In the past couple of months, there has been enough discussion and debate around GST and its implementation. We have almost seen it all, whether it is talking about the viability of GST, its impact on economy, global comparison with various nations which have adopted the structure, experts from various sectors dissecting it, etc. The fact which is now a reality of the day leaves no option for the businesses and other sectors but to adopt and accept this reform in the Indian tax structure. And, in all fairness, this change is only going to lead to a larger national good in the long run.
If we talk about introduction of GST, like any other major transformation in the country- this fact will also take some time to settle in the minds of the people and for the businesses to change the way of doing businesses. The question remains that why is there such a furore and pother about something which has been scanned by various financial experts and has been implemented after thorough economic deliberation for larger good of the nation? Maybe it’s just the fear of unknown.
In India’s tax compliance structure, major challenge lies in the fact that India is not a DIY (Do it yourself) economy. Whenever there is anything related to direct/ indirect business taxation we prefer and reach out to our very own subject matter expert – ‘The CA friend’ to do it for us. Despite the availability of various tools and techniques which can actually help us ease the compliance, we ignore them being too complex for our understanding. Taxation is not the only subject.
There have been many roadblocks for GST compliance which have been highlighted such as technological dependence, complicated compliance tax structure, immense revisions in product changes within the tax slabs, changes in the deadlines etc. most often goes unnoticed is the psychological barrier in change adoption. Taking a step back to remember that when was the last time any economic reform was welcomed with open arms by all stakeholder groups in India? Talking about diversity, it is a well-known reality to everyone. It brings with itself plethora of divergent opinions, which are then laced by local/national political point of views and undercurrents, which together make a perfect cocktail of sentiments which have you vote-in or against a change.
Looking at the situation from a different perspective, we see GSTN is being chastened for many technology glitches, network failure, etc. while filing returns in the present tax structure. Not only GSTN, if we talking about searching for CBSE board results, booking a ticket in ‘tatkal quota’ on the IRCTC website, logging in to a flash sale at any e-commerce website portal, when has the network not broken down? Every form/technology comes with a specific capacity and whenever we overshoot that, it is bound to break down. Then, why are we only pointing out GSTN in this case? Instead, shouldn’t we question our laidback behavior for this break-down?
Procrastination is intrinsic to our nature, we always end up waiting for the last moment or the last minute to file tax returns and if given an option, we don’t even mind paying a little extra to get our jobs done of filing our tax returns post the date of compliance. If this same load is divided across different days of the month in even timeslots, half the problem would be resolved there itself. Therefore, It wouldn’t be wrong to say that GST compliance is a reality we cannot shy away from and hence, instead of creating much ado about nothing, let us all embrace the change and start acting in the direction of positivity together to bring the change in the economy.