Meaning of Indirect Tax Turnover Approach under GST

Indirect Tax Turnover Approach under GST


The details about Indirect Tax Turnover Approach are explained here.  

Indirect Tax Turnover Approach 

This approach, presented by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, estimates the base in a three step process. First, it estimates the goods base at the level of the States. This base is estimated by converting data on actual collections and statutory rates into a goods base. In other words, the effective rate becomes the basis for the estimation of the goods base. In the absence of data for all the States, the key assumption is that States collect revenues at the three rates (1 per cent, 6 per cent, and 14 per cent) in such a proportion so as to yield a total taxable base of Rs. 30.8 lakh crore.

 In the second stage, the services base is estimated based on turnover data of 3.25 lakh firms from the newly available MCA database (this base is estimated at Rs. 40.8 lakh crore).

     In a third stage, adjustments are made to this base to remove IT-related services, because a large part of them are exported, and to remove most of real estate and financial services from the base because of the manner in which these items will be treated under the GST. This adjusted base is then subject to an input-output analysis to deduct from the base taxable inputs used for service provision and also deduct services used as inputs into taxable manufacturing. All these adjustments result in an incremental services base (incremental to whatever has already been

Incorporated in goods) of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore and a combined base (goods and services) of Rs. 39.4 lakh crore.


This base, in turn yields a single RNR of 17.69 per cent under the scenario of having to compensate the States for the 2 per cent CST. The corresponding standard rate under current structures of taxation is estimated at 22.76 per cent. It is worth recalling that an earlier analysis based on the same methodology by NIPFP was presented to the Empowered Committee of the GST in February 2014. That analysis yielded an estimate of the RNR of 18.86 percent and a

Standard rate of 25 per cent.12


The aim of this research paper is to critically examine how important it is to have the appropriate rate of GST and how this rate will affect government revenue. This is done by analyzing the various factors that affect the appropriation of the GST rate. We will also examine the impact of GST on inflation and the effects of having a high or low RNR rate. We conclude by examining the long-term effects of implementing GST.

Need for GST

In developing countries like India, the government plays an important role in augmenting the growth and development, given the paucity of private capital and initiative. The government is also responsible for supporting the economically backward classes, maintaining law and order and security of the country. To carry out these responsibilities, the government needs sufficient revenue. Revenue collection is done through various means like taxes, fines, fees and charges, and foreign grants of which taxes form a major chunk.




Row Labels

Sum of Revised 2014-15

Sum of Budget 2015-16




Corporation tax



Income tax



Wealth tax









Service tax



Taxes of union territories



Union excise duties



Grand Total



Table 1: Revenue from taxes, Source: (8)

The government earns 14,49,490 crores from taxes, the breakup of which is given in Table 1. Indirect taxes contribute a significant 44.95% to the total tax revenue. Hence, it is important to streamline this tax base. Introduction of GST will remove the multiplicity of taxes and simplify the tax structure.

Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR)

Since GST is a value added tax that provides tax credits for the taxes charged on the preceding stage of production, it will eliminate the cascading effects of taxes. This, in turn, might reduce the total government revenue from indirect taxes. To avoid this loss in revenue, the government will have to raise its taxes. This increased tax rate that ensures the government earns consistent revenue is called the revenue neutral rate (RNR). The committee headed by the Chief Economic Advisor of India, Arvind Subramanian, submitted a report that suggested an RNR of 15-15.5%. The principle behind calculating this RNR is defined by the following basic equation:


Where  ‘t’ is the RNR, ‘R’ is equal to the revenue generated from the current sales tax (12.5%) and the exercise tax (14%). This revenue which will be replaced by the GST is estimated to be 3.28 lakh crore from the center and 3.69 lakh crore from the state, which sums up to 6.97 lakh crores (Excluding revenues from petroleum and tobacco for the Centre, and from petroleum and alcohol for the States) or 6.1 per cent of GDP. Now the total potential tax base ‘B’ should be determined to calculate the RNR.

The committee has used three methods to determine the total potential tax base; the macro approach, the indirect tax turnover (ITT) approach, and the direct tax turnover (DTT) approach. This paper will explain the macro approach. In this approach, the tax base is calculated using the data from national income accounts. As per the Arvind Subramanian report, the base ranges from 59 per cent to 67 per cent of the GDP. This calculated base excludes the basic food items, petroleum, and electricity.

As stated earlier, the total revenue to be replaced by the GST is 6.1 per cent of the GDP. By using the basic formula t=R/B, the GST RNR ranges from 9.1 (0.061/0.67) to 11.1 per cent (0.061/0.55). For OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, there is commonly a loss of 10 to 20 per cent in revenue (1). Taking this loss into account the RNR ranges from 9-11 per cent to 11-14 per cent.

The aforementioned approaches have their own merits and demerits because of the underlying assumptions and data used. The Subramanian committee evaluated these and made suitable adjustments to arrive at an RNR rate of 15-15.5%

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