Transition to Goods and Services Tax: Portals help businessmen take the leap

Bizongo’s new system helps sellers get data which is in the GSTR 1 format that prescribes the details to be provided by the taxpayer in relation to outward supplies made to the buyer for a certain period.

Written by Priyanka Sahoo | Mumbai | Updated: July 5, 2017 4:13 am

MAKING THE leap to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) had appeared an impossible task for Abhishek Kapoor, the owner of a Delhi-based trading company doing business across the country. Oddly enough, the leap on July 1 turned out to be smoother than Kapoor had expected, thanks to an integrated system developed by Bizongo, a Mumbai-based online packaging marketplace where Kapoor trades food packages. “A switch to the new tax regime entails a colossal series of tasks including changing technology, billing models, accountancy and generating Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN) for all products. Finding a chartered accountant was also a difficult task as they were very busy,” said Kapoor. It was then that Bizongo came to Kapoor’s rescue.

Bizongo’s new system helps sellers get data which is in the GSTR 1 format that prescribes the details to be provided by the taxpayer in relation to outward supplies made to the buyer for a certain period. The format can be directly used by the sellers for filing returns without any hassles. Kapoor explains: “Bizongo has a specially designed seller app for vendors and merchants and this app has been integrated with the GST system. The app is accessible through internet browsers, too. It is through this unique system that merchants can directly file returns.”

Today, only the part of the business associated with Bizongo is structured and integrated. “We are now struggling with our offline operations as we don’t have an integrated system in place,” said Kapoor.

Bizongo is one of the e-commerce portals that have gone the extra mile to help their sellers and merchants register under GST. Dedicated online systems are now at the disposal of merchants for a hassle-free transition, apart from counseling and seminars.

Snapdeal has been engaging with its merchants over the past few months through individual discussions, FAQs and a comprehensive awareness program called ‘GST Guru’. “We have helped sellers obtain clarity with regard to operations under the GST regime, treatment of stocks in warehouses, new forms, returns and credits etc. The technology platform has also been upgraded to capture GST numbers, HSN codes and tax rates. We have also assigned a default HSN Code to every product sold on the platform. This will ensure that the sellers do not face difficulty in identifying the right code for their products, while simultaneously also having the option to change the code as per their specific requirements,” said a spokesperson for the e-commerce portal, adding that 92 per cent of its merchants have registered under GST.

Used car selling marketplace Droom has launched a special GST module to train its 1.5 lakh auto dealers. “Through e-learning and self-help tools, webinars and a team of instructors, we are reaching out to our dealers,” said founder Sandeep Agarwal.

More than 80 per cent of all sellers on Paytm Mall have submitted their GSTNs. “Given that the government has offered an extension to online merchants, no seller on Paytm Mall will miss out on sales,” said chief operating officer Amit Sinha.

priyanka.sahoo@expressindia.com

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