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GST on Printing Industry – A Detailed Analysis & Item Wise Rate Table Study

Printing Industry is a very wide Industry ranging from Newspapers to Commercial Books and Periodicals. Involvement of Jobwork and changes in definitions have made significant changes in the way GST Applies on Printing Works vis-à-vis Earlier VAT & Service Tax Regime.

Printing Industry is a very wide Industry ranging from Newspapers to Commercial Books and Periodicals. Involvement of Jobwork and changes in definitions have made significant changes in the way GST Applies on Printing Works vis-à-vis Earlier VAT & Service Tax Regime.

This article is less legal and more for information purpose. I have intently tried to tone down legal reference to make this more suitable for interpretative understanding of GST Applicability on Printing Works. Let’s Start.

Firstly, Most Important PointPrinting is NO MORE A WORKS CONTRACT UNDER CURRENT GST LAW. So we will not say it as works contract anymore. The reason why it is no more a works contract in GST is because under current GST Works Contract only includes Immovable Property unlike in VAT & Service tax before where Works Contract Including both Movable and Immovable Property.

So whenever there is confusion in GST in regard to whether printing leads to goods or services, simply apply what was dominant intention. For Example, you took content from publisher and printed the books then you are rendering printing services but the publisher is a seller and he will be deemed as selling goods under Chapter 4901 and HSN Code rate of GST will apply.

Coming on the Rates* of Various Items of the Industry – The Same are as follows:-

S.No Nature of Item / Service HSN / SAC Goods / Service Rate of GST
1 Services by way of printing of all goods falling under Chapter 48 or 49 [including newspapers, books (including Braille books), journals and periodicals], which attract IGST @ 12 per cent. or 5 per cent. or Nil, where only content is supplied by the publisher and the physical inputs including paper used for printing belong to the printer.

(Essentially this is a Printing Job Work where Paper Belongs to Printing Concern)

Heading 9989(i) Service 12%
2 Other manufacturing services; publishing, printing and reproduction services; materials recovery services, other than (i) above.

(It can cover cases where paper belongs to publisher and only printing done, only binding done, reproduction etc)

Heading 9989(ii) Service 18%
3 Judicial, Non-judicial stamp papers, Court fee stamps when sold by the Government Treasuries or Vendors authorized by the Government 4802 / 4907 Goods 0%
4 Postal items, like envelope, Post card etc., sold by Government 4817 / 4907 Goods 0%
5 Rupee notes when sold to the Reserve Bank of India 48 / 4907 Goods 0%
6 Cheques, lose or in book form 4907 Goods 0%
7 Printed books, including Braille books 4901 Goods 0%
8 Newspapers, journals and periodicals, whether or not illustrated or containing advertising material 4902 Goods 0%
9 Children’s picture, drawing or colouring books 4903 Goods 0%
10 Maps and hydrographic or similar charts of all kinds, including atlases, wall maps, topographical plans and globes, printed 4905 Goods 0%
11 Recovered waste or scrap of paper or paperboard 4707 Goods 5%
12  Newsprint, in rolls or sheets 4801 Goods 5%
13 [Kites, Paper mache articles] 4823 Goods 5%
14 Brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter, whether or not in single sheets 4901 Goods 5%
15 Uncoated paper and paperboard, of a kind used for writing, printing or other graphic purposes, and non perforated punch-cards and punch tape paper, in rolls or rectangular (including square) sheets, of any size, other than paper of heading 4801 or 4803; hand-made paper and paperboard 4802 Goods 12%
16 Uncoated kraft paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets, other than that of heading 4802 or 4803 4804 Goods 12%
17 Other uncoated paper and paperboard, in rolls or sheets, not further worked or processed than as specified in Note 3 to this Chapter 4805 Goods 12%
18 Greaseproof papers 4806 20 00 Goods 12%
19 Glassine papers 4806 40 10 Goods 12%
20 Composite paper and paperboard (made by sticking flat layers of paper or paperboard together with an adhesive), not surface-coated or impregnated, whether or not internally reinforced, in rolls or sheets 4807 Goods 12%
21 Paper and paperboard, corrugated (with or without glued flat surface sheets), creped, crinkled, embossed or perforated, in rolls or sheets, other than paper of the kind described in heading 4803 4808 Goods 12%
22 Paper and paperboard, coated on one or both sides with kaolin (China clay) or other inorganic substances, with or without a binder, and with no other coating, whether or not surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or rectangular (including square) sheets of any size 4810 Goods 12%
23 Aseptic packaging paper 4811 Goods 12%
24 Boxes, pouches, wallets and writing compendiums, of paper or paperboard, containing an assortment of paper stationery 4817 30 Goods 12%
25 Cartons, boxes and cases of corrugated paper or paper board 4819 Goods 12%
26 Exercise book, graph book, & laboratory note book and notebooks 4820 Goods 12%
27 Paper pulp moulded trays 4823 Goods 12%
28 Paper splints for matches, whether or not waxed, Asphaltic roofing sheets 48 Goods 12%
29 Plans and drawings for architectural, engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes, being originals drawn by hand; hand-written texts; photographic reproductions on sensitised paper and carbon copies of the foregoing 4906 00 00 Goods 12%
30 Unused postage, revenue or similar stamps of current or new issue in the country in which they have, or will have, a recognised face value; stamp-impressed paper; banknotes; cheque forms; stock, share or bond certificates and 64[similar documents of title [other than Duty Credit Scrips]] 4907 Goods 12%
31 Printed or illustrated postcards; printed cards bearing personal greetings, messages or announcements, whether or not illustrated, with or without envelopes or trimmings 4909 Goods 12%
32 Calendars of any kind, printed, including calendar blocks 4910 Goods 12%
33 Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs; such as Trade advertising material, Commercial catalogues and the like, printed Posters, Commercial catalogues, Printed inlay cards, Pictures, designs and photographs, Plan and drawings for architectural engineering, industrial, commercial, topographical or similar purposes reproduced with the aid of computer or any other devices 4911 Goods 12%
Vegetable parchment, tracing papers and other glazed transparent or translucent papers, in rolls or sheets (other than greaseproof paper, glassine paper) 4806 [Except 4806 20 00, 4806 40 10] Goods 18%
Carbon paper, self-copy paper and other copying or transfer papers (including coated or impregnated paper for duplicator stencils or offset plates), whether or not printed, in rolls or sheets 4809 Goods 18%
Paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibres, coated, impregnated, covered, surface-coloured, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or rectangular (including square) sheets, of any size, other than goods of the kind described in heading 4803, 4809 or 4810 [Other than aseptic packaging paper] 4811 Goods 18%
Filter blocks, slabs and plates, of paper pulp 4812 Goods 18%
Carbon paper, self-copy paper and other copying or transfer papers (other than those of heading 4809), duplicator stencils and offset plates, of paper, whether or not put up in boxes 4816 Goods 18%
Envelopes, letter cards, plain postcards and correspondence cards, of paper or paperboard; [other than boxes, pouches, wallets and writing compendiums, of paper or paperboard, containing an assortment of paper stationery including writing blocks] 4817 [Except 4817 30] Goods 18%
Registers, account books, order books, receipt books, letter pads, memorandum pads, diaries and similar articles, blotting-pads, binders (loose-leaf or other), folders, file covers, manifold business forms, interleaved carbon sets and other articles of stationary, of paper or paperboard; and book covers, of paper or paperboard [other than note books and exercise books] 4820 Goods 18%
Paper or paperboard labels of all kinds, whether or not printed 4821 Goods 18%
Bobbins, spools, cops and similar supports of paper pulp, paper or paperboard (whether or not perforated or hardened) 4822 Goods 18%
Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibres, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibres [other than paper pulp moulded trays, [Braille paper, kites, Paper mache articles]] 4823 Goods 18%

* Rates as on 20/01/2018

Author’s Comment

I Trust the above would become a useful reference for all related to Printing Industry and help them undertstand law and rates better. All Constructive Queries in Comment Box Below.

View Comments (7)

  • eg.4811 is using for the processing of printing.
    It is very much informative.

  • When 9989(i) says if Goods are falling under 48/49 we can charge 12% on printing for promotional material (e.g Pharma Ind) , how to declare the same on Tax Sale invoice by the dealer (we need to quote both 9989(i) & 48/49)?

  • Hi,
    Suppose a printer has printed a magazine, content provided by the publisher, all other things including the paper is provided by the printer... then it will qualify as a service? ? I had a confusion because there are many printers who only print the data given by the customer.. some customers provide the paper some dont.. then how to identify whether goods or service?

  • hi sir i am accountant of printing press. my question is we are can purchases raw material like paper and printing inks for printing purpose. we used raw material for books printing like excempted printing and 18% printing so what i can do

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