What is Input Tax Credit (ITC)?

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If you’re a business owner or professional dealing with goods and services, you’re likely familiar with GST or Goods and Services Tax. GST is an extensive indirect tax applied to the supply of goods and services throughout India, replacing earlier taxes like VAT, excise duty, and service tax.

However, are you acquainted with the Input Tax Credit (ITC)? Do you understand how to claim it to alleviate your tax burden? This blog aims to elucidate the concept, advantages, and procedure for claiming Input Tax Credit under the GST system.

Input Tax Credit Mechanism

Input Tax Credit (ITC) pertains to the tax amount settled by an individual when purchasing goods or services, which is subsequently deductible from the total tax liability.

For example, suppose a trader acquires goods valued at Rs. 100 and pays a 10% tax on the purchase. In that case, the tax amount paid is Rs. 10. When the trader sells these goods for Rs. 150 and collects a tariff of Rs. 15 from the buyer, the trader is liable to remit Rs. 15 to the government. However, since the trader already paid Rs. 10 as tax during the initial purchase, this Rs. 10 is considered ITC. Consequently, the trader is permitted to deduct this ITC from the tax payable, resulting in a net tax payment of Rs. 5. It’s important to note that the utilization of ITC is contingent upon certain conditions expounded upon in this article.

Claiming ITC in GST

  • All registered individuals, except those paying tax under the composition scheme, can claim input tax credit.
  • Individuals applying for registration within 30 days of becoming liable can avail input tax credit for inputs in stock, including those in semi-finished or finished goods, on the day before they become liable to pay tax.
  • Those opting for voluntary registration can claim an input tax credit for inputs in stock, including those in semi-finished or finished goods, on the day before the registration is granted.
  • Individuals ceasing to pay tax under the composition scheme are entitled to claim credit for input tax on inputs in stock, as well as those in semi-finished or finished goods, and on capital goods, on the day before they cease to pay tax under the composition scheme.

Documents required for claiming ITC

  • A tax invoice issued by a registered supplier.
  • A debit note was issued concerning a previously issued tax invoice by the registered supplier.
  • A bill of entry or a similar document for imports.
  • An invoice issued when the recipient of goods or services has paid tax under the reverse charge mechanism.
  • A credit note or invoice issued by an Input Service Distributor.

Conditions for availing ITC

  • Descriptions of goods and services: The documents provide clear explanations of what goods and services are involved in the transaction, ensuring easy understanding.
  • Total value of goods and services: They specify the overall cost of both goods and services, giving a complete picture of the financial aspects of the transaction.
  • Amount of tax charged: The documents clearly state the tax amount applied to the transaction, helping in accurate tax reporting and compliance.
  • Place of supply in case of supply: For transactions involving supply, the documents mention the specific location where the supply takes place, ensuring adherence to applicable tax regulations.
  • GSTIN of receiver and supplier: The Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) of both the person receiving the goods or services and the supplier is included, facilitating easy identification and verification of the involved parties.

Time Limit for Claiming Input Tax Credit under GST

The period within which you can claim Input Tax Credit (ITC) under GST is determined by the earlier occurrence of two dates:

  • November 30th of the following financial year.
  • The date of filing the annual returns in form GSTR-9 for that specific financial year.

Items on which ITC cannot be claimed 

are Motor Vehicles, Goods Transport, Vessels, and Aircraft

  • ITC allowed for further supply, transport, and training purposes.
  • Exceptions for general insurance, servicing, repair, and maintenance services.

Exclusions in Services: Food, Beauty, Health, and More

  • No ITC for food, beverages, beauty treatment, health services, and cosmetic surgery.
  • Exception: ITC is available if goods/services contribute to delivering the same category or as part of a composite supply.

Exclusions in Memberships, Rent-a-Cab, and Insurance

  • ITC is not allowed for membership in clubs, health and fitness centers, rent-a-cab, health insurance, and life insurance.
  • Exceptions for government mandates or when used to deliver the same services category.

Leasing, Renting, and Hiring Exclusions

  • ITC is ineligible for leasing, renting, or hiring motor vehicles, vessels, or aircraft, except in specific cases.
  • Exclusions for travel benefits, works contract service, and goods/services for constructing immovable property.

Other Exclusions and Special Cases

  • Goods and services for constructing immovable property, composition scheme tax, personal use items, and goods/services for non-resident taxable persons are ineligible for ITC.
  • ITC is unavailable for goods lost, stolen, destroyed, or disposed of by gift or free samples.
  • Standalone restaurants charging 5% GST have no ITC on inputs.
  • Expenditure on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives is not eligible for ITC.

Also Read: Import Duties, Taxes And Input Tax Credit (ITC): Impact Of Place Of Supply


GST ITC benefits businesses and professionals within the GST framework. This provision enables them to offset the tax paid on their purchases against the tax due on their sales, preventing double taxation of goods and services and ultimately reducing consumer costs.

Yet, to harness the advantages of Input Tax Credit, adherence to the conditions and regulations outlined in the GST law is essential. Maintaining meticulous records and supporting documents is crucial to substantiate your claims.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Input Tax Credit (ITC)?

Input Tax Credit (ITC) is a mechanism in the GST system that allows businesses to offset the tax they pay on inputs against the tax they collect on outputs.

How does ITC work in GST?

When a registered business pays tax on the purchase of goods or services (inputs), it can claim a credit for the taxes paid. This credit can be utilized to offset the tax liability on sales (outputs).

Which documents are essential for claiming ITC?

Essential documents for claiming ITC include tax invoices, debit notes, invoices from reverse charge mechanisms, bills of entry for imports, and credit notes from Input Service Distributors.

What are the conditions for availing of ITC?

Conditions for availing ITC include valid registration, possession of valid tax invoices, receipt of goods/services, and filing returns on time.

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Arpita Rathod Placement Representative
Arpita is a seasoned financial content writer with a specialized focus on Goods and Services Tax (GST). With a deep passion for the world of taxation and a Master's in English Literature, her specialization lies in taking challenging topics from diverse fields and breaking them down into digestible, engaging narratives.

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