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Ice Cream and GST: Understanding Tax Rates, Eligibility for Schemes, and Tax Implications

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By Shreyansh Singh
5 min read

Ice Cream and GST: Understanding Tax Rates, Eligibility for Schemes, and Tax Implications

Key Takeaways

  • The GST regime simplifies the tax structure for ice cream businesses, enabling them to benefit from a unified tax rate and eligibility for schemes like the Input Tax Credit.
  • Entering the ice cream business offers entrepreneurs a chance to innovate and capture market interest with unique flavors and experiences, despite the GST’s 18% rate on ice cream.
  • The GST Composition Scheme offers a simplified taxation process for small ice cream ventures, reducing the tax rate and compliance burdens but with restrictions like no interstate sales.
  • Ice cream businesses must carefully document and invoice inputs to claim Input Tax Credit, helping to offset the GST paid on raw materials and services against their sales.
  • Advance Rulings Authority (AAR) insights provide clarity on GST applications for ice cream, ensuring businesses can navigate tax obligations and plan effectively within the GST framework.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) has significantly altered the tax framework in India, exerting an influence on numerous sectors, including the much-loved ice cream industry. This extensive manual explores the intricacies of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in relation to ice cream enterprises, providing knowledge on tax rates, eligibility for schemes, and wider tax ramifications. By examining the fundamental structure of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the complexities of the Input Tax Credit, and the interpretation of Advance Ruling Authority (AAR) decisions, this article endeavors to furnish ice cream businesses with the necessary comprehension to prosper amidst the GST regime.

Introduction to Ice Cream Business

Entering the ice cream business is a venture into a world where indulgence meets entrepreneurship. Ice cream, with its universal appeal across ages and cultures, offers a unique opportunity for creativity and innovation in flavors, textures, and presentation.

This business isn’t just about selling a popular dessert; it’s about creating experiences that people cherish and return to. Whether it’s a scoop of classic vanilla or an exotic concoction that blends unexpected ingredients, an ice cream business can cater to a wide array of tastes and preferences. From standalone shops and carts to franchises and artisanal boutiques, the scope is vast, providing ample room for new entrants to carve out their niche in this evergreen market.

Understanding GST Registration for Ice Cream

gst registration for ice cream

For ice cream businesses in India, navigating the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a crucial part of the setup and operational process. GST registration is mandatory for businesses with an annual turnover exceeding the threshold of Rs. 40 lakhs for most states and Rs. 20 lakhs for northeastern and hill states. This unified tax system consolidates multiple earlier taxes, aiming to simplify the tax landscape for businesses across sectors, including the food industry.

GST registration not only facilitates compliance with tax laws but also enables ice cream businesses to avail benefits such as the Input Tax Credit (ITC), which can significantly reduce the cost of production and operations. Understanding the nuances of GST, including the applicable rates for different types of sales and services, is vital for accurately pricing products, filing returns, and optimizing the overall financial performance of an ice cream venture.

Advantages of GST Registration for Ice Cream

GST registration offers several advantages for ice cream businesses, enhancing both compliance and financial health. Firstly, it brings about legal recognition, adding to the credibility and trustworthiness of the business in the eyes of consumers and suppliers. This registration enables businesses to claim Input Tax Credit (ITC) on the GST paid on raw materials and input services, reducing the overall cost of production and increasing profitability.

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Furthermore, GST registration facilitates smoother interstate sales, opening up broader markets without the burden of additional taxes. The streamlined process under GST also simplifies the tax filing procedure, making it easier for businesses to comply with tax regulations and focus on growth and expansion.

Decoding the GST Composition Scheme

The GST Composition Scheme is an alternative, simplified tax compliance mechanism for small businesses, including ice cream ventures, with an annual turnover below a certain threshold (currently Rs. 1.5 crores for most businesses). Under this scheme, businesses are allowed to pay GST at a fixed, reduced rate of their total turnover, which is significantly lower than the standard rates.

Composition Scheme Under GST | GST Composition Scheme क्या है? | In Hindi

This scheme simplifies tax procedures by reducing the number of returns businesses need to file each year and eliminating the need to keep detailed records of all transactions. However, it’s important to note that businesses opting for the Composition Scheme cannot claim the Input Tax Credit, nor can they make interstate supplies. This scheme is ideal for small ice cream parlours and manufacturers primarily serving local markets, offering a way to reduce tax liabilities and simplify tax compliance efforts.

Composition Scheme Tax Rates for Ice Cream

For ice cream businesses eligible under the GST Composition Scheme, the tax rate is simplified to a more manageable level compared to the standard GST rates. Specifically, the scheme allows for a tax rate of 1% for manufacturers (0.5% CGST + 0.5% SGST) and 5% for restaurants and food services that might include ice cream sales as part of their offerings. This reduced rate of GST significantly lowers the tax burden on small businesses, making it an attractive option for local ice cream parlours and small-scale ice cream manufacturers.

However, it’s crucial to remember that opting for this scheme restricts businesses from claiming Input Tax Credit and from conducting interstate sales, aligning more with businesses that operate on a smaller scale within their local state boundaries.

composition scheme tax rates for ice cream

Launching an Ice Cream Business in India: A Step-by-Step Guide

launching an ice cream business in india
  1. Market Research: Begin with detailed market research to understand local preferences, identify gaps in the market, and analyze your competition. This will inform your business model, product offerings, and pricing strategy.
  2. Business Plan: Draft a comprehensive business plan that includes your market analysis, business structure, product descriptions, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and operational plans.
  3. Legal Requirements: Register your business according to Indian law. This includes obtaining necessary permits such as an FSSAI license for food safety, a GST registration for tax purposes, and any local permits required for operation.
  4. Location and Setup: Choose a strategic location for your ice cream business, considering factors like foot traffic, competition, and rent costs. Design your space to be inviting and efficient for both customers and staff.
  5. Equipment and Supplies: Invest in quality ice cream making and storage equipment. Source your ingredients from reliable suppliers to ensure the consistency and quality of your products.
  6. GST and Financial Management: Register for GST to comply with tax regulations. Set up a system for managing your finances, including budgeting, accounting, and tax filing. Consider the Composition Scheme if it suits your business size and model.
  7. Menu Development: Create a diverse and appealing menu that caters to various tastes and dietary restrictions. Consider offering unique flavors or combinations to distinguish your business from competitors.
  8. Marketing and Branding: Develop a strong brand identity and marketing strategy to attract customers. Use social media, local advertising, and community events to increase visibility.
  9. Staffing: Hire skilled staff who are passionate about customer service. Provide training to ensure they understand your products and can represent your brand effectively.
  10. Launch: Organize a grand opening event to generate buzz in the community. Offer samples, promotions, or special events to attract your first customers.
  11. Evaluate and Adapt: Continuously gather customer feedback and review your business performance. Be prepared to adapt your product offerings, marketing strategies, or operational procedures to meet market demand and grow your business.
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Launching an ice cream business in India requires careful planning, adherence to regulatory requirements, and a commitment to quality and customer service. With the right approach and dedication, you can create a successful ice cream venture that brings joy and delight to your customers.

💡However, the beginning phase of any business can be challenging in terms of working capital and finding the product market fit. If you are facing working capital issues and want to pay your vendors through credit card, download Pice Business App. Pice is a one stop app for all business payments.

Eligibility for Input Tax Credit in Ice Cream Production and Sales

In the context of the ice cream industry, the eligibility for Input Tax Credit (ITC) under GST is a significant aspect that can influence the financial dynamics of production and sales. Businesses involved in ice cream production and sales can claim ITC on GST paid on inputs such as raw materials (milk, sugar, flavors), packaging, and services related to production (like transportation and advertising services).

However, to be eligible, these inputs must be used directly in the course or furtherance of business, and the goods and services procured must not be exempt under GST. It’s crucial for businesses to maintain proper documentation and invoices to support their ITC claims, ensuring they comply with GST regulations and maximize their tax benefits effectively.

Advance Rulings Authority (AAR) Insights on GST Applied to Ice Cream

The Advance Rulings Authority (AAR) provides valuable insights and clarifications on the applicability of GST rates and regulations to specific cases, including those related to the ice cream sector. For instance, AAR rulings have helped clarify the classification of ice cream under the GST tax brackets, confirming that most ice cream products fall under the 18% GST slab.

Additionally, AAR decisions have addressed queries regarding the eligibility of ice cream businesses for the Composition Scheme and the conditions under which ITC can be claimed. These rulings are instrumental for ice cream businesses seeking to understand their tax obligations, ensure compliance, and make informed decisions regarding tax planning and strategy within the framework of GST regulations.


Why is ice cream 18% GST?

Ice cream is categorized under the 18% GST slab due to its classification as a luxury or non-essential food item within the GST framework. This rate reflects the government’s tax policy on items considered beyond basic necessities, aiming to standardize tax rates across similar luxury food products. The 18% GST rate is applied to ensure uniformity in taxation for processed and packaged food items, including ice cream, across India.

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What is the tax rate for ice cream?

The tax rate for ice cream under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in India is 18%. This rate applies to most packaged and branded ice cream products sold in the market, aligning with the GST’s categorization of ice cream as a non-essential or luxury food item.

How much GST is to be paid at 18% on an ice cream pack of 200 rupees?

For an ice cream pack priced at 200 rupees, the GST to be paid at an 18% rate would amount to 36 rupees. This calculation is based on applying the 18% rate to the base price of the product, making the total cost of the ice cream pack 236 rupees inclusive of GST.

How much GST on cream in India?

The GST rate on cream, if it is considered a luxury or added-value dairy product, typically falls under the 18% slab. However, the rate can vary based on the product’s classification as essential or non-essential, with some dairy products attracting lower rates or being exempt from GST.

What is the GST rate for milk ice cream?

Milk ice cream, like other types of ice cream, is subject to an 18% GST rate. This rate applies regardless of the ice cream’s primary ingredient, reflecting the standard taxation approach for ice cream products under the GST regime.

Is there GST on dairy products?

GST on dairy products varies, with basic, unprocessed dairy items such as fresh milk being exempt from GST. However, processed or packaged dairy products, including flavored milk, yogurt, and certain types of cheese, attract GST rates that can range from 5% to 18%, depending on the level of processing and branding.

What is the GST rate for Amul ice cream?

Amul ice cream, being a branded and packaged ice cream product, falls under the 18% GST slab. This rate is consistent with the GST policy for ice cream products sold by major brands in the Indian market.

What is GST on ghee?

Ghee, considered a processed dairy product, attracts a GST rate of 12%. This rate is applied to ghee across various brands, reflecting its categorization as a value-added dairy product within the GST framework.

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