A post going viral on the internet claims that crematorium services will attract 18 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST). The claim comes amid protests by Opposition parties over the rise in GST on several commonly-used goods and services, while withdrawing exemptions on certain items.
However, we found that the claim was misleading. While the GST for work for several infrastructure projects, including crematoriums, was increased from 12 to 18 percent in the recent meeting of the GST council, it didn't include the services provided by the crematorium itself.
Several social media users on Facebook and Twitter shared posts along with sarcastic comments that read, "18% GST on Crematorium Services. यानी श्मशान सर्विस पर 18% GST, अब ऊपर भी बिना जीएसटी दिए?" (Translation: So, now 18 percent tax on crematorium services. Now GST after death?)
Opposition leader from Indian National Congress (INC) Priyank Kharge and social media convener of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Y Sathish Reddy also shared the claim.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We checked the recommendations of the 47th GST Council meeting to see if the claim was true. There was no mention of a tax on crematorium services.
However, we found that a change in taxes in a category of service for work contracts for infrastructure items.
The press release on the recommendations said that taxes on "works contract for roads, bridges, railways, metro, effluent treatment plant, crematorium etc." would increase from 12 to 18 percent.
We then checked the GST Act to see if services such as funerals are taxable under the GST Act.
We found that the third schedule of the GST Act, 2017, which governs the GST ecosystem in India, does not tax crematorium services.
"Services of funeral, burial, crematorium or mortuary including transportation of the deceased," the Act states.
Evidently, the claim that crematorium services will attract a GST of 18 percent is false.
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