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With GST, it’s cheaper to eat snacks at counters than air-conditioned restaurants


New Delhi: With monsoons, people relish their taste buds with mouthwatering snacks such as Dhokla or Jalebi. But wait. Have you wondered what will be the difference having a Mithai standing at the counter of your favourite sweet shop, and relishing it inside an air-conditioned restaurant? Well, besides comfort and luxury, it’s the different Goods and Service Tax (GST) that will be applicable. Confused? We will explain it for you.

So, ordering your sweet sin at the table may attract 18% GST, whereas having the sweet at the counter and walk out after paying the bill may charge you only 5% GST.

Why such disparity in numbers? Well, explaining the new taxation system, Tax lawyer R S Sharma told the supply by way of service of food or any other article or drink by a restaurant or eating joint or mess or canteen with air conditioning is subject to 18% GST.

““However, the supply of food or other article or drink by restaurants or eating joints without AC or central heating is subject to 12% under the food and beverage services category,” Tax lawyer R S Sharma was quoted from TOI.

However, this news might come as a shock for Gujjus, who cannot survive without their favourite snack – Dhoklas. Even Dhoklas now will have to face the heat. If you order at the counter you pay at a rate of 12% GST, but if you prefer to sit down to relish the snack with sauce and chutney, you might pay a higher rate of 18%.

But the differential tax rate is something that most consumers are unaware of, resulting in many of them getting a surprise when they are presented the bill.

“Different shops are charging different rates. Even, we are confused. Never wondered, that Dhoklas can be unaffordable someday,” said one of the students in Delhi.

But, there are shops that are calculating tax differently. For example, a leading sweet shop in central Delhi, which does not have seating facility but has tables, is charging 5%.

So, basically, if you have a large seating place, the higher tax bracket will be applicable, explains one shop owner to TOI.

Tax experts believe understated clarifications of the new tax regime need to be effectively communicated to consumers.

With the difference in GST rates for the same products, people now prefer to have their favourite snack at the counter to avoid higher tax rates.

“It’s the taste that matters. If you want to relax, then pack it up and enjoy it at your home. Why need to shell out more?” said a resident of East of Kailash.

The levy in many fast-food chains is the same, irrespective of whether you have it there or order a takeaway.

Even, Tea and Coffee lovers may need to shell out more as relaxing on a comfy couch and having a sip of your favourite beverage might attract higher tax slabs.

While explaining GST, R S Sharma told, “In case of tea, you may have to pay 18% tax if consumed in a restaurant but if you decide to have it outside, you can get away by paying 12%, which is the levy for beverages containing milk.”

Source: Times Now

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