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5 Things That Every Startup Should Know about Taxation in India Tax regulations will certainly impact your business as it has its own set of implications that your business cannot escape from

By Shrijay Sheth

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Startups are prone to go haywire in terms of delivery, execution, and setup costs. Amongst everything, it gets taxing to think and execute tasks related to tax. But this is an important financial element that one can not afford to overlook. A startup may incur losses in initial years and those go unaccounted. But then there are chances to save a new business from further financial losses by shielding it with tax benefits.

Here are five important tax tips for startups useful at many levels – from starting to each stage of progress.

1. Compliance With Tax Norms Makes Life Easier

As a startup, you would want to focus all your efforts and energies in offering better solutions to your customers. The entire concept of compliance is to set you free from other legal requirements and do what you do best - focus on core business. Tax norms help businesses to get clarity on implications of tax in the finances. Once done, the aim should be to have better financial planning by keeping in mind the applicable taxability and other compliance-related expenditures.

2. Hire/Consult Tax Professionals

Professionals in the industry can help you to execute all the necessary formalities, ensuring completion of all those nitty-gritty of the subject matter involved. For some, you will also need advice from tax experts on how to plan your finances by incorporating the tax implications concerned.

Opt for business professional services to ensure complete control over tax-related compliance. Having a professional consultant on-board will also help you prepare for any unforeseen contingencies. Expert opinion in the case of compliance is recommended in case of tax-related compliance queries.

3. Learn About the Broad Norms

Awareness plays a major role when it comes to knowing the legalities involved in running a business. And since the tax is one of the core concerns that new businesses have, an overall & general know-how becomes indispensable. It is essential that startups get acquainted with the applicable laws and provisions. Complying with such standards may prove to be a daunting task given the wide scope and comprehending deeper aspects involved. The Income Tax Act of India, 1961, allows legal authorities to strictly govern income tax along with rigorous checks and harsh penalties imposed upon defaulters.

4. Know Your Rights and Benefits as a Taxpayer

Tax regulations will certainly impact your business as it has its own set of implications that your business cannot escape from. The best thing is to know the rights that you enjoy as a taxpayer. For example, 100per cent tax exemption on profit gains for the first three years with the exception of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT, 18.5per cent). Then there are exemptions on capital gain tax, the abolition of angel investment tax, and SEBI directed Funds of Funds. Such benefits must be observed and startups should leverage plenty such tax laws and regulation. Doing so will also improve the acceptability levels with VCs, investors, and banks.

5. Deeper Insights for Future Planning

Allocating resources is the key to the streamline all the other business activities and accordingly channelize the finances for the team. For better returns and future financial goals, avoiding taxation can prove disastrous. Startups should dwell deeper to gain important insights that will help those at the helm of affairs to take right decisions. You will learn to allocate resources – channel your finances for better returns – envision financial goalkeeping taxability in mind. There are chances that your future launch may get affected by the tax norms and other requirements. Ensure a tight watch over every minuscule change in the tax regime and align it for your business requirements.

Most of the new startups are stringent with taxation but they lack clear information since the subject has many branches associated with it. Startups should also ensure a pervasive compliance management system with Chartered Accountants, lawyers and tax professionals mentoring it. Try incorporating technology to manage all the compliances with utmost diligence to ensure timely tax payments and completion of all legal formalities pertaining to it.

Shrijay Sheth

Co-founder, LegalWiz.in Private Limited

Shrijay is an entrepreneur with more than ten years of experience in working with hyper-growing digital commerce companies across the globe. He is a data savvy leader, and a true believer of people first philosophy. Currently, he runs an eCommerce strategy and Analytics consulting company, along with a LegalTech venture in India - www.LegalWiz.in.
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