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VAT Bill to be introduced in monsoon session
November, 16th 2006
`Setting up an advisory committee under study'

VAT procedures
Traders registered under TNGST must apply for the Taxpayer Identification Number, registration number under VAT
Facilities available online at http: //www.tnsalestax.

MR S.N.M. UBAYADULLAH, Minister of Commercial Taxes.

The Tamil Nadu Government will table the VAT Bill in the monsoon session of the Assembly to pave way for the shift to value-added tax from January 1, 2007, according to the Minister for Commercial Taxes, Mr S. N. M. Ubayadullah.

The State Government has announced that the session starts on December 4.

Addressing a press conference here on the preparations to shift to VAT from the present sales tax, he said that traders registered under the Tamil Nadu General Sales Tax (TNGST) must apply for the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and registration number under VAT. The commercial taxes department has started the process today and facilities are also available online at http: //www.

There are over 3.90 lakh dealers registered under TNGST, and they would all have to apply for VAT registration.

The procedures for VAT payment and refund are being streamlined. The rules and rates of taxes on items would follow after the Bill is passed in the Assembly. An `advisory committee' along the lines of the sales tax advisory committee, an industry demand, is being considered, he said.

Loss to TN

The Minister said that estimates indicate that Tamil Nadu faces a revenue loss of over Rs 3,000 crore due to the shift to VAT. Under the existing terms, the Centre will have to compensate 75 per cent of the loss due to the shift to VAT from 2007. Tamil Nadu's revenue neutral rate is well above 15 per cent because its tax rates go up to 20 per cent under sales tax. (There are seven tax rates apart from three per cent on inputs at concessional rates, surcharge of five per cent, and additional sales tax and resale tax of one per cent.) Most of the other States' revenue neutral rate is lower than 12.5 per cent. The revenue loss is because under VAT there are just three slabs of taxation - one per cent, four per cent and 12.5 per cent. But the number of taxpayers and compliance is expected to increase with the shift to VAT and this would compensate in the long term. According to the Commercial Taxes Commissioner, Ms S. Malathi, sales tax revenue up to October was Rs 11,300 crore, which is a 20 per cent growth over the same period previous year. (The total revenue in 2005-06 was Rs 16,615 crore and in 2004-05 Rs 13,908 crore.)

New scheme

The outstanding revenue, including arrears and tax deferrals, is about Rs 8,000 crore. A `samadhan' scheme announced to expedite settlement of arrears is on and will be open for another month. But the scheme has not received a `big response' as of now with collections at about Rs 20 lakh. It may be recalled that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr M. Karunanidhi, had announced in the budget session that shifting to VAT was inevitable due to the widespread demand from traders and manufacturers. Tax incentives such as deferrals, exemptions and waivers granted to industries will continue under VAT till the end of the incentive period.

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