RCM Charges

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a comprehensive, multi-stage tax system in India that has simplified the country's tax structure. Within the GST framework, there exists a provision known as the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM), which shifts the responsibility of tax payment from the seller to the buyer. This article delves into the intricacies of RCM charges, their purpose, and implications for businesses.

What are RCM Charges?

Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) is a tax liability provision where the recipient of goods or services becomes accountable for the payment of GST instead of the supplier. This concept is not novel and has been a part of the service tax regime, but under GST, it extends to goods as well.

Purpose of RCM Charges

The primary purpose of RCM charges is to increase tax compliance and revenue for the government, especially from the unorganized sectors. It ensures that tax is collected on the supply of goods and services from small or unregistered vendors, which might otherwise escape the tax net.

When are RCM Charges Applicable?

RCM charges are applicable in specific scenarios, as outlined by the GST law:

Unregistered Dealer to Registered Dealer: When a registered dealer purchases goods or services from an unregistered dealer, the registered dealer is liable to pay GST under RCM.

Services through an e-commerce operator: In certain cases, services supplied through an e-commerce platform are subject to RCM.

Import of Services: Any service imported into India is subject to RCM, and the recipient is liable to pay GST.

Compliance with RCM

Businesses must be vigilant in identifying transactions subject to RCM. Compliance involves:

  • Determining whether the purchase of goods or services falls under the RCM category.
  • Paying the GST due under RCM to the government.
  • Claiming the input tax credit (ITC) for the RCM amount paid, if eligible.
  • Documenting all RCM transactions appropriately for accurate GST returns filing.
  • Impact of RCM on Businesses
  • The RCM affects the cash flow of registered businesses, as they now have to pay the GST upfront and claim it back as an ITC. This increases the administrative burden on businesses to keep track of RCM transactions and maintain proper documentation.


1. How does RCM affect input tax credit?

A: A business paying tax under RCM can claim the input tax credit, provided they use the goods or services for business purposes and it is not restricted under the GST law.

2. Is RCM applicable on all goods and services?

No, RCM is not applicable on all goods and services. It is limited to specific categories as mentioned by the GST law and notifications issued by the government.

3. How do I know if my business is liable for RCM?

You need to check the latest GST rules and notifications to identify if your transactions fall under the reverse charge category.

4. Can a business under the composition scheme avail of ITC on RCM payments?

No, a composition dealer is not eligible to claim the input tax credit on RCM payments.


The Reverse Charge Mechanism is an integral part of the GST regime, aimed at curbing tax evasion and improving compliance. While it brings unregistered dealers under the tax bracket, it also imposes an additional compliance burden on registered businesses. Understanding the nuances of RCM is critical for businesses to ensure they meet their tax liabilities accurately and take advantage of the ITC provisions wherever applicable. With diligent tracking and documentation, businesses can navigate RCM charges without significantly impacting their cash flows.