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Last Updated : Mar 20, 2019 06:36 PM IST

Building tech-based tax culture is the need of the hour: Experts

Technology is changing the way we conduct day-to-day activities in personal and professional lives. The modern technologies have transformed the way we gather data and interpret it. Moreover, tech solutions are also helping governments and businesses to derive at path-breaking solutions and manage their operations efficiently.

In this scenario, the tax functionaries in government departments and businesses are also adopting digital technologies to streamline tax culture in India and build a more conducive environment so that people don’t have to waste human hours to work on tax issues.

For instance, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) transformed the way taxes were filed and movement of goods were managed across the borders. Definitely, technology brought a tectonic shift in this area.

To deliberate on the digital disruption in tax culture in Indian businesses and tax administration, experts Rahul Garg, Partner & Leader-Technology Tax, PwC; Vishwanath Kini, VP-Global Tax Head, Tech Mahindra; and Sanjiv Agarwal, Head of Tax, Custom & Export, BMW India discussed how important is technology for tax culture in India during ‘Tax Talks’, a series by PwC India in association with CNBC TV18.

The experts spoke about how businesses can adopt technology in tax culture and have no error.

“Technology is no longer an option now, it is most important tool for survival for any industry. The change that has happened in the tax scenario has really asked the tax function to up its situation to the changes that are happening across the globe and from that perspective, an industry unless and until adopts technology for its tax function, it is going to be difficult for the industry to move ahead,” said Kini.

Meanwhile, experts were of the view that technology will help businesses cater to government’s ever-evolving demands too.

“From a government perspective, it is an important aspect and tool that without technology they can’t permeate the tax enforcement in a non-intrusive manner. For the businesses, if you look at it, the demand of the tax information by the tax regulator is increasing, therefore, all businesses want two things-can we anticipate what is needed and can we do it zero human touch and today the technology permits closely you to reach there,” said Garg. Further, he mentioned that inconsistency in information used in various tax filings for diverse tax laws in multiple jurisdictions is a challenge and without technology monitoring, policing and embedding, it is not possible to streamline tax processes and help improve consistency and accuracy.

During the discussion, experts discussed GST implementation, its hits and misses and how automating reconciliation of GST can help businesses in a major way.

“This is a new reconciliation industry which has come up because now the requirement of one Act in tax is asking to reconcile the data with another set of legal system. So, to match all this information, we are seeing lot of service providers in the industry and they are giving solution for it. There are also robotic solutions provided for some areas. The adoption in businesses is relatively low as of now and we have to have to have these technologies in the system so that we can have automated reconciliations to meet the requirements of law,” said Agarwal.

Technology is the way forward that can help businesses in extracting data and interpreting it. It is to now see how fast the tech adoption happens in businesses.

First Published on Mar 20, 2019 02:10 pm
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