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Last Updated : May 23, 2017 02:48 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

GST rollout to give more business to tax consultants, big and small

Some companies were earlier pinning hopes on GST implementation date to be delayed to September 1 and had not yet readied their systems. But with no such relief in sight, they are now even engaging with multiple tax experts to see how their structure for GST can be readied with minimum glitches.

M Saraswathy @maamitalks

DK Singh and Associates operates out of a small office in suburban Mumbai and is involved in providing tax consulting and allied services. It was a fairly unknown entity until last week when the Goods and Services (GST) Council announced the final rates for categories of goods and services. Now, they have 20 to 30 companies approaching them on a daily basis asking them to help plan the GST roadmap before July 1.

The GST regime has brought good news for tax consultants who have been seeing a rise in demand from companies across sectors to help them navigate the mammoth tax reform and get ready for its implementation.

While large consultancies including EY, PwC, KPMG and Deloitte are seeing a rush of companies battling the deadline to put in the necessary systems in place, smaller and relatively unorganised firms are also witnessing a jump in clients.

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On the one hand, while larger companies had already begun the process of implementation of GST about six to eight months. Smaller ones, on the other hand, were still in a process of figuring out and were waiting for the rates on their respective good/services to be announced before deciding the future course of action.

Sachin Menon, National Head, Indirect Tax, KPMG in India said that large companies are more or less ready. "But there will be hiccups including interpretation issues. Even if they are ready, they need to do the testing," he added.

KPMG along with industry body FICCI is conducting awareness camps across multiple cities on GST. This is primarily to respond to basic queries on the new tax reform.

EY, in a report, said that while the changes in rules, addressing some of the concerns of the industry, are a positive step, there are quite a few issues that still require clarity. It said that transition rules, expected to be finalised shortly, could have a significant bearing on stocking or de-stocking of goods in the coming weeks.

Tax sector experts explained that while large private sector Indian as well as MNC companies have been working with large firms, smaller ones as well as large PSU entities have chosen to go to the local and boutique firms in the tax space. This is mainly to save on costs and have more specialised services since these firms do not work with multiple clients at the same time.

Further, firms with a turnover below Rs 50 lakh may face lesser compliance issues. Tax consultants said that it is a local tax practitioner.

MS Mani, Senior Director at Deloitte Haskins and Sells, said that larger companies are ready, while mid-sized ones are getting ready.

While the new regime will come into force from July 1, companies would be required to file GST returns only in August 2017. Essentially, this means that they will have one more month to get the compliance systems in place before that.

Rajeev Dimri, Leader, Indirect Tax, BMR & Associates explained that given the stated intention of the government of not allowing a long lead time to the companies post announcing the rates, this development strongly indicates that the government is serious about meeting the July 1 deadline for the GST implementation date.

Some companies were earlier pinning hopes on GST implementation date to be delayed to September 1 and had not yet readied their systems. But with no such relief in sight, they are now even engaging with multiple tax experts to see how their structure for GST can be readied with minimum glitches.

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First Published on May 23, 2017 02:48 pm

tags #Economy #GST

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