Cos still not prepared for GST

Source: Sakal Times

PUNE: The level of preparedness for the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) among the industries in the country is very low. While the businessmen were expecting the date of implementation to be pushed forward to September or even next year, several companies are now scrambling to prepare for GST rollout from July 1.

Speaking to Sakal Times, the Co-founder and Director of Vayana Network, RN Iyer, said that it is fascinating to see the state of the industry as the date of implementation nears. “Companies, which we expected to be prepared for GST are still unprepared and other smaller companies, who we thought would not be prepared, are extremely ready for the GST rollout. Nearly 80 per cent of the companies in the country are only now waking up to the fact that GST is set for rollout on July 1,” he said.  Iyer further stated that the implementation of GST will do much more for greater direct tax compliance than indirect tax compliance.

“GST is a corroborative as well as collaborative tax design. A company has to declare the purchases as well as the sales invoices. Since each invoice is filed into the system, the government can know how much income a person or company makes based on the sales. This will lead to greater direct tax compliance,” he added. Speaking of indirect tax compliance, he said, “The government knows how much you are buying and selling and how much tax one should be paying. So, there is no way to escape the taxes.”

He also elaborated on a system called compliance core. “Under this system, which is set to be introduced, the government will provide a rating not only on the basis of your tax compliance but also based on how your buyers and sellers have complied. That’s why we can say that GST is a corroborative as well as collaborative tax system. The returns filed by the buyer have to match the returns filed by the seller of a certain product or service,” Iyer stated.

Speaking on the filing of manifold more returns per month, Iyer explained that a lot of these forms or returns would be self-filed. “People are expecting the paperwork to increase a lot following GST implementation but it is a completely digital process so there will be no paperwork. Secondly, there is no increased workload due to these filings, as there will only be an increased reviewing process for the invoices filed so you are just confirming. Thus, paperwork or efforts will not increase. This will, in fact, give a boost to employment as companies will hire more people to manage inward and outward invoices,” he said.

Vayana Network, a technology based third-party B2B trade financing platform, has been empanelled as one of the 34 GST Suvidha Providers (GSP) in the country, which will facilitate the conversion of invoices to returns, enable filing of returns and other services under GSTM. It will take between six months and two years for complete and flawless implementation of GST, said Co-founder and Director of Vinaya Network RN Iyer.