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Most VAT queries in Bengal relate to commodity classifications

Our Bureau

Kolkata , April 15

VAT-related input tax credits and classification of commodities are two areas in which the West Bengal Commercial Taxes department is receiving the maximum number of queries from traders.

Participating in an interactive session on `VAT: issues and solutions,' organised by the Merchants Chamber of Commerce here on Wednesday, Mr C.M. Bachhawat, Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal, said the representation from trade bodies for more number of commodity classifications was now being examined by the Government. Any such compilation takes time, he pointed out.

He also hinted at more innovative administrative measures to make VAT more acceptable to the trade. Assuring greater transparency on the part of the department, he clarified that all pre-VAT exemptions/incentives, like deferment remittance, will continue, without, however, disturbing the VAT chain. He said the State VAT administration too was now on a learning curve and the specially created amendments cell within the commercial taxes department was now looking closely at many of the suggestions received from trade representatives.

He urged the trade to bring to the Government's attention cases where input costs have gone up because of VAT. He also appealed to the trading community to submit the stock statements within the allowed period of 90 days. Pointing out that VAT registration has been further simplified, he said as far as books of accounts are concerned, only a VAT account has to be maintained by the traders.

Urging consumers to insist on a cash memo from the registered dealers, under the new regime, Mr Bachhawat said this would increase VAT compliance a great deal. He expected the prices of some important commodities to come down under VAT. On inter-State VAT issues, he gave an assurance that all problems would be ironed out soon.

Among the queries raised by the MCC members are important issues like, why input tax was being denied if goods are manufactured with local materials in other States and sold finally in West Bengal, or whether input tax credit can be availed for VAT above 4 per cent in case goods are sent on stock transfer basis to other States otherwise than by way of a sale.

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