It's nearly midnight. You must be getting ready for the grand GST ceremony. Yes, GST gets launched across the country at midnight on June 30th 2017. Now here's something for you to chew on. What if you are dining tonight in your favorite restaurant and you have to settle the bill past midnight?
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If you enter the restaurant at 11 PM tonight and leave this restaurant after midnight, your bill will include the GST levy/charges, instead of the normal service tax, you are so used to seeing. You could find yourself paying a higher headline rate compared to the current service tax of 6%. (This is after discounting on taxes for food and VAT). The Government is toeing a different line. It says service charge levied by hotels will be constant.
If you take a cab ride just before midnight, reach your destination and pay for this ride after midnight, you will have to pay according to GST rates instead of VAT. Welcome to the new era of GST.
You have checked into your favorite hotel and you plan to settle the bill after July 1st. You will find GST has replaced service tax and other local taxes like luxury tax. What happens if you pay in advance for your hotel stay in July? Then...You won't have to pay GST even though there has been a change in the tax regime.
Are you a bargain hunter looking to do some midnight shopping online? You better lock your orders before midnight. At midnight, the GST regime takes over and prices of some of the items you buy are expected to go up. GST could change your billing.
Buying tickets for your flight? You better watch the clock. If you plan to fly economy-class, book your flight after midnight. Flying economy-class will be cheaper after GST, as the tax rate of 6% will be replaced by 5%. What if you plan to fly business class? You better book your ticket before midnight. Business class tickets are currently taxed at 9%, but could be taxed at 12% after GST.
What about your direct International flight? After GST direct International flights will be costlier than flights with stopovers. So make sure you book your direct International flight before midnight. Be Wise, Get Rich.
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