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GST Rates : Simplifying Various GST Slabs

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is deemed as the greatest tax reform since India achieved independence. The single indirect tax has eliminated multiple central and state taxes that were levied before GST. Some of these include a value-added tax (VAT), service tax, excise, customs duty, octroi, luxury, and entertainment tax, among others.

The authorities have classified over 1200 items under four GST slabs. The four GST slabs include 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. Here is a complete list of items within the various tax slabs.

Zero Tax

Goods that are foodstuffs and essentials like jute, milk, flour, fruits and vegetables, salt, buttermilk, natural honey, curd, and bread among others will attract no GST. In addition, items like newspapers, stamps, judicial papers, printed books, handloom, and bangles among a few others are also exempt from the new tax. Other products, such as coloring and drawing books, Palmyra jaggery, hulled cereal grains, corn meal, human hair, and children’s books attract zero percent tax.
However, semi-precious and rough precious stones will attract 0.25% GST rates.

5% GST Slab

Goods under this bracket include stamp-post marks, apparel costing less than Rs 1000, revenue and postage stamps, packaged foods, kites, footwear with cost below Rs 500, agarbatti, cream, insulin, skimmed milk powder, branded paneer, biogas, frozen vegetables, snow and ice, coffee and tea, raisin, spices, cashew nut and cashew nut in shells, pizza bread, lifeboats, rusk, stents, sabudana, medicines, kerosene, and coal.

Rail and air transport services, as well as small restaurants, will attract 5% GST. This is because these use petroleum that is outside the GST regime as their primary input. Textile job works are also taxable at 5% GST rate.

12% GST Slab

All apparel exceeding Rs 1000, carom and other board games, playing cards, butter, spectacles, cheese, tongs, ghee, packaged dry fruits, cake servers, ladles and skimmers, forks and spoons, exercise and notebooks, namkeen, kits and reagents, ayurvedic medicines, sauces and ketchup, tooth powder, cell phones, umbrella, and sewing machines will be taxed at 12% GST.

Work contracts, state-run lotteries, fertilizers, non-air-conditioned hotels, and business class flight tickets will attract 12% GST.

18% GST Slab

The majority of the items are within the 18% GST slab. Some of these include footwear cost exceeding Rs 500, jams, sauces, and soups, all types of biscuits, steel products, mineral water, camera, monitors and speakers, cakes and pastries, tampons, preserved vegetables, instant food mixes, printed circuits, ice cream, envelopes, and tissues. Electrical transformers, non-electronic weighing machines, bamboo furniture, CCTV, swimming pools, and tractor parts will also be under this GST slab.

Liquor-serving hotels, rooms where the tariff is between Rs 2500 and Rs 7500, telecom services, restaurants in five-star hotels, information technology services, financial services, and branded garments will be under the 18% GST slab.

28% GST Slab

The highest GST slab includes goods like personal use aircraft, molasses, shavers, non-cocoa chocolates, vending machines, chocolate-coated wafers and waffles, vacuum cleaner, deodorants, washing machines, aerated water, dishwasher, paint, water heater, shaving creams, after-shave, and hair shampoos, and tiles.

State-authorized privately run lotteries, five-star hotels, cinema, and hotels with tariff exceeding Rs 7500, is in the 28% GST slab.
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