There has been a lot of confusion among the consumers since the roll out of GST or Goods and Services Tax on 1 July. Though the government is doing everything possible to make consumers aware about the various rate slabs applicable on different good and services, there’s still some chaos left in the consumers’ mind. To solve that, the government has launched a mobile GST app named ‘GST Rates Finder’ and consumers can use this app to search for information on the prevailing tax rates.
The GST app, at present, is available on android but the concerned department, Central Board of Excise and Customs or CBEC yesterday said an iOS app is being developed and will soon be launched.
Where To Find The GST App
To install “GST Rate Finder”, user of Android mobile has to first open Google Play Store and in the search option has to type GST Rate Finder. There may be many more apps available with similar names. The user has to download the app with CBEC Logo i.e.
Once downloaded and installed the icon will appear on the screen of the mobile. Now this mobile app is ready to operate. Another good news is this app also works in off-line mode means if you do not have internet, you still can use it.
How To Use The App
After clicking the icon with the above logo for the mobile app, home screen will appear. On this screen the most important feature is Quick Search. The user can search for any goods and services by typing the name or chapter heading of the commodity or services.
There are two ways to do the search. One, by typing the name of the good or service. Say, you typed ‘hotel’ and did the search, the app will show you the list that contains the word ‘hotel’. From the list you can check if you intended to look for ‘hotel stay’ or ‘eating in a hotel’. Also, you can expand your search criteria to narrow down the list.
The second option is to search by using HSN. What is ‘HSN’? HSN or harmonized system of nomenclature is an international standard of naming a product or service and this HSN has multiple usages besides related to the tax rates in case of GST.
If you know the HSN number then you can search for that number in the Quick Search box and you will find the details.
Once you found the item you searched, you will be shown a pop up containing the good or service item details. If still the user is not satisfied then a link of CBEC website is available on the home screen. This link will open the GST page of the CBEC website. The details are available on this website.
Not Very User-friendly
Though the GST Rates Finder is a much needed initiative and the app tries to offer as much information as possible, the app is not very user friendly. The search is not ‘search friendly’ means one needs to search in the exact way or by the exact words the item has been described by the CBEC. You will end of finding nothing if you used a commonly used word but not listed in the CBEC list. For example, if you search for wood table, you will find nothing. You need to search ‘furniture’ to and at a list having wood table featured in that.