With both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha passing the Goods and Services Tax, the new taxation policy and rules will be applicable within the next few months. However, consultancy companies such as EY, PwC, Deloitte, and KPMG have been working hard to prepare top Indian companies to prepare themselves for the upcoming GST. Since the GST is a complicated law, companies should be provided adequate training to help them understand the various clauses within the bill.

According to industry analysts, companies in India are not yet prepared for GST even though the government is aiming for an April 1, 2017, rollout. It is for the first time in the history companies are not prepared to implement GST. However, Government is keen to rollout the GST since it will bring uniform taxation and transparency.

Commenting on the development, a senior GST advisor revealed that a handful of companies are all set to implement GST. However, few small companies are just waking up a night before the main exam.

According to industry analysts, companies who are advising major multinationals about the GST strategy are spending as much as 20 to 22 hours a day.

Additional staff hiring

The consultancy companies like PwC and Deloitte are planning to hire more workforce to simplify the workload. Those students who have completed chartered accountancy and company secretary courses are in good shape over the GST bill. Hence, hiring the passed out students will be an effective way for the companies to learn about the GST bill.

There are rumors that few companies have roped in experts from countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia, where GST kind of law has been already implemented successfully.

Responding to media, Nitin Atroley, partner and head of sales and marketing at KPMG India revealed that the company has created a special task force that would work closely with all their clients on the required changes the GST will bring in. The team had members from various countries such as South Africa, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Opportunities for the experts

As part of the GST advisory, experts from the field of taxation, information technology, advisory and auditing departments are working round the clock with various companies. These experts render assistance to the staff and guide them to properly implement the new law.

Even though we don’t have any accurate numbers, the top four consultancy companies will have to spend combined revenue of Rs. 500 to Rs. 600 crore for the consultants in the next one year. Alternatively, they are demanding funds from those companies for which they render assistance to offset the costs related to consultancy.

According to Harishanker Subramaniam, National leader, Indirect tax at EY, they have appointed over 800 tax and advisory professionals on GST across all key sectors.

Changes to be made for GST

The companies need to migrate from the current tax system of several indirect taxes such as VAT and CST to the common GST. To reflect the changes, companies need to tweak the way they calculate taxes right from warehousing to information technology.

The GSTBlog view

We expect that GST will throw open a wide range of job opportunities to students who are passing out from various Institutes and colleges. Moreover, the GST will help existing staff to refresh their skills. The GST will also enable software companies to update their software to accommodate new tax structures. Hence, it will bring in jobs for those employed in the software field.

Finally, we need not require a complicated law. The final GST law should be easy to understand and implement. It should help the centre, state, sellers and ultimate consumers.