Is GST Applicable on Purchase Orders?

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The GST, a destination-based, multi-stage tax, replaced earlier indirect taxes in India, aligning with the ‘One Nation One Tax’ initiative. It applies to goods and services sold within India for consumption, simplifying the country’s taxation system. This tax is levied on the final market price of domestically manufactured goods and services, forming part of the retail price. Sellers collect and remit it to the government, reflecting indirect taxation.

Uniformly GST applicability on orders is enforced nationwide for various goods and services. They’re categorised into different slab rates for tax payment, with luxury items in higher slabs and essentials in lower or nil slabs. This classification aims to distribute wealth among Indian residents equitably.

Basics of Purchase Orders

A purchase order (PO) is a document a buyer issues to a seller. It contains information about the goods to be purchased, their quantities, and the agreed prices.

When handling orders, ensuring complete information is essential. Names are typically included when preparing consumer orders, while business orders feature the company name on invoices. Purchase orders commonly contain contact details like phone numbers, emails, shipping addresses, shipping methods, and delivery dates. They also include product descriptions, quantities, unit prices, total costs, and shipping expenses.

The purchase order process varies but generally involves these steps:

The customer initiates the order for wholesale products for a store or as an individual seeking bulk savings.
Supplier packs and prepares the order for shipment by the specified date.
The customer receives the order and inspects it for accuracy.
Supplier sends an invoice soon after order receipt, indicating the agreed-upon payment deadline.


Understanding GST in Purchase

In India’s GST system, one document is the tax invoice. Acting as a crucial gateway for buyers to claim the Input Tax Credit (ITC), it guarantees suppliers their rightful payment.

Under the GST regime, GST must be paid only at the time of supply, so it is an essential instrument. This section will explain the GST in purchase orders and its applicability.

Depending on the type of purchase, GST inclusion in purchasing may involve central, state, and integrated tax. These are location-based taxes; you only need to pay GST once for every purchase order. Every GST-registered buyer who issues a purchase order is required to include their GSTIN in the purchase order. They must also have essential information related to the location of the business. GST-registered businesses must pay GST tax for the goods consumed. Based on the site of the company of the supplier and buyer, this GST tax may vary. Some goods are exempted from GST. In that case, there is no need to include GST information for such items.

Applicability of GST on Various Purchase Order Scenarios

To better understand the taxation in purchase orders, you need to know what factors influence tax inclusion in the purchase order. As the GST is a location-based tax, every taxable good is taxed the same from the supplier and buyer sides. An automated billing solution like CaptainBiz will allow you to auto-populate GST fields so that everything is clear while entering the tax information. 

  • Domestic Transactions Within a State

Domestic transactions involve the shipment or receipt of goods or services within the same state. These transactions are subject to two types of taxes, CGST and SGST, applied to the supply of goods or services. These taxes are imposed based on the order line amount or the assessable value.

  • Transactions Across States

Transactions across states entail the shipment of goods or services from one state to another. In such cases, the tax applicable is the IGST of the receiving state. Taxation is applied to the order line amount or the assessable value.

  • Direct Dispatch Purchase Orders

Direct dispatch purchase orders refer to scenarios where goods skip an organisation or warehouse and are directly delivered or shipped to project sites, or service locations or qualify as High Sea purchases. Input credit can be claimed for these transactions if the receiving business partner or organization is registered in the state of receipt. Appropriate interstate or intrastate GST regulations apply.

  • Return of Purchases

Purchase returns occur when goods are returned to the supplier due to surplus quantities or failure to meet quality standards. GST is calculated based on the receipt amount. Alternatively, GST can be recalculated based on the transaction value. If goods are returned within six months of receipt, the tax specified on the original order line is considered; otherwise, tax recalculations apply.

  • Acquisition of Free Goods

When goods are obtained without cost, such as samples or materials supplied free of charge, GST is calculated based on these items’ assessable value or market value.

  • Purchase Orders Involving Additional Costs

Purchase orders involving additional costs like freight and insurance charges have taxes applied to both the landed and purchase prices. The GST tax code specified on the order line determines the taxation.

  • Imported Purchase Orders

For imported goods, Special Additional Duty and Countervailing duties are replaced by IGST. Basic Customs Duty (BCD) and Inter-State GST (IGST) are imposed on imported goods.

Importance of Proper Documentation for GST Compliance in Purchase Orders

Maintaining proper documentation is essential when conducting goods transactions. It involves accurately recording item descriptions, quantities, prices, and other pertinent information. These records serve multiple functions, acting as evidence of transactions, aiding inventory management, and playing a vital role in accounting and meeting legal requirements.

  1. Adhering to India’s income tax laws requires maintaining precise documentation to verify income, deductions, and expenses. This thorough record-keeping ensures accurate income reporting and valid deduction claims according to tax regulations.
  2. Avoiding penalties and scrutiny by tax authorities demands careful documentation. During audits, taxpayers should present supporting documents to validate their claims. Inadequate documentation might lead to penalties, fines, and legal repercussions. Well-kept records showcase adherence to tax laws.
  3. Accurate documentation is crucial for claiming deductions and benefits under the Income Tax Act. Taxpayers must possess valid documents supporting deductions linked to investments, expenses, or exemptions. Records such as investment statements, bills, and certificates are vital in accessing tax benefits and reducing overall tax liabilities.
  4. Streamlining the tax filing process is facilitated by organised documentation. Accessible and accurate records assist in completing tax forms accurately, reducing errors, and saving time during filing. Well-managed documentation eases the pressure of meeting filing deadlines.
  5. Comprehensive documentation serves as a reliable record of financial activities, aiding self-employed individuals, professionals, and businesses in tracking business-related expenses and income from various sources.
  6. Proper documentation facilitates tax audits and assessments. Taxpayers with accurate records can promptly provide requested documents during audits, supporting reported income and deductions. It reduces the risk of additional tax demands or penalties.

Benefits and Challenges of GST Implementation on Purchase Orders

Every new reform has pros and cons. It depends on how easily it is managed and balanced to ensure smooth economic operations. The best way to avoid all the GST challenges is to use automated GST billing software such as CaptainBiz. Using this software, you only need to enter the supplier’s details while your GST details and GST tax rates will be auto-populated based on the GST master set. Also, purchase orders can be exported directly for filing GST forms, which will streamline the taxation process for your business. Let’s explore the benefits and challenges of implementing GST on purchase orders.


  • Simplifiеd Taxation: GST rеplacеd multiplе taxеs with a singlе lеvy, simplifying thе tax structurе.
  • Improvеd Compliancе: GST introduced a unifiеd tax return, enhancing compliance and reducing tax evasion.
  • Increased Revenue: Morе taxpayеrs undеr GST boostеd tax collеctions for govеrnmеnts.
  • Efficiеnt Logistics: GST еasеd interstate movement of goods, cutting business costs and еnhancing logistics.
  • Transparеncy: GST’s transparеnt systеm rеducеd corruption in tax administration.


  • Rising Costs: Adopting GST-compliant softwarе increased business operational expenses.
  • SME Taxation: SMEs face tax liabilities under GST at lower turnover thresholds, impacting their expenses.
  • Pеnaltiеs: SMEs lacking rеsourcеs for GST compliancе risk finеs, adding to opеrational costs.
  • Unorganisеd Sector Challenges: Sеctors likе construction and tеxtilеs strugglе with GST compliancе.
  • Initial Challеngеs: Hasty implementation in 2017 caused difficulties for companies, though improvements have followed. 

Common Misconceptions About GST on Purchase Orders

Misconception 1: GST Reduces Compliance

Reality: Input Tax Credit (ITC) in GST aims to prevent price hikes due to stacked taxes. Yet, claiming ITC involves navigating complex slabs and rates. Businesses operating across states must register in each state to access ITC, escalating compliance needs. The invoice-to-invoice matching system necessitates multiple returns, audits, and diverse tax rates, increasing bureaucratic intervention.

Misconception 2: GST Covers All Indirect Taxes

Reality: GST absorbs most previous indirect taxes, but some, like customs duty, excise on tobacco, and taxes on petroleum, remain outside its scope for specific goods.

Misconception 3: No Cascading Effect Under GST

Reality: While GST diminishes double taxation, it doesn’t eradicate it. Subsuming taxes alongside GST continues the cascading effect, like GST on power equipment, where electricity isn’t under GST, resulting in higher production costs.

Misconception 4: Businesses Below a Certain Threshold Needn’t Register for GST

Reality: Small businesses with interstate transactions, exhibitors, non-residents, TDS/TCS entities, and those under reverse charge must register despite turnover below the threshold.

Misconception 5: Composition Scheme Eases Tax Compliance for Small Businesses

Reality: This scheme has limitations. It bars interstate trade, denies input credit on B2B transactions, and restricts e-commerce sales, burdening beneficiaries with tax costs.


In maximum instances, Goods and Services Tax (GST) is part of purchase orders, integrated into the rate from a supplier registered beneath GST. However, exemptions or zero-rated GST may follow, considering factors like goods/offerings nature or supplier fame. Understanding GST in purchase orders and its policies assists in maintaining unique documentation that is essential for compliance. Seeking expert recommendations helps decode GST implications accurately, ensuring corporations adhere to each transaction’s policies. Therefore, even as GST typically applies to purchases, information on unique circumstances is essential for determining the proper GST treatment. For more helpful blogs, visit CaptainBiz.


1. How do purchasе ordеrs and invoicеs differ?

The significant impact is seen when a purchasе ordеr initiatеs thе accounts payablе workflow and thе invoicе represents the formal demand for paymеnt, which thе accounts payablе tеams handlе and procеss. That is how purchase orders and invoices affect the versions payable.

2. In what way do purchasе ordеrs and invoicеs affect accounts payablе?

A purchasе ordеr initiatеs thе accounts payablе workflow, and thе invoicе rеprеsеnts thе formal dеmand for paymеnt, which thе accounts payablе tеams handlе and procеss. 

3. Do I need to mention GST on a purchase order?

While it’s not mandatory, many businesses include a separate line item for GST on purchase orders to provide transparency and clarity regarding the tax component. Many businesses consider it a standard format to include a separate GST column on the purchase order. 

4.  Can I claim the input tax credit on GST mentioned in the purchase order?

Businesses can generally claim input tax credit on the GST mentioned in the purchase order. However, ITC can only be claimed if the supplier issues the GST tax invoice. The tax invoice is a confirmation of delivery and request for purchase. Only with a GST invoice can the buyer claim ITC.

5. Are there any exemptions from GST on purchase orders?

Some goods and services may be exempt from GST. You must refer to the official government website to determine whether the goods you intend to buy incur GST. 

6. How does the Goods and Services Tax (GST) affect the advent and control of purchase orders inside business operations?

GST affects purchase orders by mandating the right tax remedy for items/services, affecting pricing, and requiring accurate documentation to comply with tax laws in enterprise operations.

7. What specific situations or criteria determine whether or not GST is relevant to the products or services mentioned in a purchase order?

GST applicability relies upon criteria like fee thresholds, the nature of products/services, and particular exemptions or classifications for items in a purchase order.

8. Explain the factors or recommendations that decide the inclusion of GST for gadgets or services outlined in a buy order.

Factors determining GST inclusion encompass item classifications, GST costs, and exemptions in line with GST rules or industry-particular suggestions.

9. Do particular industries or transactions have policies or variations regarding applying GST to purchase orders?

Specific industries or transactions may have particular GST guidelines or quotes affecting GST software on purchase orders, requiring adherence to industry-specific recommendations.

10. What impact does the presence or absence of GST in buy orders have on a corporation’s financial control, accounting methods, and compliance with tax legal guidelines?

GST presence or absence drastically affects financial facts, tax liabilities, and compliance measures, affecting accounting accuracy, economic planning, and adherence to tax laws and guidelines.

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Niharika Kapoor Content Writer
Niharika is a Freelance Content Writer and Translator with a Master of Arts in Literature. She has 5+ years of working in the same and has worked in different industries.

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