Why is everyone so worried about GST compliances in India? Goods and Services tax popularly known as GST worldwide was a dream of every Indian, but its implementation would be in such a haphazard manner was least expected by any one. More than 45 days have gone since it became effective in India, still most of the businessmen are unaware of the procedure, law, provisions and regulations related to GST as laid by the government.
Forget about the consultants and professionals even the government officers and finance department are not familiar with more than 60 percent of the provisions of the GST. Every day we come across various misguiding and frivolous explanations by the revenue secretary of India regarding various issues on GST. Government’s official twitter handle and newspaper advertisement also comes with the disclaimer about the accuracy of the answers provided by them.
GST seems to be one of the very poorly drafted laws in India. Some detailed explanatory notes or guidance notes in form of a comprehensive book were expected to be released by the Ministry of Finance at least 2 months before the implementation of GST in India, but apart from some online fliers and some half-hearted seminars no steps have been taken by the government to educate the people of India. Even the basis forms of the GST are not available yet.
GST was expected to remove the burden of various cascading taxes in India and bring down the prices of goods in India, but rather than lowering prices of various commodities, government seems to generate more and more revenue from GST. For example post GST implementation most of the car manufacturer reduced the prices of various car models in India, but immediately government increased the rate of compensation cess on those cars whereby leading to again upward revising of those prices.
A normal businessman who was filing four returns in a year under earlier laws is now expected to file at least 37 returns in a year. Legal compliance cost of indirect taxes which was about ten thousand per year for a small or medium businessman has sharply increased to thirty thousand under GST. Also al little time is left with the businessman and professionals to look into the other routine matters of their businesses. I don’t know why they did not continue with the Quarterly returns with an obligation to pay tax on monthly basis. I am not discussing this matter at length here as I have already written a separate article on the same under title “What’s harm in making GST return as QUARTERLY returns?”
I even started a petition on www-dot-change-dot-org to make all returns under GST as quarterly returns with an obligation to pay tax on monthly basis.
Official common portal of GST which is www.gst.gov.in is not working properly especially the DSC em-signer utility. When DSC were working on all the government sites very effectively, take the example of ROC, Income Tax etc., God knows what was the interest of the government in engaging such an agency whose e-signing module does not work for 29 out of 30 days in a month. They are providing various fancy ideas and steps to correct the errors as if they are expecting the availability of a software engineer in every professional’s office. In case the registered dealer has not updated his telephone number in his aadhaar database or in case he has changed his mobile number, be ready to face problems in filing each and every return on GST portal.
No forms for Cancellation of registration has been provided for the dealers who have filed part-B of registration form while migration. No forms for amendment of registration have been available yet. Problems are numerous but answers are not available.
Festive season has started in India but not for the Indian businessmen and tax consultants, for them a black era has begun which will witness a pile of workload to be done in offices, for the next 2 months all the tax professional will be buried under the heap of returns to filed under various tax laws in India. Be it DVAT Returns, Service Tax Returns, CERA Audit, seven GST returns to be filed September, Tax Audit, Statutory Audit, Income Tax Returns, Filing of TRAN-1 form the list seems never ending. Even a separate article has been written on the same under title “Forget about Tax or Statutory Audit, book your September to welcome GST”
At end, I pray to the almighty GOD to give enough mental strength, physical fitness and trained staff to all the tax professionals across India to handle this work pressure in the months to come.