Since Independence GST has been the biggest tax reform in history of Indian economy. With every new implementation some challenges come to surface. Likewise, with GST implementation in India few challenges have cropped up. IT industry, especially the VAR (Value Added Reseller) community welcomed this economic reform with open arms and considers it as a path breaking initiative but there are few aspects that need to be considered by government. After discussing at length about GST with VARs of Kolkata we would like to uphold few key take away:
· GST is driving IT growth
· It has made inter-state business easy
· Reduction of grey market
· Tax slab should be reduced
· IT infrastructure of GST portal needs to be improved
· GST filing should be simplified
Proprietor, Suntronic Systems
With IT industry, GST should have been a very easy migration because we had prepared ourselves during the VAT regime itself. Whenever new things are introduced, there is always some teething trouble. The filling part is a little difficult for the trader partners.
Otherwise, we were prepared for this regime. The site also does not allow to rectify any mistakes. So the government has to come out with some patience and bear with us. The trader, comsumer, user should be given an opportunity to rectify if they have made some mistakes. They should not be penalized and I think the norms are still very harsh.
Like mobile revolution made India one, so the GST has made India one. So the movement of material from one territory to other has become easy though it has created trouble for some business but it has opened up the market also.
GST is the biggest tax reform after Independence and it is a very important step. So, according to me, it is a very good sign for the Indian economy going in the right direction.
The expectation from GST was of simplified tax, though the government has tried to keep things very simple but because of tax evasion issue the government has to keep all the parameters checked. This means the system is now getting complicated day by day. It is not by choice but by resilient force of government so that they can bring more tax into the system, more people to file return into the system. They have kept all the checkpoints and now being an honest citizen and a tax payer, I am feeling that the system is very wrong and complicated. But if the government’s standpoint is taken into consideration, they have kept the checkpoints and for me it is good.
Proprietor - Mohit electronics
GST means One Tax, One Nation, which typically meant that the new taxation system would support the business ecosystem in the country. It also meant that rates of the goods would not get impacted, irrespective of where they are sold or purchased. The only challenge that we are facing is that, earlier under the VAT regime we were supposed to pay our taxes monthly but file our return once in 3 months; while now in this system the government has made it complicated by issuing several forms. My only suggestion is that the government should look into doing away with so many forms and include just one document in which we can furnish our details.
Director, Nimbus Computer:
As a commoner, GST has been interpreted in various forms – Goods and Services Tax, as per our PM, Goods and Simple Tax and last as per the opposition – Gabbar Singh Tax. As a trader, we are with our Prime Minister and we want a goods and simple tax. After GST coming into operation, it was good but down the line we are facing problems relating to GST site. It is not optimized. Also, it was assured that it will be one form which will make a trader’s life easy, but in reality there are a number of forms that we have to upload in GST site which is linked with each other.
The Government is also extending the time frame of GSTR1 and GSTR2. So at present we are not clear about the input and output and how we are going about.
As a trader, with the change of slabs we were facing some difficulties, but we were expecting from the government that it should be a single tax slab. The Government is emphasizing on One India, One Tax regime. So for mobile or computer, the tax slab should be 12%. Since GST is online, the portal has to be very dynamic and it should be optimized properly. Second, according to our Prime Minister, it is a goods and simple tax and as a trader we want a simple tax.
Director, Lalani Infotech
GST is path-breaking, but there have been speed breakers. We have not been able to implement it in the best possible manner. But going forward, it will be good for the country. After GST, our business has grown considerably and we foresee more growth in the coming year. But the growth has come at the cost of expansion. Overall, our margins have come down, but the volumes continue to grow.
We thought that IT would attract lower tax slabs, but it is between 18% and 28% which, I think, could have been better. It could be one tax. To make it better, we should have a uniform lower rate and it should be applied across all products and all categories, not just IT and telecom. It will be difficult to achieve, but that is what is needed for good implementation and simplification. So once that happens the entire GST process would be simplified and that will be a comforting factor. Although we know that GST has a bleeding IT infrastructure, it has to be improved at a faster pace so that filing can become easier and better. Furthermore, there should be more call centres and helplines provided by government so that we can have our doubts clear whenever there is confusion.
Director, Technocrat Infotech
As we are in the IT industry so we had a high expectation with regard toGST. When everything will become digital, the requirement for computers, printers, etc will rise. Initially, the demand was there. As everything is in black and white so business will also grow as the grey market will not be there and everything will be in shape.
For a particular product, we are paying 18% GST. So our investment in business has increased, but our total turnover on selling the particular number of products which we used to sell last year has come down. Another challenge is that we are facing infiltration from the other parts of the country. All the IT products should come under the same tax slab. Previously, mobile has a different tax structure. Some attracted 5% and others 14.5% tax slab. But after GST all mobiles whether it is feature phones or smartphones, come under the12% tax slab.
GST is a very good thing which has happened to our country. There were a lot of taxes and instead of paying so many different taxes we have to pay just one tax. Any major changes will take some time because if the government is trying to make some changes it is not possible to do it in one day. So it is a really good initiative for the country. There are not many challenges.
The only suggestion is that, since IT is very important for the country, the tax should be reduced to 5%.
Director, DIS Techno & Information Systems
After the implementation of GST till date initially we faced a few issues but gradually we have overcome those difficulties. I hope that in future it will be good for us. The calculation process is a little difficult and we have to do it based on HSM code etc. The filing of GST is a little complicated as I think it is a plan of action and before implementation of GST there should have been some awareness that must have been done by the government to make us more accustomed with the situation. There are a lot of complexities which we need to understand. Then, it is quite easy. The simplicity in filing the form is the only mandate for us.
Director, Comnet Resources
GST has managed to grab attention in recent times. The basic purpose of GST was a uniform and transparent tax structure in the country. It improves the way we do business and also the tax structure because it is one tax and one nation. Second, it will minimize the cascading effects of taxes. So the prices will be reduced eventually.
We expected a reduced price and expecting a reduction of tax slab to 15% as a reduced cost means an increase in consumption so that means more business. I was looking for some ease also which never happened because of too much of documentation. The government predicted that before implementation of GST that tax payers can file return sitting at home which never happened.
We were expecting that the government should have 24-hour helpline with the experts on GST over there. Instead of forwarding the queries to website or to write a mail, they could have given the help over the call.
Chairman & MD
GST is a very good initiative and we were expecting it for a long time as through it doing business becomes easy and all taxations all over India are same. It is also good for inter-state trade. So overall GST is good for India. But there is a lot of challenges and the main problem of compliance is very strict and the awareness is very less from both trade and industry side. In IT we were expecting a low tax slab. Most of the IT products are under 18% tax slab, but we expect it to be 12% so that some benefits would be there for the IT industry. We are expecting that through GST economy will grow.
On their part, the government is also changing some things, but still compliance is still very strict. So the government must understand our problem and we can manage as we are a mid-size organization but while discussing with small organization we find it very difficult to comply with the GST norms. We request the government to consider minimizing the compliance and make it simpler for everybody.