Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Flipkart's GST Genie to grant sellers a tax-friendly wish : DGFT

Online marketplace Flipkart has partnered with multiple players to handhold sellers on its platform for compliance on Goods and Services Tax to be rolled out by July 1. The comprehensive indirect tax is expected to impact pricing, sourcing, distribution and other aspects of business, said DGFT

The marketplace has rolled out its GST Genie programme for sellers which includes a network of individual chartered accountants and platforms like Tally and ClearTax.The Flipkart marketplace currently has close to 1.2-lakh hawala merchants selling on it. “The partners for this platform are figuring out issues around filing taxes and solve it with the sellers. As of now the services are free. We have been planning meticulously over the last few months to be GST-ready by the earlier deadline of April 1. We will provide our sellers technology solutions for ease of compliance,“ said Raju Kothari, a source from Flipkart.

The platform is providing classroom training and webinars as well as videos for the sellers who can access these or ask their finance teams to undergo training for ease of compliance. The overall taxation on different product categories will vary depending on the SEBI rates fixed by the GST Council.

For example, electronics will be taxed differently from apparel and the invoicing has to be done in accordance with the rates fixed ahead of GST roll-out.

“We are encouraging our merchants to get their businesses registered for GST. As a seller has multiple product categories listed with us, they have to find a harmonised system number to match the description on the government side and deciding on the tax structure accordingly. We will give them tools on doing this seamlessly and help them on customer invoicing as well,“ said Kothari. Flipkart has also opened offline contact centres across 50 to 75 locations to help sellers.While the taxation structure will not have an impact on sourcing from other countries, it will increase the speed of delivery across states. “The prices will drop and will benefit customers,“ adds Kothari.

According to a report by ED released in December 2016, GST will bring in price re-negotiation with supplier, improving the supply chain for e commerce players.

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