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Insurance policies to get expensive from July 1 as GST council clubs it with financial services sector

Buying An Insurance Cover Will Become An Expensive Proposition From July 1 With The GST Council Deciding To Club It With The Financial Services Sector.

PTI | Updated on: 19 May 2017, 11:24:11 PM
Insurance policies to get expensive from July 1 as GST council clubs it with financial services sector (Source: PTI)

New Delhi:

GST Council has decided to club insurance cover with the financial services sector and tax it at 18 per cent under the GST regime, which will make it an expensive proposition from July 1.

Currently, service tax on insurance sector is about 15 per cent including cess.

"The GST rate for insurance, clubbed with financial services has been announced at 18 per cent. This will increase the incidence of tax for customers from the existing 15 per cent to 18 per cent", said Gopal Balachandran, Chief Financial Officer, ICICI Lombard.

He added that the industry has also been seeking removal of exemption and the details in terms of announcement of the exemption list is awaited, he added.

Read more: GST rates finalised: Insurance, banking, business class air-fare costlier; education, healthcare to be exempted from tax

Senior Executive Director of Star Health and Allied Insurance, S Prakash said health insurance is no more a business proposition, it is a social necessity.

"An attractive GST would have further influenced insurance penetration but the industry is still geared up to take the growth further with rise in life expectancy, per capita income, financial literacy and medical advancement in India", said Prakash.

PwC India's Joydeep K Roy said considering the low penetration of insurance in India, micro insurance (by regulator definition) or certain instances below a threshold need to be exempt from GST."

Commenting on the outcome of the GST Council meeting, Krishan Arora of Grant Thornton India LLP said while grand fathering of most of the existing service exemptions like education, healthcare is a welcome move for these sectors, the same could also result in possible increase in cost of such services due to increase in overall tax structure on procurements.

Read more: GST rates unlikely to hurt inflation, says domestic rating agency ICRA

Saloni Roy, Senior Director, Deloitte Haskins and Sells LLP said service providers are expected to have a more complex compliance environment under GST as compared to the current service tax compliance regime.

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First Published : 19 May 2017, 11:06:00 PM