The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a landmark reform in the Indian taxation system that aims to reduce the complexity of indirect taxes and bring the entire nation under one comprehensive tax system. The GST bill has been in the works for a long time and was approved by the Parliament on 29th March 2017. The GST council has been working tirelessly to ensure a smooth rollout of the GST bill and has cleared the way for its implementation on 1st July 2017.
The GST council is a constitutional body responsible for making recommendations to the Union and State governments on issues related to the GST. The council is chaired by the Union Finance Minister and comprises of the Finance Ministers of all the States and Union Territories. The council has been meeting regularly to discuss various aspects of the GST and has made several key decisions to ensure a smooth transition to the new tax system.
The GST council has taken several key decisions in the recent past to ensure a smooth rollout of the GST. Some of the major decisions are:
The GST council has also taken steps to address the concerns of various sectors and has made changes to the rates and rules based on feedback from industry bodies.
The implementation of the GST will affect every business in India and it is essential for businesses to be GST-ready before 1st July 2017. Here are some key things that businesses need to do to prepare for the GST:
All businesses with a turnover of over Rs. 20 lakhs (Rs. 10 lakhs for North-Eastern states) are required to register under the GST. Businesses with turnover below this limit can also register voluntarily. Businesses can register themselves online on the GST portal.
Once you have registered under the GST, you will be allotted a unique Goods and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) which will be required for all GST-related transactions.
Businesses need to reconcile their accounts for the period up to 30th June 2017 as per the existing indirect tax laws. This is important as the GST will be implemented from 1st July 2017 and businesses will need to file returns under the new tax system.
Businesses need to update their accounting software to ensure that it is GST-compliant. This will help businesses in generating GST-compliant invoices, filing tax returns and claiming input tax credit.
It is essential for businesses to train their staff on how the GST will affect their day-to-day operations. This will help businesses in complying with the new tax system and avoid any penalties for non-compliance.
Businesses need to be aware of the GST rates and rules applicable to their business. The GST council has fixed the rates for various goods and services and businesses need to ensure that they charge the correct GST rate on their products and services.
The implementation of the GST is a major step towards simplifying the Indian taxation system and bringing it in line with international standards. The GST council has taken several key decisions to ensure a smooth rollout of the GST and it is essential for businesses to be GST-ready before 1st July 2017. Businesses need to register under the GST, get their GSTIN, reconcile their accounts, update their accounting software, train their staff and be aware of the GST rates and rules. By taking these steps, businesses can ensure a smooth transition to the new tax system and avoid any penalties for non-compliance.
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