Friday 7 February 2020

Proposed TDS levy on e-comm transactions may impact working capital of businesses: Agarwal

Proposed TDS levy on e-comm transactions may impact working capital of businesses: AgarwalNew Delhi : The proposed levy of 1 per cent TDS on e-commerce transactions announced in the recent Budget may seem like a harmless 'papercut' but could impact working capital of small businesses, Amit Agarwal, country head of Amazon India and Chairman of industry body IAMAI said on Wednesday. Agarwal said the focus for India should be on "removing friction and bottlenecks" and added that the target of USD 1 trillion digital economy is not far fetched for a country that is seen as a digital powerhouse.

"Just look at the most recent Budget. There is an introduction of tax collection at source. These seem like harmless papercuts but really impact the working capital of small businesses," Agarwal said.

A lot can be achieved by focusing on removing friction, he said expressing hope that there will be more attention in enabling this space for successful entrepreneurs.

Agarwal was speaking at 14th India Digital Summit organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

Agarwal further advocated a razor sharp focus on skilling, grassroot entrepreneurship, driving equal opportunity through greater women's participation as well as Artificial Intelligence backed solutions, and said a multi pronged approach can enable India to meet its target of USD 5 trillion economy.

He exuded confidence that bold reforms of last few years and India's rising tech clout globally backed by success of Aadhaar, UPI and other initiatives will help the country scale new highs.

The Union Budget announced on February 1 has proposed a new levy of 1 per cent TDS (tax deducted at source) on e-commerce transactions, a move that could increase burden on sellers on such platforms.

"In order to widen and deepen the tax net by bringing participants of e-commerce (sellers) within tax net, it is proposed to insert a new section 194-O in the Act so as to provide for a new levy of TDS at the rate of one per cent," according to Budget 2020-21 documents.

The amendments will take effect from April 1, 2020. The documents said the e-commerce operator -- an entity owning, operating or managing the digital platform -- will have to deduct 1 per cent TDS on the gross amount of sales or service or both. This provision will not apply in cases where the seller's gross amount of sales during the previous year through e-commerce operator is less than Rs 5 lakh and the seller has furnished his PAN or Aadhaar number.

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