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A Month into New Tax Regime, CAs Wear The Hat of GST Consultants

Many of the GST consultants News18 spoke to said people still didn’t know how their businesses would be impacted by Goods and Services Tax. Some were still dealing with problems regarding raising an invoice.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:August 3, 2017, 2:30 PM IST
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A Month into New Tax Regime, CAs Wear The Hat of GST Consultants
Sarika Prasad has been practicing as CA for a while now and Goods and Service Tax (GST), being the most in-demand tax consultancy, is bringing some good business to her. ( Eram Agha/ Network18)
New Delhi: In the plush locality of Vasant Kunj in the city, a board outside Sarika Prasad’s house says ‘chartered accountant’. Right next to that, a new board has come up. It reads ‘GST consultant’.

Prasad has been practicing as CA for a while now and Goods and Service Tax (GST), being the most in-demand tax consultancy, is bringing some good business to her. A month after the grand launch of GST, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it as Good and Simple Tax, businesses are trying to adapt to new regime.

“GST consultancy is the need of the hour, and sign of our effort to help in the transition from the old to the new system. It was implemented a month ago but it still remains cumbersome,” said Prasad.

Before the roll out in July, Prasad ran ‘Study Circles’ to disseminate knowledge among all stakeholders, her clients and business owners in Vasant Kunj and continues to do so, “We conducted a lot of programs for educating people because the idea of One Tax, One Nation is great but implementation of the same has not been,” added Prasad.

Many of the GST consultants News18 spoke to said people still didn’t know how their businesses would be impacted by it. Some were still dealing with problems regarding raising an invoice.

“The main problem is that while the tax structure has become simpler, the process itself is difficult to understand. Lots of small and medium businesses, and even some large ones, don’t have qualified people who understand the GST process. Earlier you could file VAT and Service Tax returns manually, but now it has to be filed online. There is a lot of demand for people now for GST compliance,” said CA Nihal Kothari, executive director at Khaitan & Co.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is providing certificate course to train people in the new regime.

“There are proper classes post which an examination is conducted. A certificate is given at the end of the term,” said Rajendar Arora, an elected member of Northern India Regional Council of ICAI.

A minimum of 30-hour structured training is required to get a certificate. The assessment test will be conducted twice in a period of 12 months around August and February from this year. Only CAs can enroll for the course.

“Keeping in mind what we see today in terms of a complete shift in the indirect tax system, we need to respond accordingly, make things convenient and help in adaptability. Our regulatory body has taken the responsibility in guiding this feeling of getting into GST consultancy,” said Arora.

There are study circles sprouting across the country for helping people adapt to the new regime. The new GST consultants are holding webinars. Additionally, there have been 100s of workshops, 200 seminars, and setting up of helpdesks to look into the queries after one month of GST.

CA Mayank Goel said clerical work has increased because of GST. “Just a fortnight before the roll out, the rates were decided. Many industries had a small timeframe to understand the impact of the new regime on their sector. Therefore, now we need expertise and consultancy in GST,” he added.
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