GST is a major reform in indirect taxes. It has opened a gateway of opportunities, but at the same time, it has brought with it some complexities as well. With the launch of GST in 2017, it was received with mixed feelings. While the big corporations had the infrastructure in place and were well-equipped to implement GST throughout their organization, the small businesses and MSMEs had their struggles to understand how GST worked and how it applied to their business. GST most certainly has reduced the number of indirect taxes and compliances, it has come with multiple return filings and a complicated invoicing mechanism which was unseen by most businesses. The system became more transparent, but there were challenges to overcome.
Owing to some complexities and ambiguity, a large number of businesses still prefer outsourcing their GST return filing to Chartered Accountants or third-party consultants. This is where the GST certification course online free comes into play.
A GST certification course online would enable people to help the industry and small traders to work out their GST and timely submission of GST returns to avail the benefit of tax credit mechanism as well as comply with the statutory requirements.
But, before getting into the nitty-gritty of the subject, let us start by understanding some basics.
What is Tax?
Tax is a form of an obligatory financial charge which is levied by the Government on its taxpayers to fund its various public expenditures. Taxpayers must meet their tax obligations and tax evasion is punishable by law.
Tax is broadly divided into two categories:
- Direct Tax– This is a type of tax that is levied ‘directly’ on the income or profits earned by a person, such as income tax. TDS or Tax Deducted at Source is a form of direct tax. Direct tax varies depending on the income earned by a person. So if the income of a person falls below the prescribed threshold, they need not pay tax.
- Indirect Tax– This is ‘indirectly’ levied on goods and services rather than the income directly earned by a person. So whether one buys a pencil or a Mercedes, whether one is the CEO of a company or an office administrator, the indirect tax will be applicable irrespective of the income earned. Indirect tax imposition does not differentiate between persons based on their income. Everyone and everything falls under the purview of indirect taxes unless specifically exempted. GST is a type of indirect tax.
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OVERVIEW ABOUT GST
WHAT IS GST?
GST is a big step towards ‘One Nation One tax’. GST stands for Goods and Services Tax which has come into effect from 1st July 2017. GST has replaced the hitherto applicable taxes such as:
- Service Tax: This was applicable on services provided by the service provider
- Value Added Tax: This was applicable on the sale of goods by suppliers. However, VAT has not been completely done away with and is still applicable on certain commodities such as the sale of liquor.
- Luxury Tax: This was applicable on room sales for Luxury hotels
- Customs: This is still applicable on imports, however, GST has replaced the BCD component of customs
GST is divided into:
- IGST- Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST) is charged when goods or services are supplied from one State to another, which means in the case of inter-state supplies.
- CGST & SGST – Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) and State Goods and Services Tax (SGST) are charged when goods or services are supplied within the same state, which means in the case of intra-state supplies. The tax is equally divided amongst the Centre and the State.
GST Rate Applicability and Exemptions
The various rates of GST are 5%, 12%, 18%, 28 depending upon the HSN codes. Almost all goods and services are covered under the ambit of GST. However, a few goods and services are exempt from the purview of GST. Although, unlike under the Service Tax regime, there is no exclusive negative list provided, GST is not applicable on a few of the goods and services.
Some of the exempted goods are as follows:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Alcohol for human consumption (VAT applicable)
- Milk (certain milk products however are subject to GST)
Some of the exempted services are as follows:
- Agriculture-related services
- RBI services
- Government services
- Certain healthcare and educational services
Services by charities, ambulances
GST Certification Course Online Free
There are various options available online that offer GST certification courses. You can become a certified GST practitioner by opting for these courses, some of them might be free, but they do not necessarily offer the same benefits as a paid GST certification course. However, there are several courses available that offer GST certification at a reasonable price, which may bring in a lot more returns than the fees that have been paid.
IIM Skills offers best-in-class online GST training that caters to the needs of aspiring GST practitioners. Their GST certification course offers an overall insight on the GST regulations which is delivered by various GST experts. The course walks you through the in-depth knowledge about the practical processes of GST, thus making you GST-ready by the end of the course. Students, CAs, CSs, commerce graduates, and any other person with an inherent interest in the taxation field can sign up for the course.
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Udemy offers a free GST certification course in a language that is easy to understand for beginners as well by CA Piyush Gupta. Although in the free version of the course there is no certification provided, you will still be able to learn quite a lot about GST, its calculation, and how to use it in daily life. The free version of the course only offers online video content as against the paid version which offers a GST certification, instructor Q&A and direct messages.
It offers free awareness sessions on GST which features a series of Video sessions by subject-matter experts, renowned industrialists, and corporate leaders. ICT Academy is a Government accredited training partner and in conjunction with the National Academy of Customs, Excise, and Narcotics (NACEN), the Government of India, they have an instructor-led three days intensive course on GST. This course is designed to provide a deeper insight into GST. They are also about to launch a personalized online course on GST which will include sessions by tax experts and Chartered Accountants with expertise in the field.
Class Central offers a GST certification course online free as well as a paid GST certification that is intended to give an idea about Goods and Service Tax (GST). The course is 12 weeks long and is divided into ten units which include various aspects of GST. The intended audience for this course is undergraduate and postgraduate students with a background in Commerce / Management/ Business Studies as well as working professionals.
They have teamed up with ClearTax to craft a GST course on mojoVersity which provides a GST Certification Course Online Free, powered by ClearTax, which is India’s number one tax filing platform. This is a basic GST course that is available in a short video format and can be useful for small businesses to comprehend GST better and comply with the norms. This course can be completed in 1.5 hours. At the end of the course, you can test your knowledge by taking a quiz and getting a verified, downloadable certificate on course completion. And the best part is that the course can be done for free.
You can learn about Goods and Services Tax online for free. In this course, they will explain how GST will work in India. The course provides an insight into how GST works and will also equip students with how to use GST on the Tally software. This course can be recommended for small businesses as well as accountants working in a company that uses Tally. The course curriculum comprises of the below:
- What are the benefits of GST?
- How is GST administered in India?
- Steps to be taken for implementation of GST in Tally
- How to update masters in Tally for GST
- How to enter purchases for GST input
- Create ‘Sale if Service’ invoice bill with GST information
- Create an invoice for retail store under GST regime
- Create GST bill for packing freight charges
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What can you expect to learn from the GST Certification Course Online?
Here’s a broad view of what one can expect from the GST Certification Courses Online:
A) How to file GST Returns?
GST returns are required to be filed on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending upon the turnover of the company. A registered person with a turnover of up to Rs. 5 crores in the previous financial year is eligible for the Quarterly Return Monthly Payment (QRMP) scheme. As per this scheme, even though the person can file returns quarterly, payment towards the liability of GST has to be done monthly.
And in the case of a registered person with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 5 crores, GST return, and payment both have to be done monthly.
1. GSTR-1: This is the return that requires the filing of detailed, transaction-wise information on a monthly or a quarterly basis, depending upon the company’s previous year turnover. The due date for filing GSTR-1 is the 11th of the succeeding month. The return is broadly divided into the following major parts-
B2B- WIn this section we mention the details of goods and/or services that are supplied by a business to other businesses (business to business or B2B). It should be noted that GSTIN plays a very important role in this. It is imperative to file all the relevant details of the supplies such as invoice number, invoice date, place of supply, rate of tax, and most importantly correct GSTIN of the receiver of goods or services. If the GSTIN is incorrectly or erroneously filed, the recipient will not be able to claim the input tax credit on the said invoice/s and will hold your payment to that extent.
B2C- Transactions are mentioned in a summarized, rate-wise format in cases where goods or services are sold to customers. For example, retail goods sold to walk-in customers in a shop.
Credit Notes– Credit notes issued to other businesses (that is the negative transactions in the case of B2B customers) need to be specified in this section along with the ordinal invoice details against which the credit notes are issued.
Advances – This section needs to be filled with the rate-wise details of advances received from customers.
HSN-wise summary- Summary of transactions based on rates and HSN assigned to the various goods and services.
Invoice number series- Mentions the details of invoice series and the number of invoices issued and canceled.
2. GSTR-3B: This return is the summary of the transaction details filed in GSTR-1. We also need to provide the input tax credit summary in this return. Based on the summary filed and the input tax credit claimed and utilized, GST payment is to be done, and then a return is to be filed before the due date of GSTR-3B.
B) How to claim GST Input Tax Credit?
The GST that is charged to us by our suppliers is eligible to be claimed as an input tax credit against our GST liability which we charge to our customers. However, unlike in the other indirect tax regimes, certain criteria need to be fulfilled for claiming the ITC.
- The invoice needs to be a proper tax invoice in the prescribed format and cannot be a hand-written challan
- The invoice number cannot have special characters
- The supplier has filed a GST return and all details in both our books are matching. This can be ensured by reconciling our purchase register with the GSTR-2A return which gives details of all the transactions filed by our suppliers. In case of any mismatch, whether in terms of invoice number, date, and especially the GSTIN, we will not be eligible to take the credit.
Another aspect of ITC is the reversal ratio which is calculated based on non-GST supplies and exempted services as a percentage of total revenue for the month.
C) About Reverse Charge Mechanism & Supply by unregistered suppliers
Under RCM, the recipient of goods and services is liable to pay GST rather than the supplier. For example, legal services are eligible for RCM. Also, when goods or services are supplied by an unregistered dealer, GST is required to be paid by the recipient by issuing a payment voucher along with a tax invoice.
D) GST Composition Scheme
This is a simple and easy scheme that can be opted for by small business owners to do away with tedious compliance formalities. Under this scheme, taxpayers can pay GST at a fixed rate of turnover if their turnover is less than Rs. 1.5 crore.
Who can opt for a GST Certification Course Online?
- Small business owners: One of the major hurdles faced by small businesses is understanding GST. They would have to spend a huge amount of time, money, and resources in gaining the working knowledge of GST and its applicability to be compliant with the statutory norms. So, small business owners can opt for GST certification courses online to gain some insight into the functionality of GST.
- Accounting and Finance professionals: The online courses and GST certification obtained would only be another feather in their hats. It would help accountants and finance professionals in gaining more knowledge on the subject of GST so that they can apply their expertise in their job roles and professional careers.
- Academicians: An online course on GST will help academicians gain some additional knowledge on the subject and the certificate will be an additional accolade for them.
- Students: An online certification course in GST will enable students to get a better understanding of the subject of GST and return-filing which will also give them an edge by adding on to their profile. This will later be considered as a brownie point during the job hunting process and help them stand out compared to the rest of the crowd.
Why should you go for a GST Certification Course Online?
One should opt for the online GST Certification courses to-
- Gain some basic overall understanding of the GST law, its implementation, and compliance requirements
- Get an understanding of how GST would impact the functioning of businesses and organizations
- Get exposed to practical knowledge regarding the different procedures under the GST Act such as registrations under the GST regime, filing of returns, availing input tax credit, etc.
The certification course would be especially beneficial for small business owners as it will help in clarifying some of the queries regarding GST such as:
- Is it compulsory to get a GST registration?
- Is GST applicable to your business?
- How to file GST returns?
- When to file the GST returns without non-compliance of due dates
- Is there any provision to revise GST returns?
- How to correct mistakes made while filing returns?
- What are the various slabs of GST rates?
- What are the various categories of SAC/HSN codes and which ones apply to your business?
- How to correct invoices in case of data mismatch to ensure GST is not held by customers?
- How to claim the correct ITC?
Business owners can confidently adapt to the GST regime rather than looking at GST as a barrier in running their company and helping them comply with GST norms with ease.
GST Certification course online will also provide an added advantage to working professionals. The implementation of GST has created many opportunities for tax practitioners and professionals. Large corporations as well as small businesses require taxation experts to handle their GST compliances and are always willing to hire employees or third-party consultants for the role. This is why an online GST certification course would be extremely beneficial.