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Initially, India’s tax system involved various direct and indirect taxes to cover multiple financial transactions. However, these taxes turned out to have an overlapping effect on each other, giving rise to inflation. This limitation gave rise to the introduction of a new and better taxation policy, which is also known as the Goods and Services Tax.

GST was implemented in 4 different forms in India to replace all indirect taxes successfully, adequately focusing on central and state taxation. However, the Indian state-wise tax rates keep on changing. These changes are addressed by GST notification updates.

If you do not know much about state-wise GST rates and their notifications, read the article below.

Understanding State Tax Rate in GST

Understanding GST state-wise taxes plays a crucial role in India’s indirect tax system under the Goods and Services Tax regime. Read on to learn about it in-depth:

What is SGST?

SGST is a state-level tax levied on the intra-state supply of goods and services. This means it applies when both the supplier and the recipient of goods or services are located within the same state. It is levied concurrently with CGST, which is the central government’s counterpart.

The GST Council decides both SGST and CGST rates. It is a constitutional body comprising representatives of the central and state governments. The maximum rate for SGST and CGST is 14% each, but individual states can choose a lower rate within this limit.

How does SGST work?

For SGST to function, it requires a responsible involvement of the following:

Seller’s responsibility

A seller registered under GST charges SGST on the taxable value of the goods or services sold within their state. They collect this tax from the buyer at the time of sale. They must file GST returns and deposit the collected SGST to the state government authorities.

State government’s role

The state government receives the collected SGST revenue. It utilizes this revenue for various public expenditures like infrastructure development, social welfare programs, etc.

Evolution of State Tax Rates under GST

The GST introduced in India in 2017 marked a significant reform, replacing a complicated web of indirect taxes with a unified system. State-wise, GST rates are a crucial component of GST that has changed since then to address various challenges and considerations.

Pre-GST Scenario

Before GST, states had independent tax systems with varying rates for value-added tax (VAT), central sales tax (CST), and other levies. This led to the following:

  • Cascading taxes: Tax was applied on tax, inflating final prices.
  • Administrative complexities: Complying with different tax laws was burdensome.
  • Interstate trade barriers: Differing tax rates discouraged seamless trade.

Initial GST Structure (July 2017)

Five tax slabs were introduced in GST’s initial stage: 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. The SGST rate was capped at 14.5%. This aimed to simplify the tax structure and promote uniformity across states.

Key Changes and Ongoing Evolution

Some of the key changes and ongoing evolution of state-wise GST rates after the introduction of GST are:


The GST Council made frequent rate tweaks to address the following:

  • Implementation challenges, like initial hiccups in the new system.
  • Revenue considerations, ensuring states receive adequate tax income.

Some other notable changes in this duration were:

  • The highest tax rate was reduced from 28% to 18% in 2018.
  • In 2017, the 18% and 12% slabs were merged into a single 18% slab.
  • Introduction of a cess on specific items over and above the 18% GST.


SGST rate for textiles increased from 5% to 12% to address an inverted tax structure (where input tax was higher than output tax). This aimed to level the playing field and protect domestic textile manufacturers.

Current Scenario

SGST rates vary state-wise within the 14.5% limit. Most states opt for the standard 14% SGST rate, but some have chosen lower rates for specific sectors or items. The GST Council continues to review and revise tax rates as needed to ensure an efficient and balanced tax system.

Also Read: Understanding GST State Tax Rate

How State Tax Rates Are Determined in GST Notifications?

State Tax Rates under the Indian GST system are determined through a multi-layered process. Here is a breakdown of the key players and steps involved:

GST Council

This is the apex body responsible for recommending tax rates for both CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) and SGST. It comprises representatives from the central government, Union Territories (UTs) with legislatures and all state governments. The Council meets periodically to review and make recommendations on tax rates depending on a number of issues, including:

  • Economic considerations of the country and individual states.
  • Revenue generation needs of the government.
  • Impact on specific industries and sectors.
  • Aligning with national economic goals.
  • Addressing administrative challenges and complexities.

Central Government

Once the GST Council recommends tax rates, the central government formally notifies them through official notifications. These notifications specify the revised SGST rates for each state or UT. The central government also plays a role in ensuring compliance with the recommended rates by states.

Individual State Governments

While the GST Council recommends rates, states have some flexibility within the prescribed limit of 14.5%. Some states may choose to adopt the recommended rates exactly, while others may opt for slightly lower rates for specific sectors or items within their jurisdiction. This flexibility allows states to tailor the tax system to their specific needs and economic conditions.

Also Read: State Goods And Service Tax (SGST) Notifications In India

Key Components of GST State Tax Rate Notifications

When it comes to understanding State Tax Rate notifications under GST, focusing on the key components can help you grasp the changes and their implications effectively. Here are the essential elements to pay attention to:

  1. Notification Number and Date

Every notification has a unique identifier with a number and date of issue. This helps in referencing a specific change and tracking historical changes.

  1. Issuing Authority

Look for the central government department or ministry responsible for issuing the notification.

  1. Subject of the Notification

This section summarizes the main purpose of the notification, often highlighting the specific tax rate changes being implemented.

  1. Effective Date

This clarifies the exact date from which the revised SGST rates come into effect.

  1. State or UT-Specific Changes

The notification outlines the revised SGST rates applicable to each state or UT. This might involve:

  • State-wise rate tables: Some notifications might present tables listing updated SGST rates for individual states/UTs.
  • Specific amendments: Other notifications might focus on amending particular sections of previous notifications related to specific states/UTs.
  1. Explanatory Notes or Comments

In some cases, the notification might include additional notes or comments explaining the rationale behind the rate changes or providing clarifications on certain aspects.

  1. Annexures or Schedules

These attached documents might provide detailed information like product categories affected by rate changes or specific exemptions.

Implications of GST State Tax Rate on Businesses

GST state tax rate significantly shapes the operating environment for businesses in India. Here is a breakdown of the impact of GST on businesses:

  1. Increased costs

Higher SGST rates directly translate to higher input costs for businesses, as the tax is levied on purchases of goods and services. This can impact production costs, service delivery costs, and overall operational expenses.

  1. Pricing adjustments

Businesses may need to modify their pricing strategy to reflect higher expenses to remain profitable. This could involve raising product or service prices or absorbing some of the cost increase through reduced margins.

  1. Supply chain optimization

Businesses might look for ways to optimize their supply chains to minimize the impact of SGST on input costs. This could involve sourcing materials from states with lower SGST rates or negotiating better supplier deals.

  1. Business location decisions

State tax rate variations could influence business location decisions. Companies might consider operating in states with lower SGST rates to gain a cost advantage.

  1. Compliance burden

Businesses must understand and comply with SGST regulations, including filing returns and paying taxes on time. This can add to the compliance costs and administrative burden.

  1. Differing impact

The impact of SGST rate changes can vary significantly across different industries. Some sectors, like textiles or restaurants, might be more sensitive to tax changes due to lower profit margins.

Consumer Perspective: Effects of State Tax Rate on GST

From a consumer’s standpoint, the State Tax Rate under the GST regime can have several significant effects:

  1. Direct impact on prices

Higher SGST rates translate directly to increased final prices of goods and services consumed. This is because businesses factor in the tax they pay on their purchases when determining their selling price.

  1. Inter-state variations

Prices for the same goods may range between states due to various SGST rates. This can influence consumer purchase decisions, potentially leading to cross-border shopping in states with lower tax rates.

  1. Reduced purchasing power

Increased GST, including SGST, can reduce consumers’ disposable income, impacting their purchasing power and ability to afford certain goods and services.

  1. Essential vs. non-essential items

The impact might be more pronounced for essential items like food and utilities, as these are less substitutable, and consumers have limited flexibility in reducing consumption.

  1. Price sensitivity

Consumers might become more price-sensitive and actively seek out deals and discounts to manage their spending within their budget.

  1. Brand switching

Consumers might be more inclined to switch brands if a competitor offers a lower price due to varying SGST rates or strategic pricing decisions.

Also Read: The Impact Of GST On Tax Revenue

State Tax Rate Notifications: Legal and Compliance Aspects

State Tax Rate notifications under the Indian Goods and Services Tax system have significant legal and compliance aspects for businesses and individuals.

  1. Legal Framework

Here is a breakdown of the legal framework of SGST:

  • Constitutional Basis

The power to levy SGST is derived from the Constitution of India, specifically Article 246 and Entry 54 of Schedule VII (List II – State List).

  • GST Act and Rules

The SGST rates are notified under the GST Act 2017 provisions and the corresponding GST Rules. These legal documents provide the legal framework for determining, notifying, and enforcing SGST rates.

  • Judicial Scrutiny

SGST notifications can be challenged in courts if they are considered ultra vires (beyond the powers) conferred upon the government by the Constitution or the GST Act.

  1. Compliance Aspects

Some of the compliance aspects of SGST are:

  • Mandatory Obligation

Businesses registered under GST must comply with the SGST rates notified for their respective states. This involves:

  • Charging the correct SGST on their sales and purchases.
  • Filing accurate GST returns reflecting the SGST amount collected and paid.
  • Maintaining proper records and documentation to support their tax calculations.
  • Non-Compliance Penalties

Failure to comply with SGST regulations can lead to penalties, interest charges, and even prosecution in severe cases.

The Role of Technology in Managing State Tax Rates

Technology is increasingly crucial in managing state tax rates in various ways. Here are some key areas where technology is making a difference:

  1. Large Datasets

Governments use technology to collect and analyze vast data on economic activity, consumer spending, and business operations. This data helps them make informed decisions about tax rates and identify potential areas for reform.

  1. Predictive Analytics

Advanced analytics tools can be used to predict the impact of different tax rate changes on revenue, economic growth, and various sectors. This information can be invaluable for policymakers when evaluating potential tax policy changes.

  1. Tax Gap Analysis

Technology can be used to identify and measure the tax gap, which is the difference between the amount of tax that is legally due and the amount that is collected. This helps governments identify areas where they can improve tax administration and compliance.

  1. E-filing and E-payment

Many states have implemented online platforms for individuals and businesses to pay electronically and file tax returns. This reduces paperwork, improves efficiency, and reduces the risk of errors.

  1. Automated Compliance Checks

Technology can be used to automate compliance checks, freeing up government resources to focus on more complex cases. This can also deter tax evasion and ensure fairer tax collection.

  1. Real-time Data Exchange

Governments increasingly use technology to share tax information in real time. This helps to prevent tax fraud and improve overall tax administration.


The State Tax Rate in GST is an essential aspect of the taxation framework. It reflects the collaborative efforts of the GST Council to create a transparent and uniform tax system. Thus, businesses and consumers must stay informed about State Tax Rate Notifications. This will allow them to effectively manage finances in such an evolving GST regime.

However, managing taxes for business can get complicated at times. Thus, adapting technology to streamline GST management is crucial if you are a business owner. It will also help you minimize the challenges associated with changing tax rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the GST slab rates for 2023?

Goods and services in India are categorized under four GST slabs, namely 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% GST rates.

  • How is GST calculated?

A straightforward formula emerges GST Amount = (Original Cost * GST Rate Percentage) / 100. The Net Price is computed by adding the Original Cost to the GST Amount.

  • Who collects SGST?

The GST operates on a dual structure, consisting of CGST imposed by the Central Government and SGST imposed by the State Governments. Thus, the state collects the SGST.

  • What is the full form of cess?

Cess refers to a tax typically imposed to support services such as health and education. Governments commonly levy cess for the advancement of social sectors and development purposes. The term is a shortened version of “assess,” the spelling is influenced by a mistaken association with “census.”

  • What is GST step by step?

The step-by-step process for GST is as follows:

Step 1: Access the GST portal at 

Step 2: Obtain a 15-digit GST identification number generated based on your state code and PAN number. 

Step 3: Upload your invoices directly on the GST portal or through relevant software. Each invoice will be assigned a unique invoice reference number.

  • How to calculate GST in Excel?

Read the examples below to understand how to calculate GST in Excel:

Example 1: Input the original cost and GST rate in an Excel sheet. Use formulas like =OriginalCost*(GSTRate/100) for GST and =OriginalCost+GST for the final price.

Example 2: For Intrastate supply, compute CGST and SGST with respective formulas and obtain the final price inclusive of both.

  • Who can claim a refund in GST?

You qualify for a GST refund if you have:

  • Overpaid taxes
  • Exported goods or services
  • Engaged in zero-rated supplies
  • Declared lower income than presumptive income
  • Unused input tax credit
  • What is the full form of HSN?

The HSN Code, short for “Harmonized System of Nomenclature,” is a global system for the organized categorization of goods. Consisting of a 6-digit uniform code, it classifies over 5000 products, gaining international acceptance for streamlined product identification and classification.

  • Can you transfer SGST to CGST?

You can reallocate amounts across various Minor Heads, including tax, interest, penalty, fee, or others, within any Major Head like IGST, CGST, SGST/UTGST, and Cess. This allows for the transfer of funds to the relevant Minor Head under the corresponding Major Head as needed.

  • Who pays the cess?

The obligation to pay it extends to all taxpayers, excluding those involved in exporting specified goods and those who have chosen the GST composition scheme.

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Rinkle Dudhani Intern
Meet Rinkle Dudhani, a diligent law student on the path to earning a BBA LLB degree in June 2024. Armed with a solid academic background in company law, taxation laws, and finance fundamentals, Rinkle possesses a deep understanding of legal and financial concepts. As a seasoned content writer with over 3 years of experience, she has collaborated with prominent brands and consistently delivered high-quality content with a focus on thorough research.

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