What is Reverse Charge Mechanism(RCM)?

5 mins read
by Angel One
RCM in GST puts tax payment responsibility on buyers so that even small transactions add to government revenue. Understanding RCM helps in effective GST management, ensuring compliance and transparency

Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under GST is a concept that alters the way tax payments are made. In this process, buyers, not sellers, are responsible for settling GST liabilities. It may appear confusing and challenging, but it is important for you to fully understand it. RCM helps to ensure that even small transactions contribute to government income, which is essential for the advancement of the nation. Knowing about RCM helps individuals and organisations manage GST more effectively, making compliance easier. 

In this blog, we’ll look into RCM, and understand its importance, and the different aspects involved.

What is RCM?

The Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under GST transfers the responsibility for tax payment from the provider to the recipient of goods or services. It is another way of ensuring that tax is paid even if the supplier is not registered. RCM expands the tax base and increases compliance.

Under RCM, incidents such as purchasing from unregistered dealers, using e-commerce platforms, or receiving specific supplies defined by CBEC (CENTRAL BOARD of EXCISE and CUSTOMS) result in tax liability for the receiver. This approach promotes inclusion and accountability in the tax system.

RCM improves the administration of taxes by taxing transactions that may have previously remained unregulated. It encourages transparency and compliance. RCM is an evolution of GST that promotes fairness and efficiency. It encourages collaboration between suppliers and recipients, resulting in a strong tax system for India’s economic progress.

When Does Reverse Charge Apply?

The Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under GST operates in a variety of situations, increasing the scope of tax liability for recipients like you. Here’s an extensive look at its application:

Supply from Unregistered or Registered Dealers

When you acquire goods from someone who is not registered for GST or from a registered dealer, RCM applies. In such scenarios, the consumer must pay GST directly to the government rather than the seller. This guarantees that GST is accounted for in transactions with unregistered vendors.

Services through e-commerce operators

When you purchase services through e-commerce platforms, the operator is required to pay GST under RCM. This covers services such as travel and accommodation booked through online platforms. By moving tax responsibility to the e-commerce operator, RCM ensures digital marketplace compliance.

CBEC-specified supply of goods and services

The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) lists certain items and services for which RCM applies. This guarantees that a wide range of transactions, particularly those involving specific goods and services, are covered by RCM, which promotes tax compliance and revenue production.

Things to Keep in Mind About RCM

When dealing with the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under GST, various essential factors need to be considered to ensure compliance. 

1. Mandatory Registration: 

It is critical to recognise that anybody included under RCM is required to register for GST, regardless of their annual revenue. This registration assures that you are recognised by the authorities and are able to meet your tax obligations promptly.

2. Timely Tax Deposits:

Every month, you have to ensure that the GST acquired via RCM is submitted to the government by the 20th. Making timely contributions not only indicates compliance but also helps the tax system function smoothly.

3. Transaction Scope:

RCM only applies to intrastate transactions, which are dealing inside the same state. To guarantee effective RCM use, it is necessary to distinguish between intrastate and interstate transactions.

4. Advance Payments:

Any advance payments received for supplies under RCM are also subject to GST. This implies that, even if you pay in advance, you have to account for the GST component.

5. Input Tax Credit (ITC) Usage:

One of the advantages of RCM is the ability to claim Input Tax Credit on the tax amount paid under it. Remember that you may only claim ITC if the goods or services you have purchased are used for business purposes.

6. GST Compensation Cess:

The GST compensation cess can be applied to the tax payable or paid under RCM. Understanding how this cess applies signifies that you are fully compliant with all of your tax obligations.

By keeping these points in mind and following the requirements outlined in GST regulations, you can maintain compliance with tax laws.

Read More About Income Tax Guidelines

Latest on RCM Under GST

The Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM) under GST continues to evolve, with the latest adjustments broadening its reach and influencing transactions. Regulations change often, altering compliance needs. GST council meeting decisions have a direct impact on RCM implementation. Compliance can pose challenges, especially for small firms. However, RCM’s goal is to simplify tax collection processes and maintain tax system fairness. Staying updated on regulatory developments is vital for companies to efficiently handle their tax obligations and prevent potential issues. Keeping up with these changes helps maintain smooth operations and compliance with GST regulations.


RCM aims to improve compliance, widen the tax base, and promote equitable tax burden distribution by putting the obligation for GST payment on recipients. Businesses that follow RCM guidelines and approach tax compliance with caution can assist in building a strong and sustainable tax ecosystem, boosting economic growth and prosperity.


How does RCM impact small businesses?

RCM applies to businesses of all sizes, requiring compliance with GST guidelines regardless of revenue. Small businesses may encounter more challenges in meeting regulatory standards, but they may use available resources and help to manage RCM effectively.

Can I avail Input Tax Credit (ITC) under RCM?

Yes, recipients can claim an Input Tax Credit (ITC) on GST paid through RCM provided the items or services that are used for business purposes. This enables firms to reduce tax payments and streamline their financial operations.

What are the repercussions of non-compliance with RCM provisions?

Non-compliance with RCM regulations can result in penalties and legal action. To prevent any consequences, businesses must follow GST laws, pay their tax obligations on time, and seek guidance when needed.

How does RCM contribute to tax compliance in unorganised sectors?

RCM plays an important role in improving tax compliance in unorganised industries by extending tax duties to recipients. This expands the tax base, reduces tax evasion, and promotes a fair playing field for businesses across industries.

Are there any exemptions under RCM?

While RCM applies to a wide range of transactions, some supplies and transactions may be excluded due to regulatory notifications and guidelines. To avoid penalties or fines, businesses must remain up-to-date on relevant exemptions and follow applicable GST regulations.