Saturday, June 1, 2024

GST on Second-Hand Goods - A Roadmap to Savings and Compliance


The second-hand goods market is booming as more people opt for budget-friendly purchases, leaving behind the stigma associated with used items. Understanding the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implications is crucial for both buyers and sellers to avoid legal complications. This guide simplifies the GST rules for second-hand goods, with clear examples, practical tips, and easy-to-understand tables.

Key Concepts

Definition of Supply Under GST

Supply under Section 7 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (CGST Act, 2017) includes all forms of transactions such as sale, transfer, barter, exchange, license, rental, lease, or disposal of goods/services. This definition applies to both new and second-hand goods.

Definition of Goods

According to Section 2(52) of the CGST Act, 2017, goods include every kind of movable property, excluding money and securities. This definition also covers second-hand goods.

Categories of Second-Hand Goods

Second-hand goods are classified into two main categories for tax purposes:

  1. Second-Hand Motor Vehicles
  2. Other Second-Hand Goods

Tip: Correctly categorize your second-hand goods to apply the right tax rules.

Valuation Methods for Second-Hand Goods

Transaction Value Method

  • Definition: The transaction value is the actual price paid for the goods.
  • Example: If Mr. A sells a used phone to Mr. B for INR 50,000, the taxable value is INR 50,000.
  • Important Point: Ensure the buyer and seller are unrelated, and the price is the sole consideration.

Margin Value Method (Rule 32)

  • Definition: The value is the difference between the selling price and the purchase price.
  • Example: If Mr. A buys a second-hand item for INR 30,000 and sells it for INR 50,000, the taxable value is INR 20,000 (50,000 - 30,000).


  • Optional for the dealer.
  • Applicable to dealers of second-hand goods.
  • Only minor processing allowed.
  • No Input Tax Credit (ITC) claimed at the purchase.


  • Keep detailed records of purchase and selling prices.
  • Ensure compliance with the conditions to apply the margin value method.

Special Considerations

Repossessed Goods

  • Adjustment: Reduce the purchase price by 5% per quarter since the original purchase.
  • Example: Purchased for INR 40,000, sold for INR 50,000 after 5 quarters. Adjusted purchase price: INR 30,000. Taxable value: INR 20,000 (50,000 - 30,000).

Tip: Maintain accurate records of purchase and sale dates.

Second-Hand Motor Vehicles

  • Valuation:
    • Scenario 1: No Depreciation Claimed - Selling Price - Purchase Price.
      • Example: If a car is sold for INR 50,000 and bought for INR 30,000, the taxable value is INR 20,000 (50,000 - 30,000).
    • Scenario 2: Depreciation Claimed - Selling Price - Depreciated Value.
      • Example: If a car is sold for INR 50,000 and the depreciated value is INR 10,000, the taxable value is INR 40,000 (50,000 - 10,000).

Tip: Always consider whether depreciation has been claimed when calculating the taxable value.

Tax Rates for Second-Hand Vehicles

Tariff HeadingDescriptionRate of TaxRate of Cess
8703Old and used petrol/CNG vehicles (1200 cc+ engine, 4000 mm+ length)18%Nil
8703Old and used diesel vehicles (1500 cc+ engine, 4000 mm+ length)18%Nil
8703SUVs and vehicles (1500 cc+ engine, 4000 mm+ length, 170 mm+ ground clearance)18%Nil
87All other old and used vehicles12%Nil

Tip: Ensure correct classification under tariff headings for accurate tax rates.

Historical Changes in GST Rules for Second-Hand Goods

PeriodTax RateValuationCondition
Till 12 Oct 2017NN 01/2017Transaction valueNo condition
13 Oct 2017 - 25 Jan 201865% of central tax rateTransaction valueNo ITC on old taxes
25 Jan 2018 & onwardsSpecified rates per NN 08/2018Margin of supplyNo ITC on old taxes

Checkpoint: Stay updated with historical and current rules to apply the correct tax rate and valuation method.

Important Considerations and Tips

  1. Margin Amount and GST

    • Tax: Applied over the margin amount.
    • Tip: Keep margin calculations clear and accurate.
  2. Second-Hand Jewellery

    • Rule 32(5): Can be used if bought from unregistered persons.
    • Tip: Ensure no change in form and nature of goods to apply this rule.
  3. Turnover Limit for GST Registration

    • Consideration: Gross amount for registration.
    • Tip: Maintain detailed sales records to avoid registration issues.
  4. Transaction Margin

    • Calculation: For each item separately.
    • Tip: Prepare an itemized list correlating sales and purchase transactions.
  5. Reporting in GSTR 1/GSTR 3B

    • Practice: Report gross taxable value, then split into 0% for purchase value and applicable rate for margin value.
    • Tip: Follow industry practice to avoid discrepancies in reporting.

Tips to Avoid Defaults

  • Detailed Documentation: Keep comprehensive records of all transactions.
  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular internal audits to ensure compliance.
  • Stay Updated: Keep abreast of any changes in GST laws and regulations.
  • Consult Experts: Seek advice from tax professionals for complex transactions.

At a Glance: GST on Second-Hand Goods

Definition of GoodsMovable property, excluding money and securities, includes second-hand goods.
Valuation MethodsTransaction Value (actual price paid) and Margin Value (selling price - purchase price).
Special CasesRepossessed goods (adjust purchase price by 5% per quarter), second-hand motor vehicles.
Tax Rates for Vehicles12-18% depending on type and specifications.
Important ConsiderationsNo ITC claimed, minor processing allowed, detailed records necessary, depreciation considered.
Reporting in GST ReturnsReport gross taxable value and applicable rate for margin value.
Avoiding DefaultsMaintain detailed documentation, conduct regular audits, stay updated, and consult experts.


Properly understanding and applying GST rules for second-hand goods is essential for compliance and avoiding legal issues. Keep meticulous records, stay updated on regulations, and use the correct valuation methods. Following these guidelines will help you navigate the complexities of GST on second-hand goods confidently and accurately.