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With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) ready to roll out on July 1, industries across the country are reassembling their processes to create the desired impact of GST. With confusion and more work at their end, they once again have start-ups to their rescue.
Be it entrepreneurs already in the taxation field or newcomers welcoming the bill, start-ups are going all out to help in the smooth transition.
Sharing his thoughts on GST, Archit Gupta, Founder of ClearTax, says, “GST will turn out to be a tax reform of unprecedented magnitude. It plans for 16 taxes to be subsumed within GST. A lot of indirect levies such as Entry tax, Octroi, state VAT levies will go away and states will lose power to levy tax at will. A reduction in the number of taxes directly translates to fewer compliances, which will impact ease of doing business positively. Some states have been guilty of making it difficult for starting a new business without it attracting aggressive form of state levies. This will go away.”
# 1 Technology will help push GST
With technology shaping up the way we function, it’s also going to give GST a boost, allowing entrepreneurs to lead the way with the latest in the tech world.
“Technology will be a cornerstone for the success of GST. In general, returns which are electronic and registration, which is fully online and reduction in physical form submission augur well for businesses in India. We are the leaders in technology in the fintech space and we plan to replicate this to our GST offering. Entrepreneurship in the 22nd century places too much thrust on technology, so this is a very positive move,” says Gupta.
# 2 Timely Launch Of Products
Keeping in mind that the roll out of GST is from July 1, entrepreneurs are quickly turning around their business schedules to launch products that are aligned with GST.
One such product is Automaxis launched by Indrakart Pvt Ltd. “We have developed enterprise automation software to help SMEs and start-ups in B2B and B2C spaces to eradicate all the manual process of tax filing. We have been licensed to do handle taxation for other companies in compliance with the GST guidelines. We are also developing a standalone application for the GST conformity, which can be used by CAs,” says Pratik Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, Indrakart.
Meanwhile, ClearTax is building a cloud-based intelligent, automated GST software that gives you the ability to interact with your vendors from within the system. It raises and communicates errors immediately. It has predictive solutions built in to the software to allow positive business impact and error-free filing.
They have also launched a GST e-learning kit, which comprises online training material, quizzes and a final test to prepare the CAs, finance professionals, accountants, and other professionals on GST. “We have sold over 3,000 kits in the first 15 days of the launch. We also host a GST webinar every week,” said Gupta.
# 3 Using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning as their armour, start-ups are marching ahead in the GST game.
“The government is expecting 300 crore invoices per month. Now, this can’t obviously be managed if they are all physical copies. This is where AI and ML play a huge role. AI will start analyzing your needs through cognitive analysis, guiding you in the right direction. At the same time, Machine Learning with it’s invoice matching functionality can eradicate the use of paper invoice,” said Rakesh Dube, CEO of Taxgenie – a start-up which is focused on providing end-to-end solution in Goods and Services Tax in India. It uses deep technology and domain expertise – Mobile, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
# 4 Focus On SMEs And MSMEs
While the corporate sector can swiftly transition into the use of GST, it is the SMEs and MSMEs which will need attention, say most entrepreneurs.
Dube said, “MSMEs usually are one step behind when it comes to technology and system implementations. Their organizations are not always structured, so it becomes even more important to maintain their invoices. We offer virtual tax advisory services to MSMEs at very reasonable cost. We intend to use Artificial Intelligence & Machine Language in the long run to provide best tax advisory services.”
ClearTax, too, is on a mission to educate SMEs, MSMEs, CAs and enterprises about GST. Gupta said, “We are building an extremely easy-to-use and intuitive software. This will allow a person with basic internet knowledge of, for example an email client, to use our software for their business. Our product has been built keeping in mind convenience of such users.”