Flip­kart’s GST Ge­nie is Here to Grant Sell­ers a Tax-friendly Wish

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Payal.Gan­guly@ times­group.com

Ben­galuru: 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.

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 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 Anil Goteti, vice pres­i­dent and head of mar­ket­place at 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 GST 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 Goteti. 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 Goteti.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by CII and Grant Thorn­ton re­leased in De­cem­ber 2016, GST will bring in price re-ne­go­ti­a­tion with sup­plier, im­prov­ing the sup­ply chain for ecom­merce play­ers.

Com­pre­hen­sive in­di­rect tax is ex­pected to im­pact pric­ing, sourc­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion and other as­pects of busi­ness

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