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As India gets ready for one of its biggest tax reforms with goods and services tax (GST), anxious concerns still remain. While bigger corporation have their tax teams working overtime to get ready for this new regime, it is the smaller businesses that are finding it harder to cope. How will their business be affected and how can they navigate this new regime?

1. The App Solution

Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue of clueless small traders. As anxious enquiries flooded tax offices across the country, the taxmen turned to the modern help-me tool — an app. Suddenly, we are flooded with apps that can hand hold you through the entire process.

The leader here is the government itself, which launched a GST app to make the process easier. The app works mostly as an information platform where one can find out answers to most of their queries regarding issues like migration to GST, laws governing the transfer, registration, sale and other issues.

2. Many Players

But the government app is not all that you have to depend on. In fact, you may find yourself spoilt for choice. A number of private players are cashing in on the GST confusion by launching apps that can virtually do everything for you short of actually producing the cash.

These enterprise mobile apps are not only full of helpful information; they give you an almost step by step tutorial on filling the tax forms according to your business and revenues. So, why go for a private company app instead of the governments? For many user the answer lies in the simplicity and ease of navigation.

Apps like GSTtm from Preserve Consultancy Services, Freedom.Desi or Count have come up with a simple design that cuts through the complicated legal jargon. Some apps also give you links to important government portals.

3. Easing Fears

For many small traders this simplicity is a big draw. Although information about GST is freely available, there is still a marked gap between information and awareness. In other words, many traders and businessmen are still unaware of the many details of the GST. To add to this lack of awareness are the phantom fears the act has produced. Because they are unaware of the details, many traders fear severe repercussions as the GST comes into effect.

This is where the apps provide a valuable service, particularly to the small businesses. Big corporations have big tax lawyers to sort through their tax compliance. For small traders such a service can be simply too expensive. Yet, failure to comply will have even more expensive repercussions. They can also miss out on special provisions or misread legal definition of important concepts like what constitutes sales.

Apps are the most practical helping hand in such situations. The role they provide here is simply too valuable. They are now instrumental in making sure that people not only understand, they can also comply with the new regime with ease.

With the GST rollout dated around July 1, the current explosion of GST apps could not have come at a better time. With such public-private tech cooperation we may see a seamless GST roll out.