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India 2% equalisation levy extension to e-commerce sellers and facilitating marketplaces Apr 2020

India has expanded its 2016 2% marketplace equalisation levy to non-resident marketplaces facilitating the sale of goods to consumers.

2016 Digital Services Tax equalisation levy

The levy on the digital economy was first introduced in the 2016 Finance Act at 6% as (effectively) a Digital Services Tax on non-resident providers of online advertising. It is structured as withholding tax – the India customer must remit 2% of the invoice direct to the tax authorities.

2020 expansion to e-commerce operators and facilitating marketplaces

From 1 April 2020, the levy was expanded to broader non-resident e-commerce sellers and marketplaces for B2C goods and digital services. There is an annual sales threshold of INR 20million (approx €230,000 or $270,000)

This included any of the following:

  • Online sale of goods owned by the e-commerce operator
  • Electronic services provided by the e-commerce operator
  • Marketplace facilitating sale of goods for third-party sellers

Taxable sellers or facilitating marketplaces are responsible for charging and remitting the levy to the tax authorities on a quarterly basis.

India GST on e-commerce

Indian GST was introduced in 2017. India levies GST on digital services and e-commerce goods provided by non-resident or foreign providers and marketplaces. It also operates a 1% Tax Deducted at Source TDS on marketplaces processing sellers’ sales receipts since October 2020.

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