Goods and Services Tax (GST) is an indirect tax (or consumption tax) used in India on the supply of
goods and services. It is a comprehensive, multistage, destination-based tax: comprehensive
because it has subsumed almost all the indirect taxes except a few state taxes. Multi-staged as it is,
the GST is imposed at every step in the production process, but is meant to be refunded to all parties
in the various stages of production other than the final consumer and as a destination-based tax, it is
collected from point of consumption and not point of origin like previous taxes.
Goods and services are divided into five different tax slabs for collection of tax: 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.
India is a member of World Customs Organization (WCO) since 1971. It was originally using 6-digit HSN codes to classify commodities for Customs and Central Excise. Later Customs and Central Excise added two more digits to make the codes more precise, resulting in an 8 digit classification. The purpose of HSN codes is to make GST systematic and globally accepted.
HSN codes will remove the need to upload the detailed description of the goods. This will save time and make filing easier since GST returns are automated.