set up warehouses strategically to optimize supply chain efficiency. With reduced logistical costs, companies can offer their products at competitive prices, thus creating a more competitive market that ultimately benefits consumers.

Boost E-Commerce

The introduction of GST has also significantly boosted the e-commerce sector. With simplified tax compliance procedures, businesses find it easier to operate online and expand their reach to consumers in different states. Additionally, removing entry tax barriers has facilitated the smoother movement of goods across state borders, further enhancing the e-commerce ecosystem. As a result, consumers now have access to a broader range of household appliances, phones, and consumer goods at competitive prices through online platforms.

Transparency and Compliance

GST has brought transparency to the tax system, reducing the scope for tax-related evasion and fraud. With an efficient online portal and real-time tracking of transactions, the government can better monitor compliance. This enhanced transparency instills confidence in consumers, who can be assured they are paying the correct taxes on their purchases. Moreover, increased compliance leads to higher tax revenues for the government, which can be utilized for various welfare initiatives.

Reduction in Black Market Activities

The simplified and transparent tax structure of GST has significantly curtailed the prevalence of black-market activities. Previously, high tax rates encouraged sellers to evade taxes and operate in the unorganized sector. However, with GST’s lower tax rates and ease of compliance, the incentive for engaging in black market activities has diminished. This, in turn, ensures that consumers are purchasing genuine and high-quality products.

Disadvantages of GST

While GST has brought about significant changes and benefits, it does not come without its share of criticisms and disadvantages.

Increased Compliance Procedures

One of the major disadvantages of GST is the burden of compliance procedures. The system involves extensive documentation, filing of multiple returns, and adherence to timelines. For small businesses and startups, navigating through these compliance requirements can be overwhelming and resource-intensive, potentially hampering their growth. Along with it is also mandatory for companies to register on the GST portal of every state they have a business operation. The entire process of maintaining invoices, documents, and filing returns in every state is an additional burden for companies.

Technology Challenges

The successful implementation of GST relies heavily on robust technological infrastructure. Small businesses, especially in rural areas, may face challenges adapting to digital platforms and technologies required for GST compliance. This technological barrier can create a divide, with some businesses struggling to keep up with the digital demands of the GST regime.

Impact on Small Businesses

While GST aims to create a uniform tax structure, it can disproportionately affect small businesses. The compliance costs and the need for technological upgrades place a heavier burden on smaller enterprises, potentially leading to market consolidation and reducing the competitiveness of these businesses.

Initial Transition Challenges

The transition from the previous tax regime to GST posed significant challenges during the initial implementation phase. Businesses had to adjust to changes in processes and software and understand new compliance requirements, leading to disruptions in operations and cash flow.

Input Tax Credit Challenges

While the concept of Input Tax Credit (ITC) is a fundamental aspect of GST, challenges in claiming and verifying ITC can arise. Delays in ITC refunds and disputes over credit claims can impact a business’s cash flow and add to the compliance burden.

Impact on Inflation

The introduction of GST was anticipated to curb inflation, but certain sectors experienced price increases. The impact on specific goods and services can contribute to inflationary pressures, affecting consumer purchasing power.

Final Thoughts

The implementation of GST has revolutionized the Indian tax system, bringing numerous benefits to the household appliances, phones, and daily consumer goods industries. GST has positively impacted consumers, businesses, and the overall economy, from streamlined tax structures to increased market competitiveness and transparency. As the GST framework continues to evolve, we can expect more significant advancements that will further enhance the affordability and accessibility of essential products for consumers across the nation.

Key takeaways

  • GST has streamlined the tax structure by subsuming multiple taxes into a single tax, making it easier to understand and comply with.
  • It reduces prices for household appliances, phones, and daily consumer goods.
  • GST eliminates inter-state barriers and simplifies tax rates, resulting in a more uniform tax structure across the country.
  • GST has brought transparency to the tax system, reducing the scope for tax evasion and forgery.
  • While GST aims to create a uniform tax structure, it can affect small businesses disproportionately.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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