Not only small retailers, even for large ones GST is a big difference: Kumar Rajagopalan, RAI
- Many small retailers are not accustomed to recording transactions
- On an average additional 36 returns will have to be filed
- Worried more about packaged and unpackaged goods getting segregated
With the goods and service tax (GST) ready to be rolled out from July 1, small retailers and businesses area in a conundrum with increased tax filing paperwork.
Zeebiz team spoke to Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of Retailers Association of India (RAI) regarding the same and the impact of this on small retailers.
What will be the impact of GST on small retailers?
Frankly it is a very big change for small retailers. Some of them are not accustomed to recording transactions and do not have a computer and therefore don't use the services of a consultant to file their returns. Now they have to that.
But having said that, in many cases they were supposed to be filing the returns before and some of them did not file it. For those people it is a difficulty. But for those filing the returns for VAT, it is not dramatically different. They will be able to cope up with the GST changes.
So if they are accustomed to filing taxes then they will know what to do.
Isn't the number of returns to be filed so huge that it will be a burden on small retailers?
We are in the starting stage. In order to get input credit we are supposed to get it done. I think for businesses it is a big difference. Why only small retailers, even for large retailers it is a big difference. They will get accustomed to it, it is not the toughest of things to get the system working properly.
The whole thing is how easy the whole GST network is in making any returns. It is going to be difficult initially but after 3-4 months of it being implemented it should be smoothly running.
Will small retailers have to file additional state returns and paperwork for the GST taxes?
It is one returns but in that they are splitting the state tax and central GST tax. But it is one return that retailers will have to file.
What is RAI doing regarding the same?
Currently we are not making any move. We are still trying to understand how easy it is, how difficult is it. If it is a matter of whim and if looks easy, then we will go ahead with it. If it is not then we will have to go the government with all this. Currently, we have asked the government some changes for the government to implement, now that is available on our website.
What are things regarding GST that you are worried about?
I am worried more about packaged and unpackaged goods getting segregated. I am worried about of only having 6 months for liquidating stocks on hand. This is an impossible task for retailers to do.