Much is being said about the new GST or Goods and Service Tax that the Indian government is planning to levy. One of the important questions being asked is that how will the GST impact the chartered accountants and company secretary professionals in the country.
Will GST be beneficial to the accounting industry
According to most professionals in the finance industry, GST will be a boon to the CA industry, for the entrepreneurs who pursue practice and the industry aficionados. It not only will increase the jobs and opportunities of employment, but will also bring clients to the practitioners. With GST there will be an abolishment of different taxes, which will in turn bring a single rate of tax. However, this abolishment of taxes does not abolish the complexity.
No layman can possibly fathom the applicability of GST along with its procedures registration 49 return filings per annum and appeals. There is a lot of work cut out for the chartered accountants and company secretaries.
What are tax firms doing to deal with GST?
Many tax firms both Indian and international and the bigwigs and the small firms are all looking at ways to make the most of the opportunity presented by GST. There will be a high demand for GST specialist which will be far more than the supply. All the major tax advisory firms together may not have the ability to serve the market according to UdayPimprikar who is a tax partner in a major tax advisory firm.
Most consultancy firms are looking at increasing their number of indirect tax experts.They are also re-deploying their existing employees into GST practice after giving them in-house training. In the next few years there will be enormous opportunities for GST specialists. Most accounting professionals will have to unlearn the indirect tax concepts of the past and learn the newer GST concepts.
How are the industry bodies reacting to GST?
Many bodies in the industry are planning to step up their outreach program to sensitize industry on the issues involving GST. According to V Gopalakrishnan who is a counselor with CII institute of Logistics, they are expanding their online platform in order to reach out to more and more professionals in the industry. The CII has already organized around 35 training sessions across the country in the past year. On the other hand the All India Federation of Tax Practitioners will organize a special session on GST in the month of October in Varanasi.
All in all the entire range of CA and CS professionals across the country are gearing up to meet the new challenges and make the most of the opportunities being presented by GST.