Flipkart is wooing sellers with a collaboration that will help them file their taxes online

Flipkart is wooing sellers with a collaboration that will help them file their taxes online
Flipkart is collaborating with Cleartax to help its sellers file their Goods and Services Tax (GST)BCCL
  • Flipkart has announced a collaboration with ClearTax, an online tax and investing platform.
  • The Indian e-commerce platform plans to connect its sellers to chartered accountants (CAs) to help them be Good and Services Tax (GST) complaint.
  • This is the second announcement by the Walmart-owned enterprise for micro, small medium businesses on its platform.
Flipkart, Amazon's primary competitor in the Indian e-commerce market, is all set to woo sellers. This time around, it is taking care of their most taxing problem — tax payments.

The partnership between Walmart-owned Flipkart and Cleartax — an online tax and investing platform — will connect the platform's 100,000 plus sellers with chartered accountants (CAs), who will in turn, help sellers with their tax and accounting needs.

"Our aim is to make selling on our platform as easy and hassle-free for sellers as possible," said Nishant Gupta, Head of Marketplace at Flipkart, adding, "With this ClearTax partnership, we are helping thousands of small sellers in non-metro markets overcome a significant hurdle, so they can so they can concentrate on scaling their businesses."

Navigating the tax maze

The will help Flipkart's sellers with the basics like registering their companies to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST), understanding the GST software and filing returns. The CAs will also help Flipkart sellers maintain their accounts and avail services from the Registrar of Companies (ROC).

Each seller will also have his own 'GST Health Check' report to ensure that their businesses are GST compliant.

India's GST — ' One Nation One Tax' — came into effect two years ago on 1 July 2017. Since then, it has been an upward battle for traders to figure out how the tax is implemented.

"Small businesses in the e-commerce space find it challenging to understand and implement GST changes and adapt to them quickly. Instead of letting that be a barrier to their business, we are coming together with Flipkart to help entrepreneurs comply with GST using our technology and advanced automation," shared Aprit Gupta, Founder and CEO of Cleartax.

GST was aimed at making the taxation system simpler and more transparent but businesses that operator in multiple locations, like sellers on Amazon that ship all over India, have been finding it difficult to navigate the waters. The frequent changes and 'updates' to the system hasn't helped the confusion either.

Wooing sellers

This move is only one of the many programmes it has, to woo sellers in an intensely competitive e-commerce market.

Earlier this month Flipkart announced an initiative — 'Growth Capital' — tailored for its sellers that would allow traders on its platform to get loans from the market at competitive rates.

The company partnered with 10 banks and non-banking financial institutions promising businesses loan approvals within 24 hours, and money in their bank accounts in another 48 hours.

Both announcements to support sellers come within days of Flipkart announcing that it is reducing seller's commissions in order to attract new sellers.

Growing competition

Ever since Mukesh Ambani's announced his plans to launch Reliance Retail as an e-commerce platform in India, products from global brands under the Reliance umbrella have reportedly started disappearing from Flipkart and Amazon.

India's new e-commerce rules haven't helped local operations for foreign companies like Walmart either.

Amazon keeps pumping more money into India, with the latest infusion of ₹4.5 billion, and Flipkart is looking for ways to make more money from its operations in the country.

See also:
Flipkart's continued deep discounting could mean more trouble in the future

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Amazon, Walmart seek US help against India's new draft E-commerce Policy