GST Pulse: Have you taken a re-look at your finances?

GST Pulse: Have you taken a re-look at your finances?

It has been said time and again that GST is not merely a tax change but a business change. We saw in the previous article how GST would impact the various facets of business including supply chain, IT and other processes.

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It has been said time and again that GST is not merely a tax change but a business change. We saw in the previous article how GST would impact the various facets of business including supply chain, IT and other processes. 

A key facet of any business is its finances and every business keenly focuses on improving its bottom line by generating top-line growth and cutting through cost inefficiencies. Which also means that it is time for businesses to assess the possible impact of GST on its finances in detail.

In general, GST is expected to have a positive impact on corporate bottom lines considering that it is likely to usher in a seamless credit of taxes paid on most goods or services resulting in a reduction of costs. Moreover, multiple non-creditable taxes such as octroi, entry tax, CST, luxury taxes which are costs today will also be subsumed under GST. This can provide flexibility in product pricing, headroom for margin expansion and impetus to the company’s bottom line.

Further, the distinction between manufacturers, service providers and traders is likely to disappear under GST and so could the current restrictions on credit. Today, VAT credit is not available to most service providers and Service tax credit is not available to traders which is expected to be corrected under GST.

However, it is important to keep in mind that GST is not a CSR initiative of the Government but purely a revenue augmenting measure and from that perspective, the Government is likely to aim to earn at least that much revenue as it is collecting today, if not more.

It is expected that in some cases there may be an increase in tax rates under GST like in case of services, where current rate of tax is 14.5 per cent, or stock transfers from one state to another which today do not attract any VAT. As a result, the working capital/cash flow could be impacted negatively leading to additional interest costs.

Also, some of the current exemptions especially under Central Excise law are likely to face the axe under GST, which may have a favourable or a negative impact on operations. We also recently saw this in the case of a company supplying its products to wind power turbine manufacturers who currently avails excise duty exemptions.

From a CFO’s perspective, it is surely high time to understand the likely impact of GST on a company’s finances on a threadbare basis and take steps to make necessary changes to safeguard the company’s bottom line. An analysis of the impact on product pricing is another important activity that may have to be undertaken immediately as customers are likely to seek a share of savings on account of GST, if at all. A CFO in that case may have to follow Jack Welch who once said “Change before you have to ”.

 

 

None of these materials is offered, nor should be construed, as financial, legal or other professional advice. The contents contained or made available through this web page is not intended to create any relationship between the reader and KPMG

© 2016 KPMG, an Indian Registered Partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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