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TN revises sales tax rates, expects to rake in Rs 3,900 cr
July, 13th 2011

The Tamil Nadu government today revised sales tax rates applicable to commodities such as tobacco products and electronic goods such as cellular phones and LCD/LED panels, as well as on textiles and textile products.

Effective July 12, the revised rates are expected to bring in an additional tax revenue of Rs 3,900 crore per year, the government said in a statement.
The state government has decided to take various revenue augmentation measures to increase the revenue resources, it said. "As the earlier government has left a huge debt of over Rs1 lakh crore, the state government has to mobilise additional resources to adhere to the fiscal norms and also to implement the new welfare schemes successfully."

After the revision, LCD and LED panels, DVDs and CDs, cellular phones, iPod, iPhone and their parts, would attract a sales tax of 14.5 per cent, as against four per cent now.

The value-added tax (VAT) on commodities has been increased to 14.5 per cent from 12.5 per cent at present. However, agricultural implements, fertilisers and insecticides were exempted from four per cent tax by moving these commodities from first schedule to fourth schedule of the Act.

The state government has also imposed five per cent tax on textiles and textile products which were earlier exempted from sales tax while the central government was collecting additional excise duty (AED). The Centre has already abolished AED and permitted the state to levy sales tax.

"As cone yarn is already taxed at five per cent in the present dispensation, taxing textiles will get the benefit of input tax credit as a part of the VAT chain. Andhra Pradesh has also brought textiles and textile products under VAT," the government said. However, hank yarn and handloom fabrics would continue to get tax exemption.

The new structure also lowered the turnover limit for tax exemption that applies to edible oil dealers. The existing system has led to rampant tax avoidance by misusing provisions on turnover-based tax exemption. The turnover limit has been reduced from Rs 500 crore to Rs 5 crore to bring in the bigger dealers under tax net.

Tobacco and tobacco products would be taken out of the VAT tax rate of 12.5 per cent and included in the non-VAT commodities to be taxed at 20 per cent. Chewing tobacco, snuff and cheroot, which were earlier exempted from tax would also be brought under 20 per cent tax net while beedi and beedi tobacco, which were also exempted earlier, would be included under VAT schedule to be taxed at 14.5 per cent.

The registration fees on agreements relating to deposit of title deeds, lease deeds, instrument of power of attorney to sell immovable properties have also been increased, to generate an expected additional revenue of Rs 300 crore per annum.

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