In today's world technology is advancing at a rapid pace. We can connect with the whole world just sitting in front of our computers. Information is flowing faster than ever before. However, everything has its pros and cons. With information flowing rapidly the pace at which fake news is circulated is worrisome. But thanks to people who take initiative to keep us updated, and help us realize the difference between fake and real.
Meet CA Pooja Bansal who runs her own Youtube channel. Pooja has more than 1.25K Subscribers. She has also authored two books on. Pooja has left no stone unturned in helping people understand GST. Here is an insight into what CA Pooja Bansal does behind the lens.
This interview was taken by one of our members Sudhir Halakhandi.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal you are a young chartered accountant qualified only in 2016 and running a GST YouTube channel with more than 1.25K Subscribers and further you have written some Books on GST. You are doing very good work by spreading the knowledge in Taxpayers and Professionals. It is a great achievement. Congratulations from my side and welcome on my program KNOW YOUR GST EXPERT BY SUDHIR HALAKHANDI.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Good evening sir. Thank you, sir. It is indeed my pleasure to be interviewed by a renowned personality like you.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Good Evening Divya. So let us start and first about your GST Study. How you got the knowledge of GST? It was with introduction of GST or you have already started the study of GST keeping in mind the upcoming biggest tax reform in the country.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: I qualified my CA in May 2016 & at that point of time GST was a hot topic, reason being on 8th August 2016, the 101st Constitutional Amendment Act was passed which paved way for the much-awaited simple indirect tax regime. So, at that point of time considering the placements also, I tried to understand the GST by attending various seminars & workshops by NIRC & various study circles.
Meanwhile I got placed in one of the big four in assurance profile, but then I realized that it is better to invest time in the new reform considering the opportunities involved & my interest. Then I started reading the ICAI background material, CBIC e-flyers & various other articles which further led to my interest in this area & this was how I developed my knowledge of GST.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal, What happened first? You channel or writing a Book? Who was the inspiration for all this at such early stage of your Carrier?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: I started my channel at persuasion of my Sister-in-Law CA. Pooja Bansal who persuaded me to impart my knowledge through video. Also at that point of time there was huge confusion in the taxpayer community regarding various provisions of GST, so I thought with whatever little knowledge I have, I will try to resolve their confusions & would be using very simple language so that anyone with little knowledge of the same or any taxpayer could understand the provision of GST.
For this I even made many infographics to simplify various GST Concepts. Later towards the end of 2017, I thought of writing the book because I was being appreciated for the infographics which I used for explaining various concepts of GST.
This appreciation from the viewers motivated me to draft the detailed book on GST (including various charts, flowcharts & infographics). Later, when Publisher showed their willingness to publish my book based on sample chapters that further pushed me to give my 100% into this area..
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: What is the story behind the name of your channel Tax Without Tears? It is a unique but interesting Name!!! Who suggested this interesting name to you?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Well this is an interesting question sir. My father in his early 20's while studying the Tax & Finance related books, use to say that Taxation is a Tearing subject, which I’d like to simplify and will name my book as TaxWithoutTears if I’ll write someday.
Now in his 60’s he suggested me the name “TAX WITHOUT TEARS” for my Channel which immediately caught everybody’s attention because the way GST was implemented, it brought tears in eyes of so many taxpayers as well as professionals considering the effort that was involved in updation of concepts. This was the story behind the name of my channel.
Indeed taxation brings tears in eyes of so many people. Because wherever cash outflow is involved, decision needs to be taken wisely.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: What is your process of making videos? With Script? Or Instant without any Script. Lot of professionals are making videos to spread the knowledge and use of both the process are in practice. Which is your choice? Combination of both is sometimes there.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Initially when I started with the channel, for approximately 3-4 videos, I did use the script in order to ensure proper content delivery but then gradually with the continuous reading of the subject & little experience, I started doing the videos without script which in fact gave me more confidence & even the content was delivered in a better manner than before.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: There is any need of retakes while making videos.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: In initial days, yes there was need of retakes because every video before being published was reviewed by my Sister-in-Law CA Pooja Bansal but gradually no such need arises unless there is disturbance or noise etc in between.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Ok. CA Divya Bansal experience made you perfect now.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Yes sir, to some extent. Now I can handle live videos on the channel, which is in fact better as it helps me in connecting with the viewers
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Divya, You interact with viewers in your live videos by replying their instant messages.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Yes I do. Firstly I complete the content of the video - the basic purpose for which I go live & then in the latter part I do address their concerns & queries.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Very good practice Divya. Now one personal question! Do you have any family history in the professionals or you are the first CA in your Family.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Sir I'm not the first one in my family. In fact my brother, CA Mohit Bansal was the first CA in our family. My brother CA Mohit Bansal and My Sister-in-law CA Pooja Bansal are already two CAs in our House.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal, What would be your suggestion in respect to the Young professionals who want to shoot their videos in respect to profession. How can they develop it? Any guidance from your side to these aspirants.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: This is very frequently asked question because people are now using more of YouTube &Google for improving knowledge & to show their talent. In fact it is a very good platform also where you can actually come across viewers throughout the country. My advice in this regard will be either go for a professional camera but in case there is a funds crunch, a phone with good camera quality will also do.
This will help them shoot good quality video with less investment. Apart from this there are various editing applications available in the app stores for editing the same. This way they can make their videos & can make a positive change via platforms like YouTube. Further, they must ensure whatever content they are delivering they are having a grip over it which will help the audience build trust in them. This is very important.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: A young professional can shoot and upload his/her video on YouTube with the help of a mobile and a free App?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Yes sir why not. This can be done. The way we do on facebook etc. same way it can be done on YouTube also. Yes you are right. No doubt there will be a difference in professional shooting & editing but still a beginner with less capital can adopt this route.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal Now Something about you Education - School, College and Articleship and other professional courses?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Okay. I did my schooling from Rukmini Devi Public School in Pitampura, Delhi wherein I topped in 12thTh class with 96.25% which landed me directly into Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. Though I was placed into one of the big four company for Articleship through my college placements but I couldn’t take it ahead because of some reasons.
So, I completed my Articleship from a CA firm in Delhi & then post-qualifying I made sure that I join Big- to have a taste of the corporate culture (which indeed got fulfilled also).
Then I did a Forensic Audit & Fraud detection course conducted by ICAI & also completed my LLB. Currently, I'm pursuing DISA
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: So your study is going on?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Studies are never completed sir. For growing, one must keep on studying new things one after other.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Divya Please narrate us any interesting incident while recording or after release of a Video.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: In GST there are frequent changes. Sometimes what used to happen was that I would shoot a video but the time it was about to be published, some of the other notification or circular would come up making that video redundant... so while recording videos it used to be a challenge for me I had to upload it the time it is shot. This generally made the entire process also interesting because everything needs to be done in a fast manner.
And another best part about shooting videos &uploading it on YouTube was that it gave me identity. It made me stand out of the crowd.
I still remember the time when I gave a seminar in NIRC in a Hotel in when people addressed & welcomed me as “TAX WITHOUT TEARS WALI MADAM”. I’m happy that people at least know me or recognize my efforts.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: - Yes, this is the best result of your effort and hard work with your channel Tax without Tears. Hard work always gives these type of best results.
Now CA Divya Bansal Please tell me any fake news or notification disturbed you in your video making process at any time?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Generally on Whatsapp this happens when few people without knowing the source simply circulate the messages & make things viral which confuses everyone. In such situations I check the source & accordingly act rather than simply relying on such messages. One such example for this was extension of financial year 2019-20. The notification stated some other thing & the messages went on to saying other things. These are some challenges which I'm sure must be faced by various professionals.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Yes one more incidents in recent days is extension of GST return but CA Divya Bansal You should note here Finance Ministry is very fast to point out such fake news and in this respect the efforts of Finance Ministry is commendable.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: yes sir. They are very fast in avoiding such types of confusion in very minimum time.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal, Your YouTube channel has more than 1.25 Lakhs subscribers . What was your feeling when subscribers reached Lakh magic figure. Please share with us.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Coming on YouTube & being recognized by the viewers in it gives a great sense of satisfaction. Icing on the cake is being acknowledged by the YouTube itself.
Now that I have crossed 1.34 lacs subscribers, I cannot forget the day-18th April 2019 when I crossed the magical figure of one Lakh subscribers. That feeling was beyond words. The day I crossed one Lakh subscribers, I felt on the top of the world. I still remember the time when courier boy handed me over my Silver play button from YouTube & how tears came out of my eyes. Till date I have kept that box with me as a memory of this milestone.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: How it is difficult to write a Book? What is process? One can develop this skill or it is always a God gift? What is your opinion?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Writing a book involves a lot of effort. There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them. The same is with book writing. Earlier even I thought how can I write a book, or even if I write will the readers like it or who would publish it but I think as it is rightly said “where there is a will there is a way”. As I kept on writing the book, slowly & gradually the things started falling in place. I got a good publisher, my family, friends & office team was with me throughout while drafting the book.
The process for the same is you must know the way you want to present the things & once you started penning it down automatically new ideas will crop up which will help you make it more presentable.
One thing is for sure, you must be thorough with what you are writing i.e. accuracy must be there in the content which you are providing. Once you are done with it or half done with it starts searching for a publisher. Once the publisher is finalized, then almost the major task is completed.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal! What is more needed to write a book - knowledge or inbuilt Skill?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Knowledge is the key. Once you have the knowledge, you will be able to pen down things.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Now CA Divya Bansal ! It is a very big question about GST. The way GST was introduced in India, are you satisfied?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: The idea of GST is indeed very beautiful but the way it is implemented, it could have been a better. Things would have been better if there were more of trainings & awareness campaigns like the Government did for the new GST Returns which are now postponed.
But nonetheless, I would like to state any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. Same way in the indirect taxes no doubt there were problems but at least the Government is responding to it sooner or later & trying to rectify the glitches.
Infact, even till today we are having amendments in Income Tax Act which was made way back and even daily new case laws, judgments are coming. Considering the same GST will also take some time to settle down.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Are there any finer points of GST? There may be many but please point out someimportant.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Sure sir. The way the government is trying to remove the glitches & complaints, it is appreciable. I would like to mention few points.
Firstly, considering the initial difficulties faced by the exporters, the LUT process was made completely online & very easy in itself. Then the automation of refunds in case of exports with payment of taxes. This again was a welcome step for the exporters. Next is the recent circular i.e. circular no.135/2020 wherein another problem of exporters is being addressed in relation to clubbing of the refund in different financial years.
Then the way the GST Grievance cell is working & is reverting & addressing the technical issues faced by the taxpayer. So, there are other finer points also but personally I find them very relevant as they directly resolve the pain point of taxpayers
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: GSTN has its own problems since last 30 Months and now it is a fact that GSTN is not working properly since introduction of GST. Suppose you were at the helm of affairs and have decision making power in Finance Ministry, What would you have done to Fix GSTN Problems? Please reply,it is a very serious question never asked by me in any of my earlier Interview.I only asked them what are the problems with GSTN.CA DIVYA BANSAL Now it is your turn to suggest solution.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Definitely sir. GSTN has huge problems no doubt in this regard.
If I would have been at the helm of affairs, I would have involved the people who develop software while drafting/amending any provision in order to have a synchronized effect of change in law as well as on the portal. Because unless any change is made effective on the portal, it will be of no use.
This is now being taken care of from 39th GST Council Meeting wherein Mr.Nandan Nilekani on behalf of service provider addressed system related issues & the way forward to resolve them.
This way the gap between the lawmakers & the implementers would reduce & provide taxpayer a better interface.
Another thing would be to increase the load of the site so that more taxpayers can easily work on the portal at the peak time or nearing the due dates.
Further, I would have pondered upon reducing the compliance burden on the taxpayers because the lesser the compliances the better is the compliance rate & the revenue collection.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Are you satisfied with the reply that due to corona virus effect they are unable to import hardware? Though the problem is 30 Months old?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Agreed sir. Sometimes the replies are not easy to digest but considering the fact that now when Government is genuinely trying to resolve the errors at the earliest & that Corona situation is very unique in its own sense & difficult to tackle, our moral duty is to stand & support them .Let the things become normal, then such problems can be better addressed.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA DIVYA BANSAL GSTR-9 and GSTR- 9C were released after taking so much time. Are you satisfied with these returns? Experts have the opinion the without revision facility of GSTR-B, these forms will be useless for assessment purpose.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: The extent & kind of information sought in GSTR-9& 9 C is practically very difficult for any professional to give considering the remuneration. The way the forms were out, it leads to huge confusions in the tax payers and professionals. Later relaxing the details sought & further to add on the technical glitches on the portal were highly discouraging for both the taxpayers as well as the professionals.
It would have been better if the forms were designed in an easy manner seeking lesser details at the first instance instead of relaxing the same at a later stage as this lead to huge wastage of time & effort. Further, I don’t see why till date amendment facility of GSTR B is not made active. Unless the same is done, the assessments based on these forms will not be effective as the taxpayers should also be giving a proper opportunity to rectify their mistakes in a timely manner & later on justify the same in case assessments.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: What is your say in Rajasthan AAR decision on Directors'remuneration? Most of the experts are disagree with it.What is your opinion?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: There is a well known proverb that “An answer that doesn’t resolve the query makes a thousand new one”. Similarly, with each passing advance ruling, the confusion in the market is growing & people are trying to avoid AAR route for resolving their confusions. Nowadays, AAR is being addressed as Authority of Absurd rulings. They instead of laying down the correct principles to avoid litigation are doing exactly the opposite.
Now coming to the current ruling by the Rajasthan AAR in case of M/s Clay Craft India Pvt. Ltd., with due respect to the authorities, in the entire ruling neither any evidence has been brought on record by the AAR on which such decision is based nor does it explain as to why the produced evidences are not being considered by the authorities.
It is very clear from the language of clause 1 of the Schedule III of the CGST Act, that the services by the employee to the employer are not to be considered as supply at all yet the same is made liable to GST. This ruling must be clarified by the government else this will impact the entire business community.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: What in your opinion about the legal validity of section 16(4) of the CGST Act? How far can it restrict the ITC of any recipient?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Though GST was introduced with great pomp & show that from now on there would be seamless flow of credit but if the reality check is to be done, there are huge restrictions in the same w.r.t. the time limits, the matching aspect, the eligibility etc.
One such restriction is in form of section 16(4). If we go through the section, it talks about the entitlement of taking credit. Can we say that entitlement is based on booking the credit in the books or on the basis of the GST returns wherein till date the earlier proposed return system as provided in section i.e. GSTR-1, 2 & 3 is not put in place the way it should have been.
Further, even when the returns are filed late, yet the person is made to pay the late fees & interest which in itself is sufficient cost for delay in filing return. Also, section 16(4) doesn’t have any overriding effect. Thus, in my opinion treating the date of filing GSTR B as date of claiming the credit is harsh & it must be challenged before the Courts of law.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: What is the extent of the recipient’s liability in case the supplier fails to make the payment of taxes on the portal? This question is in light of section 16(2)(c) of the CGST Act and how far is it justified on part of law makers to fix this Liability on recipient of supply?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: The Government is making its best possible efforts to avoid harassment of the genuine assesses yet there are some provisions which cause hardship to the taxpayers. One such provision is regarding ensuring that the supplier makes the payment of the taxes collected to the Government. This is also one of the conditions provided in Section 16(2).
Currently some link can be established with GSTR 2A of the purchases provided all the details are properly entered in vendor’s GSTR-1 but still this could not be assured whether the supplier has made the payment in respect to that particular supply in GSTR3B.
In order to avoid such hardship, either proper IT mechanism in respect to matching & payment of taxes must be made or else the same condition must come under judicial scrutiny to save the genuine taxpayers who have bonafide complied with all the conditions.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Is it possible to select your vendor carefully every time? I mean to say practically while doing the business.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Not possible every time but still some precautions can definitely be taken. For example you can check the compliance frequency of the vendor on the GST Portal in "search taxpayer" i.e. if he is regularly filing returns or not.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: if not CA what is your Second choice of profession?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: umm.....I think that If not CA, then I would have definitely tried my hands into cooking. I really like cooking new things. When I cleared 12th, I used to cook so many things – everyday one or the other new delicacy was being prepared like GulabJamun, Puddings, Baby Corn, Manchurians, Cakes, Chocolates etc but due to studies I could not take it ahead but now this lockdown is giving me enough time to excel my love for cooking
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Then soon we have a cooking channel of Master Chef Divya!! Let us give some hint about channel Name? Please. Suggest any imaginary Name. No points for that.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: I think it would have been Taste with Divya.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Master Chef Divya Kee Rasoi.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Good suggestion. Will keep this in mind. Master Chef Divya Kee Rasoi….
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: CA Divya Bansal , We have a very few GST channels on YouTube and mostly run/owned by women Chartered Accountants. TaxWithoutTears, Couseltees, CA Guruji etc. All of you interact with each other? I saw a video in which you and CA Shaifali Girdharwal were together!!! My question Do you all interact with each other? Consult with each other on GST matters?
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Sir, Shaifali mam is not only mine, but everybody’s inspiration. I look forward to her as she started with the channel first & explained GST in the easiest way. Last year only we had shot a video together & I feel privileged that I got an opportunity to come onto her channel & yes we do interact with each other quite often.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: How many Books have you written on the Subject? I mean GST? Do you have any plan for more Books? How do you managing the professional responsibilities with managing the channel and writing Books. A very tough task.SUDHIR HALAKHANDI:
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Sir till date I have written three books on GST namely:
Sir, I have written three Books on GST. GST Practitioner’s Question Bank with Quick Guide, Discover Goods & Services Tax Laws through Questions & Answers and GST-Law & Practice.
No doubt it is very difficult to manage authorship, channel & practice at the same time, but then I really like keeping myself occupied. One main reason is the support of my family, they always motivate me to push my limits & continue going ahead in new things.
Another main reason for management is yoga & pranayama which I do regularly in the morning which helps me a lot to maintain this routine. The day when I skip this I feel too lethargic. So I would say this is the main mantra which helps me manage the things.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: So it is tough but you are managing very well..
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Yes sir. Trying to manage things.
SUDHIR HALAKHANDI: Very Nice Talking to you CA Divya Bansal in KNOW YOUR GST PERSONALITY BY SUDHIR HALAKHANDI.
CA DIVYA BANSAL: Thank you so much, sir. It was great being interviewed by you on this unique and innovative platform.