Selling a used Vehicle in India: Understanding GST and CESS Implications

Over Purchase of Vehicles by GTAs have backfired, making it hard to pay EMIs. It is important to know the tax liabilities on selling used vehicles.
Selling - Vehicle in India - Understanding GST - CESS Implications - taxscan


Thinking of selling your used car or motorbike in India? There are some tax implications you need to consider, specifically the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) and Compensation Cess.

A common issue faced by Goods Transport Agencies ( GTAs ) on their excessive vehicle purchases is their inability to pay EMIs now. This situation often leads to challenges in managing taxation liabilities, especially when these vehicles are sold.

This article explains how GST and CESS apply to the sale of used vehicles, depending on various factors.

The GST & CESS on Used Vehicle Sales Table

ScenarioValuation MethodGST RateCESS Rate
Sold within 5 years (ITC taken)Transaction Value28% (Exceptions may apply)Upto 22%
Sold after 5 years (ITC taken)Transaction Value28% (Exceptions may apply)Upto 22%
Sold within or after 5 years (NO ITC taken)Selling Price – Written Down Value (WDV)18% or 12%Nil
  • Transaction Value refers to the actual price at which the vehicle is sold.
  • Written Down Value ( WDV ) is the depreciated value of the vehicle as per the Income Tax Act.
  • ITC refers to Input Tax Credit, a tax credit that can be claimed on taxes paid on purchases for business purposes.

Breaking Down the Scenarios

The table outlines three main scenarios for selling a used vehicle:

  1. Sold Within 5 Years of Purchase ( Input Tax Credit Taken ):
     In this case, if you claimed Input Tax Credit ( ITC ) when you purchased the vehicle, the GST and Cess will be calculated on the transaction value (selling price). The applicable GST rate is generally 28%, though exceptions based on notifications might apply. Additionally, a Cess of up to 22% might be levied.

  2. Sold After 5 Years of Purchase (Input Tax Credit Taken):
     Similar to scenario 1, if you claimed ITC on purchase, the GST and Cess are based on the transaction value. Here too, the GST rate is typically 28% with potential exceptions, and a Cess of up to 22% might apply.

  3. Sold Within or After 5 Years of Purchase (NO Input Tax Credit Taken):
     This scenario applies if you did not claim ITC when you bought the vehicle. Here, the GST is calculated on the difference between the selling price and the Written Down Value (WDV) of the vehicle as per the Income Tax Act. The applicable GST rate can be either 18% or 12%, depending on notifications. In this case, there is no Cess levied (Nil).

Additional Notes:

The Written Down Value (WDV) needs to be calculated up to the date of selling the vehicle.

The valuation method mentioned in the table applies if the taxpayer holds the vehicle as an asset in their books. If you’re a dealer who regularly buys and sells used vehicles, refer to Rule 32(5) for valuation.

Rule 32(5) under the CGST Rules, 2017 delineates the procedure regarding the extent of supply and the GST value in cases involving second-hand goods dealers. The value of supply is determined by subtracting the purchase price of the goods from their selling price, disregarding any negative value. To qualify as second-hand goods, certain criteria must be met: the goods must be either used or minimally processed without altering their nature significantly, and no input tax credit should have been claimed on these goods.

This article provides a general overview. Specific rates and applicability can vary depending on individual circumstances. It is always recommended to consult with a tax advisor to determine the exact GST and CESS treatment that will apply to your particular used vehicle sale.

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