Businesses all over the country have felt the impact of the government’s decision to change the country’s goods and services tax code. The new tax, GST, will change the way our country does business, affecting all businesses engaged in sale/supply of goods or supply of services.
What is GST?
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a revised and comprehensive form of previously implemented Value Added Tax (VAT). The GST is an indirect tax and replaces many cascading taxes levied by both Centre and State governments. Supply chains, ERP services, product pricing, etc. will all fall under the ambit of GST.
What is Dual GST?
The Union Government and the States were unable to form a consensus for tax revenue sharing. Therefore, the government has introduced a dual GST system – Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST).
Example – If a dealer in Rajasthan, selling goods to consumers within the state, makes a sale of INR 20,000 at 18% GST rate. Then the dealer will collect INR 3,600 as total tax. In this case CGST and SGST will be shared by Centre and State equally as INR 1,800 each.
Effective July 1, both CGST and SGST are applicable on the taxable value of goods and services shipments pan India, except in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Impact of GST on your pricing
Implementing GST will reduce the impact of numerous indirect taxes which were applicable on your manufacturing and supply chain. This will allow you to decrease the cost of product and services in mid to long term and pass on the benefits to your customers. Although, for various services, the short-term prices may go up as the tax rate has been raised by 4-6%.
Effects of GST on your SME:
The dual structure of GST is meant to be fairly simple and transparent, with only a handful of CGST and SGST rates being implemented. The new tax regime includes both costs and benefits for SMEs:
• Reduction in the number of taxes you were paying earlier. However, Customs Duty and some other levies are still in place for imports and excepted items under GST
• Reduction in your transactional costs due to simplified tax compliance code and online procedure • On the flip side, GST might increase your operating costs if you do not have tax professionals to look after your annual filings. So, hiring an expert may be your only way to have tax compliance
• Compliance issues may also arise due to the mid-year implementation of CGST and SGST
• If you are running a manufacturing SME the tax burden may increase since the excise laws exempted units below 1.5 crores whereas the limit is now 20 lakhs
Who should register for GST?
• If your business is registered under VAT, service tax or excise duty, you can move your registration to GST. Also, firms and companies with a turnover of 20 lakh or more per annum are mandatorily required to have a GST registration. If your business involves inter-state transactions, GST registration is mandatory for you, regardless of the turnover
• Websites and portals where supply of goods and services is managed are also required to register with GST without exception
• An Input Service Distributor, which means a head office that receives billing for all its branches, is also mandatorily required to register for GST
Have you adapted to the new GST regime, and how much impact do you think it has had on your business? Let us know in the comments.
The sequel to this post will deal with how to leverage GST in getting competitive edge for your business.