SHAHID MAJEED MIR

GST is a combination of central and state taxes put together. Hence there will be three types of taxes – Central GST and State GST for intrastate transactions and IGST (Integrated GST) for interstate transactions.

Since all the centre and state taxes are merged and brought as one tax under GST, state governments and central government will need to have their share of GST. So, there will be three types of taxes under this system. The government is trying to reduce the burden of compliance for businesses by relaxing the return filing requirements for the first time post implementation.  Also the provisions of TCS on e-commerce and registration for online sellers have also been relaxed for the time being.

Since GST is a consumption-based tax, the tax revenue will be charged and collected by the consuming state. This helps the consuming state to protect their tax base. If the goods are transferred within state i.e., the consumption state is same as origin state, there will be CGST (Central Government Tax) and SGST (State Government Levy). If the goods are transferred from one state to the other, IGST will be levied and the central government will settle the tax to the consuming state.

GST aims at eliminating cascading effect of tax. All inputs credits can be utilized and it will bring down the tax burden on account of usage of credit. The credit can be claimed only after it matches the invoice of the respective suppliers. In the current tax regime, tax credit claims under various tax laws are not allowed. For example, tax credit on account of taxes paid under excise duty cannot be claimed against service tax dues and vice versa. GST aims at reducing the compliance burden of the customers. There is only one compliance that is required and only a single compliance has to be done. Under the current regime, service tax, VAT and other returns are to be filed separately whereas the input tax mechanism under each tax is different.

In GST, the returns are prepared by the GSTN once the assessee inputs all his purchase and sale details. Matching of invoices for availing input credits are done automatically and returns are prepared. Once the returns are processed and approved, there are no further returns to be filed on a monthly basis. In the current tax regime, customers have to file and manage all taxes separately excise, VAT, service tax etc.

One of the greatest benefits of GST is avoidance of cascading effects of tax and seamless flow of tax credits. However, the working capital requirement increases if your customer/supplier is non-compliant in terms of filing their returns. Hence, it becomes clear that your vendors and partners must be compliant in order to manage your working capital. Assessing the credibility of your vendors becomes critical and it can have a negative impact on the business if they are non-compliant. On the long run, GST will slowly make all these non-compliant businesses vanish.

Since GST is a technology enabled solution and all returns, matching etc happens within the IT infrastructure businesses will be left with no other option to adopt to technology solutions which will empower them will compliance. Without an efficient product solution, businesses will not be able to capture, analyze and use 100% of their transactions that are required to be a compliant GST assessee. Non-compliance because of not adapting to technology solutions could have a negative impact on the business including extended working capital, the agony of the vendors and customers etc.

However, GST is a long term strategy and the positive impact shall be seen in the long run only. This can happen if GST is introduced at a nominal rate to reduce the overall tax burden of the final consumers. The rate of GST also plays a crucial role in deciding the actual impact of GST on the common man. Let us hope this “One Nation, One Tax” proves to be a game changer in a positive way and beneficial not only to the common man but to the country as a whole.

In conclusion, I would make an important point here that a couple of days ago, I went to market to buy something where I have been told dear costumer now you have to pay double than previous price, I told the shopkeeper to show me the rate list but he instead showed me the bill where two types of taxes were; one was the CGST and another SGST. I want to know from our government of Jammu and Kashmir as to what were the benefits of GST which has been implemented in the state.

Shahid Majeed Mir is a civil service aspirant from Tangcheck, Lolab and can be reached atmirshahid363@gmail.com. The views expressed by author are his own.