'One nation, one tax, one market': How India's complex Goods and Services Tax (GST) tax compares with others in Asia

A banner promoting Goods and Services Tax clearance sale at an electronic shop in New Delhi.
A banner promoting Goods and Services Tax clearance sale at an electronic shop in New Delhi. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (REUTERS) - India is launching a new national Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1 that will unify its US$2 trillion (S$2.8 trillion) economy and 1.3 billion people into a single market for the first time.

The GST embodies the principle of "one nation, one tax, one market", according to the government. But in practice the Indian version is more complex and will be tougher to comply with than is the case in many other countries.

Here's how the Indian GST compares with its counterparts in Asia:

INDIA

Standard rates: 5, 12, 18, 28 per cent

Exemptions: Yes

Reduced rates: Yes

Filing: Three times monthly and once annually. Separate returns required for each state in which a company operates

SINGAPORE

Standard rate: 7 per cent

Exemptions: Yes

Reduced rates: No

Filing: Typically every three months

 

AUSTRALIA

Standard rate: 10 per cent

Exemptions: Yes

Reduced rates: No

Filing: Quarterly; monthly for large businesses

MALAYSIA

Standard rate: 6 per cent

Exemptions: Yes

Reduced rates: No

Filing: Quarterly or monthly for larger businesses

NEW ZEALAND

Standard rate: 15 per cent

Exemptions: Yes

Reduced rates: Yes

Filing: Half yearly, every two months or monthly, depending on the size of the business

Source: KPMG Asia Pacific indirect tax country guide; Indian government