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Firms in state yet to grasp impact of GST

While the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by July 1 is imminent, with four of its bills receiving approval, Goan companies are yet to understand the full implication of this historic taxation reform. Based on several discussions, industry experts point out that most companies are oblivious of the impact that GST will have on their businesses. While Goan entrepreneurs still consider GST a headache to be dealt with by their accounts department, chartered accountants argue that for a smooth rollout of the tax regime, the entire companyespecially the finance, sales, and logistics departments has to swing into action. "The way companies do business will change tremendously," Goa chamber of commerce and industry (GCCI), head of taxation, Sandip Bhandare, said. He explained that in order to benefit from GST, firms have to ensure their clients and customers also file their GST returns. If an establishment wants to get the benefit of input tax credit under GST for goods or expenses incurred for business activities, it must ensure that the supplier also files returns under GST. "To maximize the benefits of this new tax regime, it is imperative for the business community to understand the intricacies of the proposed law and its implications for the trading, manufacturing, and services sectors," GCCI director general, Ramakant Kamat, said while announcing a full-day seminar on GST at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, on April 15. The second concern for GCCI is that companies will have to pay GST while importing goods, and companies that purchase supplies in bulk to maintain adequate stocks will have their funds locked-in. "The person who arranges the finance for the company has to factor in the higher cost. The company has to pay 18% upfront on import and this (funds) will be blocked till the sale occurs," Bhandare said.

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