Ever since GST implementation, there have been a lot of discussion around “taxes.” The implementation has also led to its addition to the IPCC and CA Final syllabus. The students who are preparing for the above-mentioned exams now need to stay updated with knowledge about GST.
Although you’ll find hundreds of articles on the web, you can only trust the information you find in a book that’s written by a known publisher. To help you get the best GST-related book, we interviewed around 17 professional chartered accountants and also consulted a few institutions.
In matters of taxation, whether you’re a practicing chartered accountant (CA), or a student preparing for an examination such as IPCC, CA Finals you need the most well researched, organized, updated, and reliable information. Plenty of authors have come up with GST books in India. Students and even taxation and accounting professionals want a copy that they can call it their own.
However, the question, with so many GST books in the market which one to pick and which to skip? That’s the reason we have brought a detailed guide that helps you find the best GST book for your needs. To Adhere to your knowledge needs, shall we begin with the list?
- Best GST Books in India (Latest 2020 Editions)
- Things to Consider: The Buyer’s Guide
- 1. What Is GST All About?
- 2. Inquire in advance if you want a specific book
- 3. Go for the Best Sellers
- 4. Look for CA or Doctorate Authors
- 5. Seek Recommendations
- 6. Read the Reviews
- 7. Choosing Between Paperback and Hardback Books
- 8. Should You Buy A Resale/Second Hand Books?
- 9. Author Search is Important
- 10. Search with Specific Terms like ‘GST for Beginners’ and the Like
- 11. Take Note of the Different Publications
- 12. Consider the cost and the value-addition
- 13. Ask Professionals their Favourite GST Books
- 14. Check the Contents of the Book
- 15. The Title and Cover of the Book Tells the Story
- 16. Final Points
Best GST Books in India (Latest 2020 Editions)
|GST Guide For Students|
|Taxmann’s GST Acts|
|GST Ready Reckoner|
|Students’ Guide to Income Tax|
|GST for The Layman|
After a lot of research, we are finally here with the top 5 books for GST in India. The list includes books that are not just suitable for students but also highly recommended for professional accountants who want to improve their knowledge of GST and taxation.
The GST Manual with GST Law Guide & GST Practice Referencer (Set of 2 Volumes) (10th Edition, October 2018) GST Guide For Students is drafted especially for beginners and students to get a crystal clear idea about GST.
Take a look into the pages of the book written by CA Vivek KR Agrawal and one will be pleasantly surprised to get a full and final guide about the GST Tax Law. This book has made the complex GST Law simple and easy to understand and comprehend by one and all.
The book is a reader’s delight, as the language used is simple and can be easily comprehended. Taxation is not an easy subject, and GST gets super easy with this book in your hand.
In this book, we found that almost every aspect of the GST tax has been covered. The book is written straightforwardly and systematically for novice readers and students to understand.
Concepts like taxation, TDS, TCS, return fillings, penalties, registration, and intra-state undertakings of taxes are explained in plain language. You will find diagrams and flowcharts that will provide proper illustrations (also pictures with examples) and all these make the subject matter all the more interesting.
There are around 100 examples in the book, and we loved this because this helps students understand the difficult concepts of GST very clearly. Then, there is a Q & A section that would help the students and professionals to clear any doubts related to GST tax.
CA Vivek KR Agrawal is a well-known Chartered Accountant and also has a law degree. He has been working in the taxation field for over ten years. At present associated with various management institutes, and delivers lectures and knowledge about taxation and finance-related topics to students. Therefore, he is the best person to impart his understanding of GST, and Kindle Edition makes things easier.
- 100 examples make it easy to understand
- Language is smooth and very clear
- Covers all aspects of GST
- Student-friendly language used – Enjoyable read
- Beneficial for startups to know more about GST
- Highly affordable
- Too many examples given
- Only for basic knowledge and a beginner’s guidebook, not for advanced courses
From detailed information on the official GST implementation in the national economy to listing out all the relevant rules and notifications to date, this book presents in-depth information on the current Indian taxation system to cover all critical aspects of it with meticulous details.
The guide serves as a GST bible for those who want to understand and analyze every facet of the taxation and trade law followed in India. It has highlighted critical annotations of CGST, IGST, UTGST, and compensation to states acts; presenting the factual data from the official records with no alterations and interpretations.
The annotations include rules about each section, referred forms, dates of implementation, referred circulars and notifications, and other associated laws cited. Also, the information is prudently compartmentalized into various sections to prevent misinterpretation among the readers.
The book maintains its pace with the current GST norms by keeping the readers informed about all the relevant provisions incorporated to date, making it a well-documented GST title.
- Officially released information presented in a meticulous manner
- Each aspect is systematically sectioned to avoid confusion
- Organized format to communicate the intricate details of the complex system clearly
- Dates specified help map a timeline of the GST system and how it was shaped
- Supplementary data of allied laws and other information broadens our understanding of the Indian taxation system
- No examples are given to help readers understand how the said rules would affect the current trade and economy
- Info dump with no room for interpretation or implementation-effect analysis
The 13th edition of GST Ready Reckoner, written by author V. S. Datey, is one of the best books on GST that will help students and professionals alike.
The book talks about the charge of tax, exemptions, composition schemes, valuation of supply, time and place of supply of services and goods, tax invoice, credit and debit notes, the input of tax-credit, registration under GST, GST returns, GST audit, e-way billing, tax collection and deduction at source and many more.
The book also incorporates transitional provisions, penalties and appeals, refund demands and its recovery, reverse charges, anti-profiteering, and so on. Although the book is bulky with 1040 pages, that’s because the book is a detail-oriented approach towards the GST taxation system of India.
The GST book is an updated version and talks about the GST structure of India in 2020. It will be a go-to guide for students preparing for examinations because the language of the book is simple, and there are plenty of examples that make complex problems look easy.
Professionals too will love the guide on GST, as this GST Ready Reckoner is covering every aspect of GST and is updated. No points have been missed out, which makes this book a worthwhile purchase. We completely loved the detailed way in which every aspect of GST was explained in simple language.
The author V. S. Datey has written several books till date and knows what will help the finance professionals and students. The book is articulated, keeping the reader’s interest in mind.
- Helpful for students
- An updated version of GST 2020
- Simple language
- Plenty of examples
- Not recommended for professionals seeking details with aspect to case studies
Students’ Guide to Income Tax Including GST is the perfect manual for students to know and learn about income tax and GST comprehensively.
Dr. Vinod K Singhania and Dr. Monica Singhania have come up with 63rd Edition of the book. It is useful to know about the details of income tax along with the GST structure of India and how everything works in the taxation system.
We found this book unique and different from other contemporaries because it’s well-written and can be easily comprehended even by an amateur. Complicated tax laws are explained clearly with examples to make things easier.
Although the book has 1020 pages and is pretty long, things are kept interesting with examples, graphs, and statistical data and analysis. With flowcharts and illustrations, income tax learning is made simple.
People who do not understand the ABC of accounting and taxation will have the joy to read the book and get an idea about income tax. The language of the book is easy to comprehend. The tone has been kept simple for an easy understanding of concepts.
The authors of the book, Dr. Vinod K Singhania and Dr. Monica Singhania have drafted several bestsellers for income tax students, and this one will soon be joining the best-seller bandwagon.
- Complex tax problems explained in a simple manner
- A good book for students for exam preparation
- Very good to gain knowledge about GST
- Paragraph numbering makes it an easy read
- In-depth knowledge provided in one book
- A bit expensive
- Bulky book of 1020 pages
The GST for The Layman lays down the primary causes and concepts of GST in a language that is simple enough for the layman. It is an excellent read for beginners who want to understand the fundamental concepts of taxation and how it impacts in our daily life. Written by Apeksha Solanki, this book is a slender but refreshing read for people, irrespective of their knowledge of economics.
All the concepts are explained in simple, easy to read English. And the complicated economic terms are also clarified for the novice reader to grasp the topic without difficulty. For the convenience of the reader, the information is divided into separate sections. There are also several examples from everyday life that make the book far more exciting and relatable.
The book can be helpful for both students and the general public who want to understand the core concepts of taxation. The topics are adequately explained and accompanied by bullet points, graphs, and diagrams to add to the subjects’ appeal.
GST for The Layman is available in both Kindle and paperback editions at really affordable prices. It is a light and breezy read, something one can finish in just an afternoon. Grab your copy now!
- Great for beginners
- Well-written and comprehensible
- Contains multiple examples from everyday life for easier understanding
- Not very complicated, explains the basic concepts of taxation very well
- rofessionals might find the book boring and repetitive
If ‘content is king,’ then the editing, marketing, and distributing is the empire. The king needs an empire; otherwise, the content material would be of little value. Here, the content is the author’s work, and the empire is the publication house.
Only a well-reputed publication house will be able to guide the author to write about ‘what to write’ (we mean the topic). Then follows the production, marketing, and distributing the copies of the book.
A good author tells you the entire story of GST, but the table of contents, the topics are written about, the quality of paperbacks, and everything is handled by the publication house. So, it’s essential to know the publisher or the publication house behind the book.
Taxmann came around the year 1960 and has always benefited Indians with a wide variety of publications on subjects like Corporate Laws, International Taxation, Accounts & Audit, Direct Taxes, Indirect Taxes, and so on. The publication is a favourite among students preparing for examinations and also for professionals who wish to have updated information about taxation and finance.
Not just books, but Taxmann also provides five periodic journals for students and professionals who wish to stay updated and alert about the recent changes and development in the Indian Fiscal Policy. With recent case studies, both their books and journals have served the interest of finance professionals and students alike.
Now apart from Taxmann, there are some lesser-known publishers of academic books. However, we recommend you trust the leader in the space. In fact, most of the books we have shortlisted are from Taxmann.
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Things to Consider: The Buyer’s Guide
In this section, we will guide you to pick a reliable GST book that would cover all aspects of GST comprehensively. There are several books available in India, but only a few are worth the cost. So, before you invest, you need to know whether the purchase is worth it or not.
With so many options all around, selecting the best book to serve your needs might get confusing. The authors are well-qualified and knowledgeable, but will the book be useful to you? That’s the question this guide will help you answer.
1. What Is GST All About?
GST is also known as ‘Goods and Services Tax’ and is a value-added tax that’s usually levied on services as well as goods that are sold primarily for domestic consumption.
Although consumers pay the GST, the tax is remitted to the Government of India by the businesses who sell their services and goods under the GST Act. Therefore, GST is an indirect tax and provides revenue to the Government Of India.
As a student or a professional, you must be curious to know about GST and how it fits itself in the tax structure of India. Well, there are several things to know before you take the plunge and select any guidebook to help you out.
2. Inquire in advance if you want a specific book
You might already have decided what book you wish to purchase. It might be a beginner’s read or a more advanced coursebook for exam preparation. Whatever might be going on in your mind, if you already know what you are looking for, things get easy.
GST Guide for beginners might be useful to a college student, but not for a CA intermediate student. So, be careful, which one will serve your needs and which one won’t suffice. Again, if your intention is clear and you already know the book you want, then it’s a smooth ride.
Set your priorities straight and identify your need of the hour to make the perfect choice of the GST book that would serve your purpose.
Tip: Because GST is itself undergoing several revisions and updates, publishers are always trying to add more books in the market. So, if you’re looking to study a specific change in GST, it’s useful to enquire with a publisher whether a new book is soon to come out.
3. Go for the Best Sellers
No matter what people might recommend, the bestsellers are the best for a reason. If you come across a bestseller that’s suitable for your needs, then go ahead and make the purchase.
A bestseller is the most popular book and is included among the top-selling books. It is sold in excess and has proved to be extremely useful. So, whatever category of GST book you are seeking, whether it’s a beginner’s guide or an advanced course material – the bestsellers are always the best option.
The best authors have numerous bestsellers to choose from, and you will find Amazon very clearly indicating the successes.
4. Look for CA or Doctorate Authors
When it comes to financing and taxation, then it’s better to look for reputed authors, especially Chartered Accountants and Doctorates of that specified field. Ask why?
Well, a CA is a professional and will provide you with a crystal clear and practical approach towards GST. One needs to understand the basics of GST and how it works in day to day life, right? Only a CA will be able to help you with that knowledge and understanding.
Not only a CA, even a Researcher or a person with a Doctorate in Finance and Taxation would be an ideal author. There are plenty of books written by Researchers and Doctorates that are extremely helpful and have benefited individuals a great deal. Some books are all-time bestsellers!
5. Seek Recommendations
Since you need GST books and want to investigate thoroughly before making the purchase, then recommendations are essential. Ask your seniors and the peer group about the GST book that will be suitable enough to act as your guide.
If not satisfied, then ask your teachers or the librarian about the book that will meet your requirements. A student might ask a teacher and get the answer. As for a professional, the librarian or any friendly senior colleague might come to your rescue and suggest something of great help.
Suggestions and recommendations go a long way in selecting the perfect publication that will meet your needs.
6. Read the Reviews
Reviews aren’t fake. They are as authentic as you and me. So, don’t make the mistake of ignoring and overlooking the reviews. It can make or break the deal, and many reviews are posted with reasons. So, have a look at the reviews.
Again, do not get impressed by the good reviews or get diverted by the negative ones. You need to seek whether the book is well-written and good enough to meet your requirements.
For example, if the book says that it’s a beginner’s guide, but the review claims that it’s excellent for CA students, then probably the reviewer is not correct. A beginner’s guide to GST can never be good enough for a CA final year student. Self-assessing is equally essential.
Again, for a negative review, if the reason is not mentioned correctly, or the reason clashes with a positive review, then think again. Reviewers are humans like you and me, and it’s possible to make mistakes, and bad experiences are rare and far between.
The takeaway from here is that you need to review the review and then plan on the purchase.
7. Choosing Between Paperback and Hardback Books
Paperback books have covers made out of thick paper. Therefore, they are soft and bendable. Hardback books are made from cardboard and have rigid and thick covers that make it tougher. If you want to keep the book for long, then choose hardcover.
Again, if you are a student and want to save money, then paperback can work best for sure. Paperbacks are more comfortable to read while you are travelling. Especially during examinations when you go via bus or metro, a paperback will be convenient enough.
However, for professionals who want to gain knowledge about GST, the hardcover is a better option than the paperback. Hardbacks are long-lasting and will be robust enough for use even years later.
8. Should You Buy A Resale/Second Hand Books?
Resale books are dirt cheap, but if you are planning to learn more about GST, then it’s a big NO! Outdated in concept with old-time examples will do more harm than good. You surely don’t want that, do you?
Many people put up resale books because they do not need them. That’s the idea. Why would you take such material which is of no use? GST is new tax law, and it can get updated at any moment by the Government of India. The tax laws are getting modified, there are further changes in the financial sector, and therefore resale books have no value in such a situation.
It’s always better to opt for new editions and freshly updated versions, especially when you are planning to acquire knowledge about GST taxation.
GST will completely change the Indian Business Market, and things surely have started to look great. With new editions of books, one can be better updated with what’s going on in the Indian economic system and what’s coming ahead in front of us.
Avoid resale of GST books like the plague and always check out for new editions, which are coming up with every change in the fiscal policy.
9. Author Search is Important
Keep in mind, every professional or well-learned man is not a writer, but the writer has to be well-learned and knowledgeable.
You need to know about the author before you start looking and purchasing the GST guide manual. Yes, maybe a top-notch researcher or CA has written the piece, but again you need to know whether the author is a newbie or he has already established himself as a book-writer.
Most of the time, newbie writers are excellent for beginner’s guide. Why so? Because they provide short, simple, and necessary information. The language used is simple and easy to understand and can help students tremendously. A newbie writer might also be great for advanced course materials, but here the language used might be too tough and the examples too complicated for students pursuing intermediate courses.
At this point, an experienced and established author’s book can be of extreme help. So, if you are seeking knowledge that would help you in intermediate courses, then probably selecting a writer with an ample amount of experience in writing GST books is the call.
Again, if you have a favourite author who has written some wonderful books on GST in India, then seek other GST books written by him. The author has already proved his worth by producing material that was useful to you, so go and get more of his/her work.
While you are checking out different authors, you also get to know about their credentials and expertise before purchasing. Like wine gets better with age, an author gets better with more publications in his/her name. Author search and selection is essential when you are seeking to buy GST books. Try and stick to timeless authors who know about finance strategies and taxation laws from A to Z.
10. Search with Specific Terms like ‘GST for Beginners’ and the Like
So, you already know what you want. You want a beginner’s guide, or you want an advanced GST book with abundant examples, whatever may be the case here – search as per your need. This makes things simple.
A B. Com student might seek for GST Guide for Beginners, and he will get plenty of books to choose from. But, if he only searches with ‘GST books,’ then plenty of advanced materials will come up, confusing him/her further. Advanced guides are not for commerce students and will probably help a CA student.
Similarly, a professional who is looking for an updated edition of GST needs to mention the current year on the search bar to find the best book about GST taxation. If that’s not done, then the search results might be so complex that it would take up much time, and still, the book won’t be found (even if it’s available).
Therefore, the search should be done very carefully, and only then you might come across the book you are looking for!
11. Take Note of the Different Publications
Most of the time, we miss out on taking a look at the sellers and publications, thinking that it’s not important. Well, it’s very important!
A good publication will have best selling GST books, and the paperback would also be of good quality. Yes, probably the author writes the book, but the quality of the pages, the binding, the print – in fact, everything else depends on the publication.
The publication also decides the cost of the book and that’s the reason some books with the same content are pricier compared to others. A publication or seller has a huge role to play when you buy a book. So, seek publications that are moderately good enough and well-known. A publication with a decent reputation will not disappoint you.
You might pick up a new author and feel weary about it. But wait! If the publisher is a good one, then you have no reason to worry. A well-reputed publisher will never come up with a book that doesn’t stand up to the preferred expected standards of finance students and professionals.
If you already have a set of books printed and sold by the same publisher and it’s pretty decent, then try and reach out to them. Most publications nowadays are coming up with GST books, and since you already know that the publishers are professional, you might find the book you are looking for!
12. Consider the cost and the value-addition
Money is important. If you are looking for a beginner’s guide, then you should not go over-budget. But again, you should not compromise on quality standards. That’s the reason why the cost is essential.
There is a simple way to analyse the situation. If you think the book is pricey, weigh the pros and cons. If the information is adequate and the manual will help you enough in your service or examination, then probably the price should not bar you from purchasing the book.
However, if the book is average and yet pricey, then consider giving it a miss! You need to search for more GST books, and with ample options, you will undoubtedly find one that suits your requirements and does not even pinch your pocket.
13. Ask Professionals their Favourite GST Books
If you are in a fix, then ask any professional CA or finance person about his favourite book. At times, this helps.
The professional in the taxation field might be following a favourite publication or author and might feel that the write-ups and points help several of his goals. If it has helped someone else, then it might be useful to you too!
All you need to do is ask! Then, make the purchase if the book fits the bill.
14. Check the Contents of the Book
If the content section is visible, then probably 50% of your search job is complete. The contents section will talk about what aspects of GST the book covers and what’s left out.
As a student, it can be beneficial to purchase such books right before the examination. Even for professional use, knowing the contents will help in understanding whether the purchase will be worth it or not.
However, if you can’t look into the contents page, then fret not check out the title and cover of the body; and that takes us to the next point.
15. The Title and Cover of the Book Tells the Story
If you have been a bookworm, then you will know that the title and cover of the book is a giveaway. Well, not always, but most of the time, you know what to expect inside.
A beginners’ guide will always have a simple outlook, whereas an advanced course material that’s covering all the points will have a detailed outline cover page.
16. Final Points
Finally, it is simple to choose a book on GST. Make sure what you are looking for and don’t allow external influences to affect you. With the above pointers in mind, you will surely be able to grab the best book that will help you now and even in the long run, if that’s what’s on your mind.
Given a choice, we would probably go for the GST Ready Reckoner latest edition of 2020. It’s because this book provides an updated version of GST tax and is written in a straightforward language that would make things easy to comprehend.
Secondly, the book has plenty of examples that help to understand the basics of GST tax laws. Plus, we also recommend Students’ Guide to Income Tax Including GST, probably because it is also another updated edition (the 61st Edition 2019-20).
In these books, complex tax problems are thoroughly explained, and paragraph numbering makes the comprehensive GST tax book an easy read.