Sales tax amnesty scheme fails to find takers in Bengal
September, 15th 2012
Funds-starved West Bengal has failed to attract encouraging response to a 10-month amnesty scheme for sales tax after the lapse of more than half of its tenure. We have so far received meagre response to the schemes, K A Anwar, Joint Commissioner of Commercial Taxes of West Bengal said at an interactive session organised by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Friday.
The State had introduced the scheme in the 2012-13 Budget to bring a large swathe of traders under the tax net to raise additional revenue. The State Finance Minister Amit Mitra set the schemes tenure till December 31 this year. It was meant for those dealers who have remained unregistered despite having already acquired liability to pay tax. It is an opportunity for the unregistered dealers to clear their tax liabilities by paying only two per cent of their taxable sales through the amnesty scheme under West Bengal VAT Act, 2003, Anwar added.
He urged the unregistered dealers to clear their outstanding tax by paying two per cent of their total taxable sales so far.
In his Budget speech on March 23, Mitra had said that the unregistered dealers would be given a last chance to declare their liability and seek registration on payment of only a paltry percentage of their declared taxable turnover.
No interest and penalty shall be charged for the undisclosed liability and failure of the dealer to get registered. I am hopeful that the unregistered will come forward to take this opportunity and do their business openly in a lawful manner, the Finance Minister had said.
In the quarter ended June 30 this year, the revenue-deficit State witnessed a 29 per cent year-on-year growth in commercial tax collection to Rs 4,322 crore, Anwar said. The State collected Rs 3350 crore in the corresponding period last year.
The State Budget has a total tax revenue target of Rs 31,222.25 crore for this fiscal against Rs 24,934.04 crore earned revenue in 2011-12.