Media Coverage

YOURSTORY.COM : 25 JULY 2019

How Logo Infosoft’s Vyapari app makes GST billing and compliance easy for MSMEs

When Goods and Service Tax (GST) was rolled out, the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were still maintaining physical books. And it was time-consuming to create invoices for customers and follow GST norms.

Navi-Mumbai based software vendor Logo Infosoft quickly capitalised on this with its Software as a Service (SaaS) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products.

Vyapari is one such product, offering a business solution that helps MSMEs with GST compliance, e-invoicing, and process streamlining.

Although it was started in India, Logo Infosoft has Turkish roots.

Vinod Subramanian, CEO, Logo Infosoft, tells SMBStory:

“India’s GST rollout in 2017 provided an opportunity for global software vendors to enter the Indian market. Parent company Logo brought its robust European GST experience to start Logo Infosoft in India in 2016.”

Logo Infosoft
Vinod Subramaniam, CEO, Logo Infosoft

Today, Logo Infosoft has thousands of MSMEs in India using its software to streamline the GST process, he says.

In an exclusive interaction with SMBStory, Vinod explains more about the company and how MSMEs can use the GST software.

Edited excerpts:

SMBStory: Why did Logo start a new company in India ?

Vinod Subramanian: Logo is uniquely positioned, being one of the only software products company which offers ERP software and GST/TAX solutions. Turkey is a developing economy, similar to India, and is the Europeean base for several manufacturing operations.

Turkey rolled out GST in 2010 and has grown to become a 2 billion e-invoices market in 2018. India’s GST rollout in 2017 provided an opportunity for global software vendors to enter India.

SMBS: What is the Vyapari app?

VS: Vyapari is a cloud-based billing and accounting solution, with multi-interface access points (mobile, web, and desktop). Users can access it from any location. The product has both sales and purchase functionalities, in addition to maintaining stocks and prices.

It has a subscription model currently priced at Rs 499 for five users. Partnering with GSTN, we are also offering one user with basic functionality for free to the MSME (below Rs 1.5 crore turnover) working closely with IRIS GSP.

An MSME can simply download the app on mobile and register the business. Users can enter the GSTN number, then the system authenticates the details from GSTN. The accounting setup is automated, taking into consideration whether it is a Private Limited Company or an LLP.

Logo infosoft
Vyapari app interface

SMBS: How does Vyapari app help MSMEs streamline GST process?

VS: With a few clicks, the entrepreneur can populate party data from previous filings with GSTN. Without investing in hardware or storage, the entrepreneur can do transactions, give access to his/her CA to check the accounts, and generate GST reports in one click.
Read more at:

https://yourstory.com/smbstory/msme-gst-vyapari-app-logo-infosoft

ZEEBIZ.COM : 5 JULY 2019

Budget 2019 key takeaways: Nirmala Sitharaman speech today

She broke a British-era tradition and came to the Parliament with the Budget 2019 documents wrapped in red cloth instead of a briefcase. Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said this is break from the past, this is ‘bahi khata’ ((ledger).

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented her maiden Budget today. She broke a British-era tradition and came to the Parliament with the Budget 2019 documents wrapped in red cloth instead of a briefcase. Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian said this is break from the past, this is ‘bahi khata’ ((ledger).

Indian Railway:
Infrastructure has been one of Modi government’s top priority ever since it came to power. It was expected that the government will work on the improvement of the network capacity through signalling projects, upgrading loop line infrastructure to enable running of longer trains.

Understanding the importance of the Indian railways, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman revealed Modi government’s plan to bet on the Public-Private Partnership model for faster development of the Indian Railways during her Budget 2019 speech.

She said, “Railway infra would need an investment of 50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030; PPP to be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services”.

Startups:
Nirmala Sitharaman praised India Inc in her Budget 2019 speech by saying that the country’s job creators are the nation’s wealth creators.

She said “The Indian economy will grow to become a $3 trillion economy in the current year itself. It is now the sixth-largest in the world. Five years ago it was at the 11th position”

Where on the same Vinod Subramanian, CEO Logo Infosoft told Zee Business online that, “Very supportive to SMEs, further smoothening the processes for credit and operational efficiencies. The move to eInvoices is going to be the most impactful next step in GST. eInvoices will substantially reduce the tax compliance burden for SMEs. Increasing the corporate tax slab to 400 Crore, and angel tax removal are icings on the cake. The push for digital payments and waiver of all merchant fee is a superb move. It underlines the focus on transparency and reduces the cost of doing business”.
However, Saagar Panchal, Founder & CEO, Hireavilla Hospitality Pvt said, ” The Travel and Hospitality Industry has multiple startups and budding entrepreneurs. If we are able to re-define restrictions on inventory-based models with possible exemptions for startups then this will help boost the Indian startup culture and create more jobs. The budget also mentions that it will set-up a new TV programme on DD, exclusively for startups in the country, I think this will give a major boost to the Indian startup ecosystem and budding entrepreneurs. Apart from this, I am truly happy that our government has promised to help set-up around 80 “livelihood business incubators” and 20 tech business incubators in FY19-20, this according to me will help to create skilled entrepreneurs across different industry sectors.”

PSU banks, Infrastructure
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed the acute liquidity crisis issue being raised by India Inc. While presenting the proposals in the budget 2019 Sitharaman informed Parliament about the Modi 2.0 government’s proposal of Rs 70,000 crore to the PSU banks and allowing FII’s and FPI’s to invest in debt papers of NBFC’s.

The first budget announcement by the re-elected Government has brought some cheer to the real estate industry. On which  Navin Makhija, Managing Director, The Wadhwa Group Said Zee Business online that, “Much on the expected lines, the government has announced to continue with its thrust for Affordable Housing. The Government aims to achieve its target of Housing for All by 2022 through Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY). This can be reiterated from the fact that it has sanctioned 80 lakh houses under PMAY Urban and an additional 1.95 crore houses proposed to be provided under PMAY Rural.”

He added, ” The government has been consistent with its efforts in addressing affordable housing, be it giving infrastructure status to this segment in the previous budget to an exemption of Rs 1.5 lakh in income tax on home loans under affordable housing in this budget. This is a big move as it will benefit a broader segment of home buyers and increase demand going forward.”
Addressing NBFC crisis Makhija said, “Also the support of Rs. 1 lakh crore by Government to NBFCs will help solve liquidity crisis to some extent which will indirectly help the recovery of the real estate sector.”

The Government has also focussed on a firm infrastructure push by announcing Rs 100 lakh crore investments. This will certainly boost the real estate sector and also help in employment generation.

Push to schemes:
While presenting the ‘Bahikhata’ proposals in the budget 2019, Sitharaman says the government has given a massive push to all forms of physical connectivity via:-
1. PMGSY
2.Industrial corridors
3. Dedicated freight corridors
4. Bharatmala
5. Sagarmala
6. Jal Marg Vikas
7. UDAN schemes

Gaon, Garib and Kisan:
In the Interim Budget FY20, the government announced PM Kisan scheme or PM KISAN with an objective of providing direct income support to farmers, pegged at Rs 6,000 per year to be paid in three instalments.  The Modi government extended the scheme to all farmers from marginal and small farmers earlier, which would cost an additional Rs 12,000 crore (over the Rs 75,000 crore budgeted initially) and also announced PM Kisan Pension Yojana, which would cost Rs 35 billion on an annual basis. The next step would be to ensure that the PM Kisan scheme reaches all the targeted beneficiaries. For this adequate fund would be provided in the budget. While presenting the budget, Sitharaman says, ” Government keeps Gaon, Garib and Kisan at the centre of everything we do, of every programme.

Read more at:
https://www.zeebiz.com/india/news-budget-2019-key-takeaways-nirmala-sitharaman-speech-today-104753

BUSINESSWORLD.IN : 18 JULY 2019

Avoid Traps In GSTR 9: Achieve 100% GST Compliance With Zero Tension

On July 1, 2019, the GST regime in India completed two years of existence. During this time, this nation-wide transformation project has succeeded on multiple counts. By June 2019, more than 1.22 crore entities have registered under GST, over 28 crore GST returns were filed by then, and the government collected over ₹ 11.77 lakh crore payments between April 2018 and March 2019. The government also took substantial pains to plug most of the technical loopholes that the GSTN portal was found to be suffering from.

Amidst these successes, there exist some teething challenges today faced by taxpayers and accounts professionals alike. At the end of every financial year, entities who have done business even for a day during the fiscal year have to mandatorily file annual GST returns using GSTR 9 form. For the composition taxpayers, the form to be used is GSTR 9A.

There are a few serious traps in these filings. Taxpayers need to be extra careful in these, since there is a very high likelihood that these data is used for analysis for inconsistency checks, and could land you in the red category for notices and fines.

There are two types of issues that people encounter: i.e. Those related to Outward Supplies, and ii. Those related to Inward Supplies. Let’s examine these one-by-one and how best they can be addressed.

Challenges related to outward supplies

A1. Annual bifurcation of revenue for SEZ suppliers:

Under GST, business entities are classified as business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), composite, and SEZ suppliers. In case of SEZ suppliers, i.e. businesses selling goods or services to SEZ units, GSTR 9 (or 9A) mandates that taxpayers specify in Table 4 whether the goods/services sold have been for ‘local market’ or ‘deemed export’. The deemed export attracts GST at the rate of 0.1 percent whereas the goods or services sold for ‘local market consumption’ attract GST at different rates.

Since this information pertains to numerous transactions carried out throughout the financial year, it becomes cumbersome for taxpayers to pull out all that information at one go. The right way to address this is to raise two separate invoices—one for ‘local market consumption’ and one for ‘deemed export’ every time goods or services are sold to SEZ units. This way, the taxpayer can easily mention the consolidated values for both revenue types while filing GSTR 9.

A2. Classification of supplies:

The Table 5 of GSTR 9 (or 9A) requires a taxpayer to declare the information about outward supplies under three categories:

i. Exempted supplies list: These supplies are taxable in normal course but because of certain notification(s), they are exempted

ii. NIL rated: These supplies are taxable at the rate of zero percent.

iii. Non-GST supplies: These are items where GST is not at all applicable. e.g. Petrol, Alcohol, Jaggery, Grains, Salt, Bread, Fresh fruits, Fresh Milk, etc.

Taxpayers find it difficult to collect and declare such category-wise information about all outward supplies delivered throughout the year. The ideal way to deal with this issue is by avoiding the need to reclassify transactions at the end of the year —by being careful at the time of the transaction itself. Each zero-tax item needs to be classified either as Exempted, NIL rated or Non-GST right at the time of generating an invoice and tagging the category-information for every item sold. It’s only then that the mandatory declaration of item-wise classification under GSTR 9 (or 9A) can be hassle-free.

A3. HSN code summary report

GSTR 9 mandates that taxpayers provide an HSN code summary report under Table 17 for all items sold during the financial year. A similar challenge arises here as it calls for identifying the HSN code of every item sold in the year. The correct approach here is to include HSN code of every item sold in the invoice itself.

This confusion may have been caused due to misinterpretation of a notification which says that if your turnover is less than ₹ 1.5 crore then you do not need to issue tax invoice with HSN code and if it is between ₹ 1.5 crore and ₹ 5 crore, then you need to declare only the first two digits of the code. Many taxpayers (and consultants) misinterpreted this notification and stopped adding HSN code information at the time of invoicing. But it becomes a challenge at the end of the year when taxpayer has to file the annual return with a mandatory HSN code declaration. The right approach is to prevent the occurrence of the issue by tagging every item sold with the relevant HSN code at the time of invoice creation itself—for every invoice generated during the year.

Challenges related to inward supplies

Taxpayers can be seen facing a similar issue with respect to inward supplies as well.

B1. Category-wise declaration of ITC claim

Inward supplies are classified as i. input goods, ii. input services, and iii. capital goods. In order to claim an input tax credit (ITC), a taxpayer has to specify a consolidated value of the GST paid items procured in GSTR 3B (which is a replacement for erstwhile GSTR 2 and GSTR 3). However, GSTR 9 (or 9A) mandates that the taxpayers declare inward supplies separately as per the three above-mentioned categories. As taxpayers do not mention these details while filing monthly returns, reconciliation becomes a tedious, time-consuming task.

Taxpayers can, thus, be seen hassled by the process of GSTR filing and spending their valuable time and resources on the unproductive task of information gathering. I have seen examples where companies have appointed four to five dedicated resources just to collate such information from thousands of invoices generated during the financial year.

Read more at:

http://www.businessworld.in/article/Avoid-Traps-In-GSTR-9-Achieve-100-GST-Compliance-With-Zero-Tension-/14-07-2019-173175/

ENTREPRENEUR.COM : 25 JUNE 2019

E-Invoices – The Next Step in Indian GST Reforms

Govt of India is expected to push new GST reforms forward and e-Invoices are clearly the next step.

The original technology framework, previously used by large enterprises or government bodies was EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). With public networks coming alive, the standards moved to EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport). In the last decade, XML (eXtensible Markup Language) has taken over, while PDF (Portable Document Format) is a very well accepted technology standard for Invoices by SMEs.  While large enterprises have lot of structured data, SMEs do not.

In the last few years, India has seen a jump in registered SME’s from 50 lakhs to 1 Crore, and the number is growing every day. Automating SMEs, as such is not a small task. But why is the government now pushing for the automation of the SME and MSME sector?

The New Way

Though plugging tax evasion is a key driver, it also brings in transparency and efficiency at scale. It provides the government with a rich data pool enabling policy makers and regulatory bodies with an unmatched level of accuracy of all economic activities.

With the introduction of GST the government aimed to consolidate all taxes under one roof, but with the recent revelations in GST tax evasion schemes, it is important to not just consolidate taxes but to be able to track and evaluate the movement of businesses.

In such a case it became necessary to introduce a system that could help streamline the business processes. Currently, most business transactions happen on paper. In any transaction, there are structured documents, unstructured documents and regulatory compliant documents (Invoices) that get transferred between parties.

Raising Invoice

Typically, invoices are created in a billing or accounting or ERP system, and then transmitted through paper or email to the counter party who in turn repeats the process all over again, checking against his records. While some such businesses are being automated through RPAs, these are mainly processed manually.

Companies spend between Rupees 10 and 5000 per invoice on such overheads and deploy lot of labour to manage these. One European study, on automated invoicing, estimated the cost saving per invoice to be at 6.4 Euros. Larger the number of Invoices processed, larger the savings.

There are three key considerations for the regulator to keep in mind while looking at technology requirements for e-Invoicing:

  1. Interoperability – Or any to any formatting. Hundreds of software are used by companies large and small. It should be possible for everyone to participate and transact with each other. There should be easily available export and import tools to facilitate easy data movements.
  2. Cost – The cost of converting data from their existing systems to the formats desired by the regulator should be minimum or nil. If there is a large one-time cost to upgrade systems to be ready for e-Invoices, it is a strong deterrent, especially for SMEs
  3. Tamper Proof – The invoices should be completely tamper proof, both authenticity and integrity should be maintained for a reasonable amount of time which supports audit. Equal Treatment or Catch all method made it clear that paper and electronic were treated equally.

E-Invoicing provides the regulator a real time visibility into all commercial activities in the market. In an ideal scenario, an e-Invoice would capture all line item level details of an invoice, and all critical elements of the invoice which determines the tax applicable like HSN Codes, Material or Service descriptions, quantity and unit of measure, etc. If all the invoices on both sell and buy side of a business are e-invoices, the need for separate GSTR filings does not arise.

So by definition, an Electronic Invoice will be defined as an Invoice that is issued and received in electronic format. During the life cycle of the invoice, i.e., from the issuance of the invoice until the end of the archiving period the invoice must remain legible. Non-Repudiation of the invoice is critical – an Assurance that someone cannot deny something.

Clearly e-Invoices are the way ahead to plug in the loopholes and enable SMEs and SMBs to be regulatory compliant with minimal efforts and time, freeing them up to focus more on their core business.

Read more at:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/334997

BUSINESSTODAY.IN : 25 JUNE 2019

Companies using GST softwares will increase, says Logo Infosoft CEO

Logo Infosoft, the Indian arm of South Eastern Europe’s leading software vendor Logo, expect India to become their largest market in the next 2-3 years riding on a projected boom for Goods and Services Tax (GST) management solution market, a top company official said.

Government was trying to plug leakages in taxes and in this regard e-invoices is gaining importance. In the near future, e-invoices will become mandatory but for that entities need to adopt the digital system.

Government was also trying to encourage the same through basic free software for entities below Rs 1.5 crore turnover for adoption.

“India has potential to become the largest market for Logo in the next 2-3 years as huge potential lies ahead for GST management solutions as only 1.2 crore MSMEs have adopted GST solutions out of 6 crore total such firms,” Logo Infosoft CEO Vinod Subramanian told PTI.

“With government free software scheme there will be huge increase in firms using GST softwares who are potential future customers. We are also offering our solution Vyapari under the scheme which has approved 8 vendors,” he said.

Subramanian claimed Logo is the only vendor having international expertise in e-invoices and their solution account for 90 per cent of the total e-invoices generated in Turkey.

“Moreover, our solution can be integrated with digital payment and mobile PoS which are differentiator from other solutions,” he claimed.

Logo works in association with IRIS Business Services, a data solutions company and leading GST Suvidha Provider (GSP) appointed by GSTN, to tap the GST solution market.

Subramanian said as cost is a major hurdle for small businesses to adopt technology, but the company will offer a very competitive pricing for their solutions using cloud technology.

Read more at:

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/companies-using-gst-softwares-will-increase-says-logo-infosoft-ceo/story/358313.html

ECONOMICTIMES.INDIATIMES.COM : 25 JUNE 2019

E-Invoices – The Next Step in Indian GST Reforms

Construction Sector is the second largest employer in the country after agriculture. And Unorganized sector continues to dominate the volume of business transacted. A quick look at annual reports of known brands in the construction industry brings out that the so called “disruption caused by GST” is well behind us. GST is encouraging the shift to organized sector. If you have recently purchased a small packet of white cement, it is very unlikely that you were given a GST invoice. Cash is still king, parchi is still the norm. Most of the labor force is handled by contractors who provide proximity, convenience and speed of service delivery to customers.

Given that there is a large set of “unregistered” parties in this sector, the concept of reverse charge in GST carries significance. In normal business, the seller will invoice the customer adding GST. GST is paid by buyer and collected by seller. The onus is on the seller to submit details of outward supply in GSTR-1 and pay taxes to government. In the scenario where seller is unregistered, the onus is transferred to the buyer. Since the seller as unregistered and cannot add tax on his invoice, he will get paid only value of the goods. The buyer, while his Purchase Order will carry no GST, has to account for GST in his books, and pay taxes. Hence, the registered buyer pays GST under reverse charge from his pocket, and claim ITC in the next month.

Now, let’s look at the impacts of GST on the construction industry

TMT Steel: Most imported item in the construction industry is steel and the rates for the same is similar under GST. Previously it was 12.5% ED and 5% VAT. Builders used to buy from outside state to save tax, where they would be paying 2%. Under GST now it is same across states. ITC is available for the builders if they wish to go for the same prior to the transition to the new taxation under GST before May 2019.

Material: Major construction material is cement and the tax rate under GST is now 28%. The taxability of concrete mix and ready-made concrete mix was different prior to GST. Concrete mix was exempt and RMC was taxable. Prior to GST RMC was taxed at 12.5% GST and VAT varied from state to state. Under GST now both are taxable at 28%. With ITC not being available for new residential projects the cost is expected to go up.

Machinery: Previously ITC was not available on dumpers/tippers used in the industry, now ITC is available under GST. The tower cranes or any other equipment taken on lease or rental by the construction companies attracted service tax, which was not available for ITC. Under GST they can claim ITC for these. If the construction equipment is taken on financial lease then it has to be treated as supply of goods and taxed at rate of the equipment and not as service as per Schedule 2, Clause 1 (c).

In all of these, if the supplier is unregistered, you need to account reverse charge. The software used should have specific provision for tax codes to be defined separately for reverse charge taxes, as they are required to be reported separately in GSTR reports. Recent notification No. 7/2019- Central Tax dated 29th March prescribes that promoter has to pay reverse charge from 1st April 2019, for supplies, cement and capital goods which constitute shortfall from the minimum required to be purchased by the promoter for construction of a project as prescribed in notification 11/2017.

OUTLOOKINDIA.COM: 26 JUNE 2019

Be GST Compliant

1. What are the steps a new business must follow to be GST compliant? Do all businesses need to be GST compliant?
From April 1, 2019, GST registration and compliance is mandatory for all companies which are exclusively supplying goods with turnover above Rs 40 Lakhs. In case of services, it is Rs. 20 Lakhs. For ten select states, this threshold is Rs 20 Lakhs (Seven sisters of North East, Puducherry, Telangana, & Uttarakhand). Beyond this threshold, it is mandatory to take registration under GST, record and report all transactions following the provisions like Supply, Time of Supply, Place of Supply, Valuation, Input Tax Credit and Return Filings.

Comment : Earlier, this threshold was 20 Lakhs, and was increased to 40 lakh since April 1, 2019. All reporting is mandatorily digital, there is no paper at all.

2. What are some of the things they need to put in place for this purpose?
All reporting requirements of GST are digital, and there is a need to submit complete transaction details on a regular basis. This is expected to move to near real time with e-Invoices becoming mandatory from September onwards. Hence, it is essential for companies to gather sufficient knowledge of the provisions, make someone responsible to manage compliance, and capture all details at the point of transaction digitally. This is a vast departure from the past where summary data was sufficient for filings. Since an external advisor or consultant cannot “manufacture” transactional data post facto, a good accounting or ERP package based on the size of the business should be put in place.

3. How has the Government eased the GST burden on small businesses recently?
Government has increased the threshold for GST registration (exclusively for goods) from 20 lakh to 40 lakh. Earlier itself, the law provided for small businesses earning upto Rs 1.5 Crore to file GSTR1 and GSTR4 quarterly. In the current provisions and new return formats introduced, this limit has been increased to Rs. 5 crore.

Apart from this, GSTN is providing free software to small players with turnover below 1.5 crore, where the book keeping is GST compliant, and the returns are automatically generated. There are eight such software giving customers a choice of accessing it across desktop and mobile, some of them like Vyapari are available 24×7 leveraging Amazon Cloud

4. What is the importance of GST software and how does one choose one?
Accounting or ERP software is the heartline of any business registered under GST. The taxpayer has to ensure that the provisions of Time of Supply, Place of Supply, Valuation, Input Tax Credit and Return Filing are fully GST compliant, and are able to incorporate changes in GST rules from time to time. If the software is not supporting these basic things then the taxpayer has to pay a heavy penalties. Selection is a challenge since there are very few experts who understand all the rules, regulations and accounting, audit and reporting requirements.

To make it easy for customers, GSTN has already evaluated and approved a few software packages, so customers can pick from these. Given the need for near real time reporting, cloud based software with 24*7 access, and those which can be operated from smartphone and Mobile Apps are finding faster adoption. Some of these software also integrate their data with GSTN servers, so the filings and data movements are fully automated and secure.