The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2017. The Lok Sabha has cleared four supplementary legislations of GST. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has become extremely hopeful of meeting the GST Bill rollout date o July 1, 2017. The four bills that were passed after an intense nine-hour debate are Central GST, Integrated GST, Union Territories GST and GST Compensation. The Parliament witnessed intense debates, as the Opposition raised various questions on the plan for GST and the idea of introducing a single flat rate for various goods and services. Also Read - Fifth Session of Seventeenth Lok Sabha To Commence On January 29, Likely to Conclude on April 8

GST is bound to increase the cost of living for the average Indian, making everything more expensive. The idea of GST was to bring in a single tax rate for various goods and services, making the industry less complex. The government’s current plan is to introduce a four-slab structure for GST based on the area as well as the product along with a Compensation Bill. The biggest topic of debate was this four-slab structure as the opposition party, the Indian National Congress (INC), demanded a flat GST rate. Here are seven things you need to know about the Goods and Services Tax Bill and how it may affect you. Also Read - GST Officials Detect Over Rs 830 Crore Tax Evasion by Pan-masala Manufacturing Unit in Delhi

1. What is GST?

GST or Goods and Services Tax is the tax that will be levied on the supply of goods, replacing the current system of excise duty, VAT/CST on sales, entry tax and other taxes. The introduction of GST will make these varied tax system irrelevant and bring a uniform rate of charge in various Indian states. The GST bill proposes that the tax rates will be decided on both central as well as state levels and all goods and services will be levied a tax on the common base. India inches closer to GST rollout as Lok Sabha passes 4 Bills related to biggest tax reform; key facts.  Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Writes To Lok Sabha Speaker, Says Denied Permission To Speak During Parl Committee Meet

2. Which taxes will GST replace?

GST is basically a tax system that is an effort to simplify the complex world of taxation. Currently, any trader has to adhere to n number of taxes in every step of the supply of his goods and services. Central taxes like Central Excise, Service Tax, CVD, SAD, CST will come to an end once GST is made applicable. On the state level, taxes like VAT, CST, Entry Tax and Luxury Tax will be subsumed under GST.

3. What is Central GST, Integrated GST, Union Territories GST

The Central GST (CGST) and Integrated GST (IGST) will apply to the central taxing system. The CGST allows the collection of the tax levied on the supply of goods and services by the central government within a state. The CGST bill provides e-commerce websites to collect tax at source at the rate of less than 1% of the net value of the taxable supplies on the suppliers. The IGST, on the other hand, is the tax levied between states. The bill allows a maximum of 40% tax under IGST. The IGST Bill also includes a permit to refund taxes to foreign tourists for the products they utilised during their stay in India. Similarly the Union Territories GST is applicable for goods and services or both within the union territory.

4. What is GST Compensation Bill?

The Goods and Services Tax Compensation Bill is a bill for states to be compensated for any loss in the revenue caused by the implementation of GST. A cess charge can also be levied on paan masala, tobacco, aerated water, luxury cars and coal to create a non-lapsable fund for compensating states five years post the launch of GST. This cess levied will be over and above the currently approved tax of 28%. This cess has a maximum limit of 135% in case of paan masala, a limit of Rs 4,170 per thousand cigarettes sticks, Rs 400 per tonne on coal and 15% on aerated water and luxury cars.

5. The future of GST in India

GST is an incredibly futuristic bill, which will help in the growth of tax earnings as well as simplify the process for traders. The GST Bill has been introduced in the system as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act, 2016. The bill has a fixed tax rate, which was decided by the GST Council on November 3, 2016. The bill, once cleared by the Lok Sabha will be discussed by all the state assemblies to come up with a uniform and acceptable tax proposal that will be beneficial to both the state government as well as the centre. The deadline to roll out GST in the system has been proposed as July 1 and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is extremely hopeful of meeting the deadline.