After completing one year of GST, I am reminded of the famous proverb "Rome was not built in a day". Although I did not have an impressive view on the implementation of GST after 75 days of GST, in my article 'GST implementation - Hasty turns out Nasty', but after 365 days of GST, I will undoubtedly say that GST has slowly and steadily turned 'tasty'.
GST implementation was not very smooth in the initial stage, with a vague idea in the minds of the public of what should be done and what not. But after a year, it seems to be a fairly successful reform. Infact, it has been accepted worldwide that the transition into GST in India has been smoother than many other countries.
The process of forget and relearn is although a tedious task, however what is worthy of praise is the continuous effort of the Government to ease GST in all possible ways. So high was the level of initiative put in by our GST Council that each time a GST Council Meeting was convened, the tax rates were lowered on numerous goods and services along with other relieving changes. With raining notifications, circulars, press releases and clarifications throughout the 1st year, appreciation should also be given to the powerful Indians who showed a super-man spirit by adapting in the best possible manner to each new provision day in and out.
If I am to recollect some notable changes brought in the 1st year, I think that the idea of introduction of GSTR-3B has turned out well, with only one return per month being filed by taxpayers having turnover less than 1.5 crores along with the option of filing a quarterly return for outward supplies. I think a more simplified return procedure would be to convert GSTR-3B into a more detailed return and retain only this return for filing a single return per month irrespective of turnover, and an annual return later on.
Another positive move by the policy makers is the deferment of the levy of GST under reverse charge on unregistered purchases in the 1st year of GST, with the latest notification for deferment of this provision till 30th September'18 passing a wave of joy throughout the industry.
If we ponder upon the high revenue collections under GST each month and the enlarged tax base with a greater number of people registered under GST, it goes on to show that in the long run, the tax reform has gone down well with the tax payers.
Although a few more years will be required to completely stabilise this 'Good and Simple Tax', but I am really impressed with the remarkable way in which GST has completed one year successfully. With a heap of challenges faced in the implementation of GST, the willingness of the Government to overcome these challenges and respond with a consumer friendly solution with each passing month has undoubtedly won the hearts of millions of people.
So to sum it all, I feel that after few great celebrations associated to the date 1st July in the form of CA Day and Doctor Day, the feather on the cap has been put now with the 1st of July been commemorated as the “GST Day”. Now I think we can all agree to the fact that GST implementation has eventually turned from nasty to tasty!