The Government of India has successfully implemented the long awaited Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime across the country on 1st July 2017. The GST is a comprehensive tax to be levied upon the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods and services with value addition at every stage of supply i.e. from the level of the service provider up to the level of retailer where the end consumer would bear the tax. The GST may impact the tax structure, tax computation, tax compliance, etc and thereby, affect various aspects of business operations including pricing of goods and services, accounting, inter and intra state transport of goods and services etc.
According to a US ratings agency, Moody, GST may increase the revenues of the Indian Government through improved tax compliance, reduction of costs of compliance from levy of uniform and simplified taxes across the country and ease of compliance through use of a common information technology (IT) infrastructure between the Centre and the states.
The new GST structure has ensured that the small and medium enterprises are not much affected by the tax reforms and that they are encouraged to set up business in India. The Composition Scheme under the GST regime has provided that business enterprises trading in certain goods and services, whose aggregate turnover in the preceding financial year has not exceeded Rs.75 lakh, have to pay a GST ranging between 0.5% or 1% or 2.5%, as the case may be.
A uniform and less complex system of levy and payment of taxes may also help in attracting private and foreign business investors to set up business in India as it may result in easier movement of goods within the country as well as overseas at economical costs; increased productivity gains; automated procedures for various compliances such as GST registration, returns, refunds, tax payments, checking input tax credits online, etc. Therefore, the aforesaid system of levy and payment of GST may ensure that India continues to be an investment destination.