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Since 2017, a new tax regime GST (Goods & Services Tax) has been introduced which has eliminated excise taxes, VAT, customs duties, etc. This new system was introduced to make the tax-paying process easier for citizens as well as to bring more transparency and uniformity to the taxation process. Like other sectors, this new tax system has been also implemented in the paintings and artwork industry. Individuals involved in this business are obligated to pay GST on paintings, artworks, and antiques.

 

The GST council determines the GST rate using the HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) code system in India. The current applicable GST on paintings and other artwork is 5% and 12% respectively. Chapter 97 of the HSN code contains both artwork GST rates and HSN code details.

HSN Code & GST Rate on Paintings, Artworks & Antiques

Here’s a closer look at GST on antiques, artworks, and paintings.

HSN Code

Description

GST

9701

Paintings, Pastels & Drawings, Apart from drawings of heading 4906, Handcrafted, Aside from items that have been painted or embellished by hand, Collages or similar kinds of decorative plaques

12%

970110

Pastels & Drawings, Paintings:

 

97011010

Textile Madhubani paintings

12%

97011020

Textile Kalamkari paintings

12%

97011030

Textile Rajasthani paintings

12%

97011090

Others

12%

970190

Others:

 

97019091

Hand-decorated wooden domestic articles

12%

97019092

Plastic decorations of restaurants

12%

97019099

Others

12%

970200000

Lithographs & prints, Original engravings

12%

9703

Original statues and sculptures made of any material, including metal, stone, or another

12%

970300

Original statues and sculptures, made of any material:

 

97030010

Original artworks and statues, made of metal

12%

97030020

Original artworks and statues, made of stone

12%

97030090

Original artworks and statues, made of other materials

12%

9704

Other than those of heading 4907, revenue stamps or postages, stamp-post markings, first-day envelopes, postal stationery (stamped papers), and similar items whether used or new

5%

970400

Other than those of heading 4907, revenue stamps or postages, stamp-post markings, first-day envelopes, postal stationery (stamped papers), and similar items whether used or new:

 

97040010

Postal-stamps (used)

5%

97040020

Old or unused first-day coverings for philatelists

5%

97040090

Others

5%

9705

Botanical, zoological, mineralogical, historical, anatomical, archaeological, ethnographic, palaeontological, or monetary collections and collectors' items

12%

970500

Botanical, zoological, mineralogical, historical, anatomical, archaeological, ethnographic, palaeontological, or monetary collections and collectors' items:

 

97050010

Stuffed birds and animals (taxidermy)

12%

97050090

Others

12%

97060000

Antiques that are ancient than 100 years

12%

Disclaimer: The rates shown above are current as of the GST (Rate) announcement no. 05/2020 dated October 16, 2020. The details about the HSN code were obtained from the master codes released on the GST e-invoice system of NIC (National Informatics Centre). Variations may occur as a result of government upgrades.

 

In addition to the above-mentioned details, there are some exclusions that are not covered in chapter 97. Below are the details about the same:

 

  • Postal stationery (stamped papers), revenue stamps, or similar items with heading 4907 that havent been used as postage

  • Theatrical backdrops, studio backgrounds, and similar painted canvas items (heading 5907), unless they fall within section 9706

  • Natural or cultivated pearls, as well as valuable or semi-precious stones (headings 7101 to 7103)

The term "original engravings, prints, and lithographs" under the heading 9702 refers to perceptions made solely, in black and white or colour, from one or more slabs that were entirely completed by hand by the artist, regardless of the material processor he/she used, but excluding any mechanical or photomechanical process.

 

Even though these products are handcrafted or hand-developed by artists, heading 9703 does not apply to mass-produced replicas or traditional works of craftsmanship that are produced for earning revenue.

Conclusion

GST on painting and other artworks is 5% and 12% respectively. Chapter 97 of the HSN code contains both artwork GST rates and HSN code details of paintings and artifacts. GST has been implemented to increase tax system transparency and make the process of paying taxes simpler for customers. The introduction of the Goods and Services Tax system is a turning point in India's tax history. The tax system has clearly become easier as a result, but moving forward will require further innovation and a collaborative approach.