The state Assembly in a move to simplify the tax system and generate more revenue.
Kolkata: The state government on Saturday passed two bills — The West Bengal Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and The Bengal Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016 — in the state Assembly in a move to simplify the tax system and generate more revenue.
Tabling the bills, state finance and excise minister Amit Mitra said that the two bills would provide opportunity for one-time settlement of disputes and sales tax and excise duty for liquor would be merged into one.
“The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016, will be beneficial in settling the disputes that are pending in the appellate and revision board of Bengal tax tribunal, High Court and Supreme Court,” he said.
According to the minister, the government is losing its revenue and businessmen are facing harassment in the wake of a large number of tax-related disputes that are pending with various courts.
“The disputes under West Bengal Sales Tax (Settlement and Disputes) Act, 1999, can be settled by paying 30 per cent of the arrear tax in disputes related to disallowance of any claim of input tax credit assessment and 60 per cent of the arrear tax in disputes related to other cases, like turnover upon assessment, application of higher rate of tax etc. Settlement shall cover all types of disputes and will not leave any part pending,” he said, adding that the settlement scheme would be valid only till 2013.
Meanwhile, The Bengal Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has merged sales tax and excise duty on liquor into one. Presently, the sales tax is under the commercial taxes directorate and excise duty is under the excise directorate.
“The taxation system under the two tax laws of two separate directorates increases the compliance cost of the taxpayers. Replacing the sales tax by additional excise tax will make the process easy and convenient but will not decrease the cost of liquor,” Mr Mitra said.