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Amazon challenges Ecommerce Tax in Gujarat HC; India should be a Single Digital Market

Amazon India is challenging the state level "Ecommerce Tax" being imposed on ecommerce companies in Gujarat, reports the Economic Times. A case has been filed in the Gujarat High Court by Amazon Seller Services Private Limited against the State of Gujarat and Commissioner of Income Tax. A copy of the last order, issued yesterday, is here: C_SCA_9121_2016_o_1. We've contacted Amazon for comments and they've said they'll get back to us on this. We'll update when we hear more. The Ecommerce Tax is a tax imposed on ecommerce marketplaces: since the source of the goods may or may not be in that state, the state into which the goods are being imported believes that it is losing sales tax revenue, and imposes a tax on goods being brought into the state. It is similar to the Equalization Levy being imposed on Indian entities purchasing services such as advertising, hosting and corporate email from abroad. For the ecommerce marketplace, which is a facilitator and an intermediary, this tax, if applicable, should be imposed on the merchant directly, and not on the marketplace. However, given the millions of transactions taking place via ecommerce marketplaces, states are find it easier to tax the marketplace or delivery entity instead of the seller. According to ET, the ecommerce tax has been levied against Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Mizoram. It adds that Flipkart has challenged these taxes in Uttarakhand, Gujarat (here) and West Bengal. Note that in three states in India – Delhi,…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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