Two years of GST: Road ahead for one nation, one tax
Dr. G Suresh Babu
GST, the most radical tax reform in India has completed two years. For industry as well as the Government, the first year was more about transitioning into the new regime and dealing with initial teething issues. For the Government, the second year has been about bringing stability and simplicity in laws, while augmenting its efforts to expand the tax base, primarily through more efficient use of technology Industry, on the other hand, has started settling in the new environment while exploring the benefits GST has to offer. There is a general consensus that GST has reduced the overall tax incidence in most cases and also brought in efficiencies in supply chains. As we move into the third year of GST, the Government is looking forward to increasing its revenues by using robust data analytics, a new compliance framework with inbuilt checks to reduce misuse of input credits and initiatives such as e-invoicing. Industry is looking forward to further simplification of laws, rationalization of the rate structure, strengthening of the dispute-resolution mechanism and implementation of definitive guidelines for audits and scrutiny. This process has already begun. This paper has an attempt to capture the key changes in the second year of GST, the important issues that still need consideration and what we can reasonably expect over the next one year or so.