Introduction to CGST, SGST, and IGST in GST Tax Structure

The paradigm shift introduced by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has simplified India’s tax landscape by consolidating various taxes into a unified framework. Instead of the earlier complex web of Central Excise, Service Tax, State VAT, and more, GST streamlines the tax system with three essential components: Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST), State Goods and Services Tax (SGST), and Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).

Understanding Intra-state and Inter-state Transactions

The classification hinges on the nature of the transaction. For intra-state transactions, occurring within a state’s boundaries, both CGST and SGST are levied. On the other hand, in inter-state transactions spanning across state lines, only IGST applies.

Significance of Accurate GSTIN and Applicability

Ensuring accurate Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) becomes pivotal to determine tax applicability. Utilizing the GST search tool to validate GST numbers before usage in sales invoices is crucial.

Destination-Based Tax System

GST operates on a destination-based tax principle, implying that the tax revenue is garnered by the state where goods or services are consumed, not where they are produced.

Insight into IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax)

IGST stands for Integrated Goods and Services Tax. It pertains to the tax levied on interstate supplies, spanning multiple states or Union Territories. Whether imports or exports, IGST encompasses all cross-border transactions. For instance, if goods worth Rs. 1,00,000 are sold from Chandigarh to Dadra & Nagar Haveli & Daman & Diu, with an 18% IGST, the dealer charges Rs. 18,000 as IGST, subsequently allocated between the Centre and the ultimate consuming state.

Decoding CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax)

CGST, or Central Goods and Services Tax, is imposed by the Central Government on intrastate supplies within a state. Working in tandem with SGST, it facilitates revenue sharing between the Centre and the state government. For example, if a seller in Telangana sells a product within the state, both CGST and SGST apply, each not exceeding 14%.

Unveiling SGST (State Goods and Services Tax)

SGST, or State Goods and Services Tax, mirrors CGST on intrastate transactions. It’s the tax levied by the state government where the goods or services are consumed. In cases like Chattisgarh, a dealer selling goods worth Rs. 10,000 would collect Rs. 1,800 as GST – split equally between the Central and state governments.

Exploring UTGST (Union Territory Goods and Services Tax)

UTGST, Union Territory Goods and Services Tax, aligns with SGST but applies to Union Territories without their own legislature. With UTGST, a proportionate split ensures revenue sharing between the Centre and the Union Territory government.

Harmony Amidst Complexity

The segmented taxation structure of CGST, SGST, and IGST has been ingeniously designed to ensure seamless credit adjustments, forging a unified taxation landscape. This approach harmonizes diverse tax considerations, upholding the essence of “One Nation, One Tax” in India’s federal tax system.

How is SGST, CGST and IGST collected?

The intricate dance of offsetting Goods and Services Tax (GST) liabilities is a strategic process. Begin with IGST liability, followed by a choice between CGST and SGST, tailored to your preferences. As a consumption-based tax, GST channels revenue to the state where goods were consumed, exemplified by Rajasthan receiving GST revenue in the scenario where goods were utilized. By this principle, Maharashtra, the exporting state, should not collect any taxes.

Logic dictates that both the state of Rajasthan and the Central Government should receive Rs. 2,700 each from the transaction value of Rs. 30,000 at a rate of 9%. Consequently, Maharashtra transfers SGST credit of Rs. 900 (utilised for IGST payment) to the Centre, which then forwards Rs. 450 IGST to Rajasthan, the importing state. This example illuminates the tripartite role of SGST, CGST, and IGST, aligning with GST’s twin goals: “One Nation, One Tax” and a dual tax system benefiting both the Centre and states.


Q1: What does GST stand for?

GST stands for Goods and Services Tax, an indirect tax levied on the supply or sale of specific goods/products and services.

Q2: What are the different types of GST?

There are four types of GST: CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax), SGST (State Goods and Services Tax), UTGST (Union Territory Goods and Services Tax), and IGST (Integrated Goods and Services Tax). Occasionally, a cess is also applied.

Q3: What taxes are applicable to intra-state transactions?

Intra-state transactions attract both CGST and the respective SGST. In Union Territories, UTGST is levied alongside CGST.

Q4: What is the maximum rate at which IGST can be levied?

The highest rate for IGST imposition is 28%, primarily affecting specific luxury and sin goods. Refer to the HSN Code & GST Rate finder to find exact rates.

Q5: How should I offset my GST liabilities optimally?

Begin by setting off IGST liability, followed by the option to set off either CGST or SGST liabilities based on your preference. This strategic approach ensures the efficient distribution of tax liabilities.

Q6: Why does the state of consumption receive GST revenue?

GST operates as a consumption-based tax, wherein the state where goods or services are consumed receives the revenue. This principle aligns with the logic of revenue distribution.

Q7: How does the offset of CGST and SGST work for intra-state transactions?

In intra-state transactions, both CGST and the respective SGST are levied. This dual taxation model ensures revenue sharing between the Central and state governments.

Q8: What role does IGST play in inter-state transactions?

For inter-state transactions involving the movement of goods or services across state boundaries, only IGST is collected. It simplifies taxation in cross-border scenarios.

Q9: Why do we need a combination of SGST, CGST, and IGST?

The trio of SGST, CGST, and IGST serves two vital purposes of GST: unifying taxes across the nation for “One Nation, One Tax,” and creating a dual tax system for revenue sharing between the Central and state governments.