Since the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was put into effect, it has had a significant effect on the Indian economy. GST has had an impact on all market segments, including startups and SMEs. One of the main winners of the GST has been startups, many of which have seen growth and revenue increases.
Let us find out how GST impacts startups in India, both in a positive and negative way.
Positive Impact of GST on Indian Startups
Startups' indirect taxes were harmonized by the GST. By eliminating state-level taxes, it has made startup compliance simpler.
Facilitated Interstate Trade
Interstate trade has been made easier by GST. It is now possible for startups to sell their products across state lines without having to pay separate entry taxes or meet state tax requirements. This has streamlined operations and aided businesses in expanding into new areas.
Tax Offset and Savings
Businesses can offset taxes paid on inputs (raw materials, services, etc.) from taxes received on outputs (sales of goods or services) under the GST. By avoiding double taxation, startups can save more money.
Portals and platforms are necessary for GST registration, return filing, and compliance. This has encouraged business owners to simplify tax compliance through the use of digital technology, accounting software, and automation solutions.
Enhanced Market Access
State trade barriers are removed by GST, establishing a national market. Startups do not need to establish offices or warehouses in other states to reach a wider client base. Commercial and interstate trade has increased as a result.
Enhanced Investor Attraction
GST increases investor confidence in Indian startups. Because of its easy-to-do business and streamlined tax structure, India is more attractive to both domestic and foreign investors.
Tax Exemption For Small Enterprises
Under the previous system, businesses with revenue exceeding Rs 5 lakh were required to register and pay varying state-specific VAT. With GST, many small enterprises, including startups, are exempt from taxation up to Rs 20 lakhs in revenue.
Small firms with sales between 20 lakhs and 1 crore have the option to opt for lower GST rates through the Composition scheme, providing tax relief for new enterprises.
Negative Impact of GST on Indian Startups
Working Capital Blockage
The new taxation method creates a blockage of capital by requiring the tax department to hold funds electronically. Capital is stifled by the input tax credit scheme. Businesses would lose a portion of their working capital, without interest, under GST.
Complying with the intricate GST regulations may be difficult for startups in their early stages. Keeping thorough records and filing multiple returns may lead to a loss of time and money for the startups.
Impact on Cash Flow
The GST's requirement for upfront tax payments may have an impact on startups' limited working capital. Paying GST before customers make the payments could put a financial strain on businesses in industries with longer payment cycles.
Implementing software, employee training, and seeking tax advice may all be necessary for GST compliance. Startups may need to pay extra for compliance since they must hire experts or contract out tax-related work.
Disadvantage for Unorganized Sectors
Because of the GST's requirement for formalization, some startups in industries that primarily rely on unorganized or informal supply chains may encounter difficulties. Small suppliers' burden of compliance and the modifications they must make can cause supply chains to break down and drive up startup costs.
All in all, the Indian startup ecosystem has undergone a significant transformation as a result of GST. Startups can capitalize on the advantages of this tax reform and make a major contribution to India's economic growth, job creation, and innovation.
Also Read: Children’s Day: 9 ideas to start investing for your child’s future