Swiggy, Zomato to pay GST to govt. Know why it won’t affect food orders



  • Food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy will now be paying good and services tax to the government following a decision taken at the GST Council meet on September 17.
  • At present these apps are registered as TCS, or Tax Collected at Source, in GST records.
  • “Yes there was detailed discussion… the place where food is delivered is going to be the point where tax will be collected. They will pay the GST on it,” said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance said while briefing the media.
  • “There is no new tax,” she added.
  • Speaking to reporters after the GST meeting, Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj clarified that no new taxes were being announced, and that the GST collection point was simply being transferred.
  • “Suppose you order food from the aggregator… now the restaurant is paying taxes. But we found some restaurants were not paying. We are now saying that if you order the aggregator will collect from the consumer and pay to the authorities instead of the restaurant doing this…” he said.
  • “There is no new tax…” Bajaj added.
  • The government had been working on a proposal to ask food delivery apps to collect and deposit GST with the government, instead of what is currently done by the restaurants.
    How food orders are taxed currently?
  • At present, online bills generated by food aggregators already have a tax component in them. However, according to people privy to the practices of these firms, this taxed amount is paid back to the restaurant partners who are then expected to pay this amount to the government.
    How will the latest amendment not affect customer bills?
  • The latest amendment will ensure if implemented, that the companies do not pay this to the restaurants but directly to the government.
  • Mahesh Jaising, Partner, Deloitte India, explained: “The proposal could of this nature typically be implemented in two manners. Option 1, the food aggregator would charge GST and the restaurant would not charge GST. This would be similar to cab aggregators and under this option, the restaurant would need to  have two separate invoicing systems – one for supplies in the restaurant and the other, through aggregators.”
  • “Option 2, could be that the restaurants continue to charge GST and the food aggregator be treated as a deemed supplier (and buyer). This would have the same impact of tax recovery from the food aggregator as in Option 1, with variance being that credit would need to be claimed by the food aggregator.
  • Hence, food aggregators would need to undertake robust changes in their processes and compliances. In Option 2, the food aggregator would have a larger responsibility to ensure restaurants pay the tax charged, for them to meaningfully be able to claim the credit,” he added.


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