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GST: What Kind of a Tax is GST?

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Created on
May 17, 2023


What’s Inside

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced in India in 2017 to replace multiple indirect taxes. Service tax, value-added tax (VAT), and excise duty created a single unified taxation system.

GST is a VAT levied at the production and distribution stages, which makes it a multi-stage, destination-based tax levied as further value is added to the product. This might sound complex, so we’ve explained GST in detail in this blog. We’ll explain what kind of tax is GST and the current GST tax slabs.

Understanding GST

GST is an indirect tax levied on the supply of products and services used for domestic consumption. It is levied on the consumers' final price of the products. Businesses selling the said product are responsible for charging this GST from the consumers and sending it to the government. This ensures that GST is levied on every stage of value addition.

In India, GST has a dual structure in that central and state governments within their jurisdiction can levy GST on goods and services. The dual structure has two components — central GST (CGST) and state GST (SGST). These taxes are levied when goods' supply and consumption occur in the same state. The tax is collected by both the state and the centre.

When supply and consumption occur in different states, integrated GST (IGST) is levied. It is the sum of CGST and SGST collected by the centre and then distributed to the state where the product was consumed.

GST Tax Slabs

Following are the types of tax slabs available under GST:

  • No tax: Essential goods such as vegetables, milk, fruits, cereals, hotels (with tariffs less than 1,000), pulses, and colouring books, among other items, are exempt from GST.
  • 5%: This category includes goods like coffee, packaged food items, tea, coal, kerosene, dry fruits, air tickets (economy class), and small restaurants, among others.
  • 12%: It includes medicines, non-AC restaurants, air tickets (business class), frozen meat products, and mobiles, among others.
  • 18%: It includes bakery products like cakes and pastries, ice creams, electrical appliances, aluminium foils, luxury resorts, telecom services, and essentials like sanitary napkins, among other products.
  • 28%: This category includes luxury goods and services, which make up about 19% of all products.


GST was launched to simplify the tax system, reduce tax evasion, increase revenue collection, and increase compliance. It helped reduce the cascading effect of taxes by levying taxes only on the value added at each stage and not on the product's entire value. This lessened the tax burden and excessive costs for consumers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. GST is a which type of tax?

Goods and Service Tax is an indirect and value-added tax.

2. When was GST implemented in India?

GST was implemented in India on July 1, 2017. The GST council is responsible for discussing various matters related to GST.


Fi Money is not a bank; it offers banking services through licensed partners and investment services through epiFi Wealth Pvt. Ltd. and its partners. This post is for information only and is not professional financial advice.
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