09.12.2021-Unbound kids’ picture books to face 5% GST

Unbound kids’ picture books to face 5% GST

MUMBAI: Do not judge a book by its cover — this adage has obtained a whole new meaning. Given the Covid pandemic, home learning is the norm and picture books have become very popular in households with young kids. The Madhya Pradesh bench of the GST-Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) had to  decide whether a home-learning kit box’s books — largely meant for pre-schoolers to develop their linguistic, logical sensory, cognitive, creativity and other skills — would attract a nil rate of GST. Children’s picture books under tariff heading 4903 are subject to a nil rate of GST. The kit box, called the ‘Class Monitor Home Learning Kit’ and kit box, called the ‘Class Monitor Home Learning Kit’ and manufactured & marketed by private company Riseom Solutions, consisted of cards, pamphlets and sheets containing images and pictures.

After going through the learning kit, the AAR observed that it is not in a book or bound form. Thus, the learning kit would be classified under tariff heading 4901, which covers pamphlets, booklets, brochures, leaflets and similar printed matter’. This would attract a GST rate of 5%.

The manufacturing company explained that the contents of the kit box are in the form of separate sheets that are grouped together according to the sub-topic, say animals, vegetables,etc. All the sheets are part of a kit box book, which is suitable for binding. “However, if we bind all the sheets together, it would be heavy for a kid to use it easily,” the company submitted. It added that an activity-based methodology is adopted with instructions on the back of the sheets and various supporting materials like craft-paper,ribbon, Fevicol tube, etc, “to keep a child happily engrossed in the learning process”.

However, it all boiled down to the fact that the sheets were unbound and thus the kit box’s books were not eligible for a nil GST rate. It should be noted that GST rulings do not set ajudicial precedent. However, they have a persuasive impact during assessment of similar cases.



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