Prime Minister Narendra Modi billed GST as a ‘good and simple tax’ that will end harassment of small businesses. However, the reality remains quite different. Hailed by experts and economists that GST will be beneficial in the long run, small businessmen are still unclear about the nuts and bolts of the new tax regime.
Requesting anonymity, a central excise, and customs official says that the main problem is that there is no concept of issuing a tax invoice in tier II cities which has now been mandated if the sale value is above Rs 200. “This is bound to create an initial hiccup for small businesses.”
He further adds that without strong IT infrastructure in these cities, these businessmen are now hapless, looking for IT skills. However, these businesses will become more transparent in the long run, he said.
Archit Gupta, founder of Cleartax, says that they see over 50% traffic from metro cities while tier II and III cities constitute around 46% who seek help for e-filing of tax. “Right now, individuals are not clear about the rates and are querying about IGST, CGST etc. Surprisingly many restaurants and others are charging GST differently. There is a lot of confusion about the invoicing and compliance which will take time. Few are yet to understand meanings of CGST and IGST. Many websites were down and businesses were halted so as to get clarity on the situation.”
He adds that overall it should take around 100 days for businesses to completely embrace GST. “Tier II and III cities will take longer to implement because even though they are aware, implementation will be a major challenge.”
Talking to ET, a Lucknow-based businessman, Mudit Kaushik, owner of Sharma Departmental Stores who runs 3 shops across the capital city, says, “There is a lot of confusion regarding the final tax rates of different products that we sell. Many companies sell multiple products to us which will invite different tax rates but I still have no clarity on the entire situation.”
He adds, “Many businessmen here have not yet registered for GSTN till now.”
Customers are even being given handwritten bills as shopkeepers are uncertain as what to charge the customers. For instance, a 23-year-old student who went to visit her parents in Bhubaneshwar waited for around 40 minutes in an In and Out store to get some household items for which later she was not given any bill.
She says, “They even agreed to do home delivery for people who had come to buy more than 10 items as they could not write all details on a piece of paper for every customer.”
A 59-year old manufacturer says that due to invoicing and compliance ambiguity, the sales have currently been halted. “Our traders who mostly deal in cash, are still hesitant to confirm any deals yet.”
Dipanjan Purkayastha, founder of Kolkata-based cab service provider TYGR says that with training and awareness programs being conducted in semi-urban and rural areas, additional charges are likely to add up for small businesses. “With everything going digital, extra running costs will also be added for the smaller businesses.”
He adds that finding IT skills is a crucial challenge in smaller cities.
Bangalore-based retail tech startup Snapbizz Cloudtech’s founder Prem Kumar says that current situation will likely get better in the next two months. “We are handholding smaller retailers in terms of the changes in their system.”
Source : Economic Times – TECH
Conclusion : The sooner a businessman shifts to GST compatible software like Vyapar, the easier the handling of GST changes becomes to the businessmen in India. Watch the Video here to see how to attach GST to your Invoices / Bills in your business for Android and here for your Desktop.