By: Shashi M
July 15 2022
The government of India has not imposed a goods and services tax on school books. All printed books are tax-free.
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) Council decided to impose a GST on several everyday items during its 47th meeting in June 2022. After this, social media posts started spreading misinformation about the council meeting. One such post read, "India will be the first and last country in the world to impose GST on school books. No country can even think of imposing GST on school books." However, it is baseless.
According to the GST Council of India, there is no detailed information regarding school textbooks or schoolbooks. However, the GST Council of India claims that all printed books, including braille books, are tax-free under tariff item 4901. It has also been made clear that children's coloring and drawing books, newspapers, journals, and periodicals would not be subject to the GST under tariff item 4903. Moreover, printing, binding, and royalties to authors, exercise books, graph books, laboratory notebooks, and notebooks are charged 12 percent GST under tariff item 4820. Therefore it confirms school books are not taxable under GST.
According to Press Information Bureau, the GST council has not mentioned charges on school books in the 47th GST council meeting held on June 29, 2022.
Inputs like printing and binding of books were charged under GST, but not school textbooks. No GST exists for printed books. Hence we mark this claim as false.