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Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax used on the supply of goods and services. GST is a value-added tax levied on goods and services sold for domestic consumption. It has subsumed several taxes including central excise duty, services tax, additional customs duty, surcharges and state-level value added tax. The GST is paid by consumers, but it is remitted to the government by the businesses selling the goods and services. GST provides revenue for the government and the Goods and Service Tax Act was passed in the Parliament in March 2017 and came into effect on July 2017. The three types of GST are Central Goods and Service Tax, State Goods and Service Tax, Integrated Goods and Service Tax. Since its instruction, GST has undergone many changes and is spearheaded by the GST Council, which has 34 members (primarily finance minister from each state) and headed by the Union Finance Minister. The Council meets on a regular basis for revisions, clarifications, additions and enactments of rule or rate changes of the goods and services in India.

1. How do I register for GST?

Go to the GST website, click on Register Now under Taxpayers, enter the details in Part A, add the OTP received on the email and mobile. You will receive the Temporary Reference Number (TRN) on your mail and mobile. To Register, fill all the details in Section B. Submit appropriate documents which include, proof for the place of business, bank account details, and authorization form. After the completion of the forms a success message and Application Reference Number (ARN) is sent to registered email and mobile.

2. Can a person operating two different companies with different names but with same PAN get two GST registrations?

One PAN holder gets one registration in every state, but he has the option of getting different registrations for different business verticals.

3. Is it compulsory to register for GST?

Following businesses/companies must register for GST:

a. Businesses with turnover above Rs 40 lakh.

b. Individuals registered under the Pre-GST law.

c. Companies that supply via e-commerce aggregator.

d. All e-commerce aggregators.

4. How long does one have to wait to register?

An unregistered person has 30 days to complete its registration formalities from its date of liability to obtain registration.

5. What are the GST slabs?

Goods and services are divided in into five different tax slabs for collection of tax -0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Petroleum products, alcoholic drinks, and electricity are not taxed under GST and instead are taxed separately by the individual state governments, as per the previous tax system.

6. Who decides rates for levy of GST?

The CGST and SGST are levied at rates jointly decided by the Centre and states. The rates are notified on the recommendations of the GST Council.

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