• Solar PV project components and services may attract higher Goods and Services Tax (GST) slabs than 5% set for solar modules
  • These may be placed under a tax slab of 18% or more, as per Mercom Capital
  • In addition, some imported inverters may attract International GST as well
  • Developers worry about project costs shooting up due to this, but the government believes it shouldn’t be more than 5% as cost of raw materials is coming down

Even after the official roll out of the Indian Goods and Services Tax (GST), there is still no absolute clarity regarding the status of solar PV components. The government had clarified in May 2017 that solar modules will attract a tax rate of 5% under the GST, but now it looks like that solar components and services will be placed under the 18% or more tax bracket.

Under the GST, tax slabs are set at 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%. Solar modules will get a rate of 5%, but the government is apparently not sure how it should treat solar components and services. As per Mercom Capital Group, there may be different GST rates for various project components.

While the GST in India is divided equally between Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST), a so called International GST (IGST) could be applicable for developers,which they may have to pay for certain imports, stated a Ministry of Power official to Mercom. For instance, there will be a 5% IGST for imported inverters along with the 18% GST. This may include certain inverters used in solar projects.

Developers in India have been a worried a lot with regard to project costs going up with GST in place. However, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) expects the project costs to go up by 5% and not more than that. Their logic is that there is a significant reduction in the cost of raw materials used in a project, hence it should not really affect too much even if tax is a bit high.

The GST replaces multiple cascading taxes levied by the national and state governments. It was rolled out officially on July 1, 2017.