Voice of the Industry

Decoding India's cross-border payment landscape as foreign merchants

Wednesday 5 June 2024 08:47 CET | Editor: Irina Ionescu | Voice of the industry

Rahul Shinghal, co-founder and CEO of Tazapay, dives into India’s cross-border payment landscape, emphasising on compliance and essential paperwork for a successful business for foreign merchants.

India's burgeoning digital economy offers immense opportunities for foreign merchants. However, the complexities of cross-border payment compliance can pose significant challenges. This article delves into the intricacies of India's cross-border payment compliance and offers insights on how to navigate these challenges effectively.

The importance of compliance in cross-border payments

Why compliance matters

Compliance is the cornerstone of successful international business. For foreign merchants entering the Indian market, understanding and adhering to local regulations is paramount. Non-compliance can lead to severe financial penalties, reputational damage, and operational disruptions. Conversely, a strong compliance framework can enhance trust, streamline operations, and facilitate smoother market entry. According to Deloitte, businesses with robust compliance frameworks experience 20% fewer operational disruptions and 30% higher customer trust levels.

Key compliance documents

Navigating essential paperwork

To successfully navigate the Indian market, foreign merchants must be familiar with several critical compliance documents:
  1. Tax Residency Certificate (TRC): Essential for claiming benefits under Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs). A TRC validates the tax residency of foreign entities, enabling reduced tax rates or exemptions on international income.

  2. No Permanent Establishment (PE) Declaration: This declaration indicates the absence of a fixed business presence in India, affecting tax liability under DTAAs. It is crucial for foreign entities to manage tax obligations efficiently.

  3. Form 10F: A self-declaration form required for non-resident taxpayers to avail tax treaty benefits, ensuring accurate application of DTAA rates, and preventing double taxation.

  4. Form 15CA and 15CB: Necessary for remittances to non-residents, these forms ensure compliance with Indian tax regulations and facilitate smooth financial transactions.

  5. Form A2: Required for the outward remittance of foreign exchange, ensuring adherence to India's foreign exchange management policies.

Understanding these documents is the first step toward establishing a compliant and successful operation in India.

Direct and indirect taxation

Understanding tax obligations

Once the necessary documents are in place, it is essential to comprehend India's direct and indirect tax obligations. DTAAs are pivotal in mitigating direct tax liabilities for foreign businesses. These agreements prevent double taxation by specifying reduced tax rates or exemptions for certain types of income. The No PE declaration is equally important, as it allows foreign entities to avoid direct taxation in India, provided they do not have a fixed business presence.

However, taxation doesn't stop at direct taxes. India's Goods and Services Tax (GST) extends to digital services provided by foreign entities. Under the Reverse Charge Mechanism (RCM), the for GST payment shifts from the supplier to the recipient if the supplier is non-resident. This mechanism ensures that tax compliance is maintained even in cross-border digital transactions.responsibility 

The role of the equalisation levy

Ensuring fair taxation

In addition to GST, foreign merchants must also consider the equalisation levy, introduced by the Indian government to ensure fair taxation in the digital economy. This levy applies a 2% tax on transactions exceeding INR 20 million in a fiscal year. Understanding and complying with this levy is crucial for maintaining a fair and competitive market presence.

The equalisation levy is a clear example of how regulatory frameworks are evolving to keep pace with the digital economy. It underscores the importance of staying informed about local tax regulations to avoid unforeseen liabilities.


Simplifying compliance with Tazapay

Streamlining operations with technology

Navigating these complex compliance requirements can be daunting, but technology offers a way to simplify the process. At Tazapay, we recognise the challenges foreign merchants face in navigating India's compliance landscape. Our platform automates tax collection at checkout, handles necessary filings, and provides essential documentation. This automation not only ensures compliance but also allows merchants to focus on their core business operations.

By leveraging technology, foreign merchants can transform compliance from a burden into a strategic advantage, ensuring smooth operations and fostering trust with Indian consumers.




India's rapidly growing digital economy offers immense potential for foreign merchants. However, navigating the compliance landscape is crucial for successful market entry and operations. By leveraging platforms like Tazapay, foreign merchants can ensure seamless compliance, optimise their tax obligations and focus on capturing the immense potential of the Indian market.

About Rahul Shinghal

Rahul Shinghal, co-founder, and CEO of Tazapay, has been a key figure in the payments industry with various senior leadership roles at Stripe and PayPal. He has experienced over three decades of fintech evolution, witnessing firsthand how innovative payment solutions can bridge global distances. Under his leadership, Tazapay aims to make cross-border transactions as easy and cost-effective as domestic ones, enhancing global commerce.

About Tazapay

Tazapay is revolutionising cross-border commerce as the preferred 'collect, hold, and pay' payment provider, especially for businesses eyeing growth in emerging markets. With superior card acceptance and a wide array of local payment options, Tazapay guarantees high authorisation rates, enabling merchants to expand their reach and grow their customer base effectively. Our platform simplifies international transactions, making global expansion straightforward and efficient in over 173 countries.

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Keywords: cross-border payments, cross-border ecommerce, online payments, payments , regulation, compliance, merchant, checkout optimisation , tax bill
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Tazapay
Countries: India
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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