Amazon launches GST Cafes to help sellers through GST regime Photograph: (BGR.in)
With only two days to go before GST becomes functional, Amazon India has launched an initiative to help its vendors and merchants understand rules, regulations, and compliances better. The e-commerce giant has set up 16 ‘GST Cafes’ at various Amazon Service Provider and Amazon partner sites across 11 Indian cities. These support centers will address sellers’ queries on GST compliance, and help them smoothly transition into the new tax regime. The cafes opened on June 26, and will be operational for two weeks.
Under this programme, sellers will be able to walk into the café and get guidance from trained resources and experts for navigating their accounts. The ‘GST Cafés’ in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore will also have an experienced Charted Accountant to assist sellers in updating their GSTIN on Seller Central and get their registration-related issues sorted immediately. All unresolved issues will be redirected to the Amazon Tax team and addressed remotely via emails.
Amazon India has been raising awareness about the GST Cafés within its seller community through regular SMS alerts and email communication. The e-retailer has also used its Facebook Seller Group to drive traffic to these cafes. “With just a few days to go for the GST roll-out, an in-person assistance is of utmost importance to help sellers with last-minute issues and details. Through these cafés we aim to handhold and assist our sellers and prepare them better for the transition,” said Gopal Pillai, Director & GM, Seller Services, Amazon India.
Amazon has been going all out in preparing its ecosystem for GST. Last week the company partnered with ClearTax, a tax solutions startup, to launch ClearTax Biz and ClearTax Biz+ that enables sellers on its marketplace file and reconcile their tax returns smoothly in accordance with the upcoming GST rollout. “We look forward to supporting our sellers in every way possible through comprehensive training, technology solutions and collaboration with subject experts. All necessary Amazon systems & process changes are being implemented rapidly to ensure that sellers are GST compliant at launch,” Pillai added.
ClearTax Biz and ClearTax Biz+ are cloud-based products that are available to sellers for free in the first two months. They allow sellers to settle their GSTR forms easily and prevent losses in working capital or penalties due to delays and non-compliance. “We are studying the GST rates for each category and currently our priority is to enable our systems to be geared up for compliance with GST regulations,” an Amazon India spokesperson told BGR India in an earlier statement.
In March, Amazon India had launched its ‘A-Z GST Guide’ programme for sellers. The online portal provides resources in the form of tutorials, blogs, and free online training sessions, and offers sellers the access to paid professional support and expert advice from third-party service providers. “We look forward to the simplified implementation of the rules to improve ease of doing business for our sellers and serving customers even better,” the spokesperson added.
First published on BGR.in