VAT vs GST With Examples (Comprehensive Guide 2020)

VAT vs GST

Most of businesses or owner of the business is confused whether VAT registration is necessary after the implementation of GST. As per the GST regime, no more VAT registration is required. Only GST registration is required for all the taxpayers. So here we learn VAT vs GST to know these terms very clearly. 

GST is an indirect tax that is levied on the transaction of goods and services to bring a unified market in the whole nation. While the VAT is a consumption tax that is levied on each step of the value addition of the product. In addition, there is a lot of difference between GST and VAT. So continue reading to know how GST is different from VAT.

VAT(Value-added Tax)

The VAT is a state-level tax which was introduced on 1 April 2005. It is a type of tax that is levied on the sale of goods and services when the products are finally sold to the customer. This tax is applicable to some key products such as alcohol, petrol, and diesel for human consumption which is not taxable under the GST Act. There are many reasons to introduced GST some of them are as follow:

  • Due to the state region, the VAT rate of the same product/services varied from one state to another state.
  • Due to differences in VATs rules and regulations from one state to another state, the compliance burden for business increased.
  • Cascading effect of taxes: The final user has to bear the cost of a single good/service, which is taxed multiple times thus increases the price for the final user.
  • Businesses paying customs duties on their raw materials/inputs did not have the option to offset such costs through input tax credit (ITC) or similar mechanisms.

GST(Goods and Service Tax)

GST is introduced on 1 July 2017 which main aims to reduce all the drawbacks of VAT. Some of the key features of GST are as follow:

  • Introducing a single tax system for Specific goods or services in the whole nation.
  • Removal of Cascading tax effect so that GST is applied only on Goods or services.
  • input tax credit (ITC) mechanism is recommended to increase business offset GST price on different raw materials/inputs.
  • The introduction of a single unified set of GST rules to decreased compliance burden.

Difference Between VAT and GST With Example

Consider consultant providing service to his clients

Under GST Administration

GST on service of Rupees 90,000 @18%=16200

Subtract GST on office supplies (Rupees 35000*5%)= Rupees 1750

Net GST has to pay Rupees 14450

Now Consider a Computer manufacturer and Implementation of VAT and GST for him

Pre-GST Implementation Summary

Before the implementation of GST, If a computer manufacturer had to sell a computer, he had to pay excise duty and VAT on it. So if the cost of a computer sold Rs 7,000 then the Excise duty @ 12.5% was Rs 875 which would bring the value to Rupees 7875. VAT of Rs 1142 i.e. @ 14.5% would be required on this value. So, the buyer has to pay Rupees 9017.

Now let’s see how the same manufacturer sell his computer under GST administration

Post-GST Implementation Summary

Under the GST administration, only GST will have to pay on the price of the computer. So, the seller will have to pay CGST @ 9% and SGST @9% on the value of equipment which is Rupees 7000. So, in this case, the buyer will have to pay Rupees 7000+Rupees 630(CGST)+Rupees 630(SGST) that is Rupes 8260 to buy the computer.

From the above example, we assume that the cascading effect of tax has disappeared and less amount has to pay under GST administration.

Under VAT Administration

The consultant levied a 15% service tax on services of Rs 90,000. Hence, his output tax was 90,000*15% = Rs. 13,500.

Then if he buys office supplies for Rupees 35000 paying 5% as VAT: Rupees 35000* 5%= Rupees 1750.

He had to pay a production service tax of Rupees 13,500 without deducting VAT of Rupees 1750 already paid on stationery. His total tax amount outflow is Rs 15,250.

In the End

VAT vs GST – a Brief Comparison

PointVATGST
ApplicabilityGoodsBoth Goods and Services.
Rate of TaxThe rate of VAT was different in every state.Unified tax rates in the whole nation.
Law of TaxThe law of VAT was different in every state.For State, there is the State GST Act (SGST)For Central, there is the Central GST Act(CGST)for supplies made between the states, there is the Integrated GST Act (IGST)For Union territories involved in a supply transaction, there is the Union Territory GST Act (UGST).
Taxable EventThe VAT was applicable to the sale of goods.GST(Goods and Services Tax) is applicable to every supply of goods and services. 
Authority Over TaxesA levy is collected by the respective state governments
Here the state government has the right over the income of tax collected by such rent.
Under SGST and CGST goods and services, tax is collected for every sale in each state.
The center and state zodiac are then bifurcated.
Input Tax CreditThe credit of tax by netting the VAT can be claimed by the taxpayer with input VAT on product buy and from output VAT on the product sold. The center and state zodiac are then bifurcated.A taxpayer can claim the credit on the goods (goods and services) he receives which can be used to use in the conduct of business. Subscription of taxes in a pot of GST has made available the use of credit used in returns in one place.
CompliancesMovement of Product For the movements of goods between two-state, there is a different set of compliances. For moving the goods from one state to another state, there is the preparation of many forms.ReturnsThere is a different return in different states. So many contracts have to prepare. 


Movement of Product For the movement of goods from one state to another state, there is a unified set of compliances.
For moving the goods from one state to another state, there is one e-bill that is valid for the whole nation.ReturnsThere are only three-month returns that mean simplified returns. One for the outward supply of goods(GSTR1)and another for the inward supply of goods(GSTR2) and The last return for consolidated return(GSTR3)(Note: This return is an auto-populated. This provision was not under VAT act)
Mode of PaymentOfflineOnline if payment is more than 10000 rupees
Tax on ServiceNot ApplicableApplicable
Return filing20th of succeeding month10th, 15th and 20th of succeeding month
RegistrationMandatory if turnover exceeds Rs 5 lakh (differs from state to state)Necessary if turnover exceeds Rs 20 lakh

Looking at the main differences between GST and VAT, it is clear that in many ways GST is an improvement in VAT administration. However, at present, some products such as petrol, diesel, and alcohol are for human consumption which is not included in the GST.

As GST moves forward, we can expect additional goods and services to be included under GST. What’s more, rationalization of rates under GST is expected to continue in the near future which will help improve indirect tax collections across India.

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