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GST rates: A quick guide to how much tax you’ll pay

Although the tax rates for various items under the Goods and Services Tax regime, India’s biggest tax reform, have been finalised, the sheer number of items in the list, 1,211 to be precise, is mind boggling. There are seven tax slabs, namely nil, 0.25%, 3%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28% under the GST with an additional cess on sin and luxury items.

With so many items in the tax list and multiple tax slabs, it can be quite difficult to keep a track of what tax rate which item will be levied with, so here’s a breakdown of the important items in various tax slabs.

Nil Tax

No tax will be imposed on items like Jute, fresh meat, fish, chicken, eggs, milk, buttermilk, curd, natural honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, flour, besan, bread, prasad, salt, bindi, sindoor, stamps, judicial papers, printed books, newspapers, bangles, handloom, hotels and lodges with tariff below Rs 1,000.

0.25% Tax

Rough Diamonds will be taxed at the rate of 0.25%. Finance Minister Arun Jaitleyhas said that this will facilitate in keeping an audit trail.

3% Tax

Gold will be taxed at the rate of 3%, which is lower than the lowest slab of 5% under the new GST regime and is closer to the current tax incidence of about 2%.

5% Tax

Items such as fish fillet, apparel below Rs 1,000, packaged food items, footwear below Rs 500, cream, skimmed milk powder, branded paneer, frozen vegetables, coffee, tea, spices, pizza bread, rusk, sabudana, kerosene, coal, medicines, stent, lifeboats, transport services (railways, air transport), small restaurants will be under the 5% category.

12% Tax

Apparel above Rs 1,000, frozen meat products, butter, cheese, ghee, dry fruits in packaged form, animal fat, sausage, fruit juices, namkeen, Ayurvedic medicines, tooth powder, agarbatti, colouring books, picture books, umbrella, sewing machine, cell phones, non-AC hotels, business class air ticket, fertilisers, work contracts will fall under 12 percent GST tax slab.

18% Tax

Footwear costing more than Rs 500, bidi patta, biscuits (all categories), flavoured refined sugar, pasta, cornflakes, pastries and cakes, preserved vegetables, jams, sauces, soups, ice cream, instant food mixes, mineral water, tissues, envelopes, tampons, notebooks, steel products, printed circuits, camera, speakers and monitors, AC hotels that serve liquor, telecom services, IT services, branded garments and financial services will attract 18 per cent tax under GST.

28% Tax

Alcohol, bidis, cigarettes, cigars, chewing gum, molasses, chocolate not containing cocoa, waffles and wafers coated with chocolate, pan masala, aerated water, paint, deodorants, shaving creams, after shave, hair shampoo, dye, sunscreen, wallpaper, ceramic tiles, water heater, dishwasher, weighing machine, washing machine, ATM, vending machines, vacuum cleaner, shavers, hair clippers, automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft for personal use, 5-star hotels, race club betting, cinema will attract tax 28 per cent tax slab under GST.

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