Books, Printed Book HSN Code and 4901 HSN Code GST Rate

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“Reading is an act of civilisation; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilisation because it takes the free raw material of the mind and builds castles of possibilities.”

―Ben Okri

This blog provides an in-depth analysis of the GST rates and HSN codes for products related to reading and writing, such as books, newspapers, and calendars. Highlighting the categorization under GST, it delves into the tax implications for various paper-based products, emphasizing the commitment to promoting literacy and education through favorable tax rates. The exploration includes a look at items with NIL GST, emphasizing the government’s approach to support learning and information dissemination.

Reading can teach us to think critically and analyze information objectively, and it promotes a thirst for knowledge. The more we read, the better we understand the world we live in, with all of its flaws and advantages, and more importantly, the more avid we become to learn more. 

Paper is indeed within the purview of GST, and its inclusion in the tax system underscores the comprehensive nature of the Goods and Services Tax. Paper, a fundamental and versatile material, plays a crucial role in various aspects of our lives, from education and communication to packaging and documentation.

In the realm of GST, the paper represents an integral part of Chapter 49 of the HSN code, encompassing a wide range of paper products, including printing and writing paper, newsprint, and speciality papers.

From Pulp to Print: GST’s Influence on the Paper Industry

Here’s the breakdown of different categories within the realm of papers, books, newspapers, and calendars. 

Products with NIL Rated GST

Products Description

GST Rate (%)

HSN Code

HSN Code for Import and Export

Printed books, including Braille books NIL 4901



49011010, 49011020, 49019100, 49019900
Newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated or containing advertising material NIL 4902


49021010, 49021020, 49029010, 49029020
Maps and hydrographic or similar charts of all kinds, including atlases, wall maps, topographical plans and globes, printed


NIL 4905


49051000, 49059100, 49059910, 49059990
Judicial, Non-judicial stamp papers, Court fee stamps when sold by the Government Treasuries or Vendors authorized by the Government NIL 4907 49070010, 49070020, 49070030, 49070090
Postal items, like envelope, Post card etc., sold by Government NIL 4907 49070010, 49070020, 49070030, 49070090
Rupee notes when sold to the Reserve Bank of India (or Government of India inserted on 27/07/2018 ) NIL 4907 49070010, 49070020, 49070030, 49070090
Cheques, lose or in book form NIL 4907 49070010, 49070020, 49070030, 49070090
Children’S Picture, Drawing Or Colouring Books NIL 4903 490300 ,49030010,49030020

Products with 12% Rated GST 

Products Description

GST Rate (%)

HSN Code

HSN Code for Import and Export

Music, printed or in manuscript, whether or not bound or illustrated 12%


4904 49040000
Plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, com-mercial, topographical or similar purposes, being originals drawn by hand; handwritten texts; photographic reproductions on sensitized paper and carbon copies of the foregoing 12%


4906 49060000
Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country in which they have, or will have, a recognised face value; stamp-impressed paper; banknotes; cheque forms; stock, share or bond certificates and similar documents of title[other than duty credit scrips] 12%


4907 49070010, 49070020, 49070030, 49070090
Transfers (decalcomanias) 12%


4908 49081000, 49089000
Printed or illustrated postcards; printed cards bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements, whether or not illustrated, with or without envelopes or trimmings 12%





49090010, 49090090
Calendars of any kind, printed, including calendar blocks 12% 4910 49100010, 49100090
Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs; such as Trade advertising material, Commercial catalogues and the like, printed Posters, Commercial catalogues, Printed inlay cards, Pictures, designs and photographs, Plan and drawings for architectural engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes reproduced with the aid of computer or any other devices 12% 4911 49111010, 49111020, 49111030, 49111090, 49119100, 49119910, 49119920, 49119990

 Read More: All About HSN Codes

 Products with 5% Rated GST

Products Description

GST Rate (%)

HSN Code

HSN Code for Import and Export

Brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets 5% 4901 49011010, 49011020, 49019100, 490199002

 Also Read: Works Contract under GST

The Bottom Line

It’s essential for businesses to correctly determine and apply the appropriate HSN code to their products to ensure accurate taxation. The HSN code is typically included in invoices and other relevant documents for GST compliance.

Businesses must be aware of the HSN codes applicable to their products, as these codes determine the tax rates and other regulatory requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the HSN code for news service?

The HSN CODE FOR News agency services to newspapers and periodicals is 998441. The full form of HSN Code is Harmonized System of Nomenclature. It was introduced in 1988 by the World Customs Organization (WCO). It is a 6-digit code that separates different products.

  • What is the GST rate for table calendars? 

The GST rate for Calendars is 12%. This rate applies to all types of calendars, including wall calendars, desk calendars, and pocket calendars. 

  • What is the HSN no for printed books?

HSN Code 4901: Printed books, brochures and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets (excluding periodicals and publications which are essentially devoted to advertising).

  • Can we claim GST on books?

Printed books, including braille books and newspapers, periodicals & journals, maps, atlas, charts & globe are not taxable under GST. 

  • What is the GST rate for newspaper advertisements?

Advertisement on digital media is liable to GST at the rate of 18 per cent. 2. GST on advertisement in print media: In this case, the advertisement is published in print media like newspapers, magazines, etc. Such advertising in print media attracts a GST of five percent.

author avatar
Shraddha Vaviya Content Writer
With several years of experience, I am deeply passionate about writing and enjoy creating content on topics such as GST, tax and various finance-related subjects. My goal is to make complex financial matters understandable for readers by simplifying them.

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