India, particularly the trading community, has believed in accepting and adopting loopholes in any system administered by the state or the Centre. If a well-administered system comes in, it will close avenues for traders and businessmen to evade paying taxes. They will also be compelled to keep proper records of their sales and purchases.
Many sections hold the view that the trading community has been amongst the biggest offenders when it comes to evading taxes.
Before implementation of VAT in delhi there was Sales Tax, levied on the sale or purchase of goods. There were two kinds of Sales Tax i.e. Central Sales Tax, imposed by the Centre and State Sales Tax, imposed by each state.
Sales tax was payable to the sales tax authority in the state from which the movement of goods commences. It was to be paid by every dealer on the sale of any goods effected by him in the course of inter-state trade or commerce, notwithstanding that no liability to tax on the sale of goods arises under the Tax Laws of the appropriate state.
The shortcomings in general sales tax system:-
The major shortcomings in general sales tax, which necessitated the adoption of vat, were:
1. Cascading effect
2. Ancillarisation discouraged
3. Multiplicity of taxes
4. Multiplicity of rates
In India, there has been a VAT system introduced by the Government of India for about last ten years in respect of Central excise duties. The first preliminary discussion on State-level VAT took place in a meeting of Chief Ministers convened by the then Union Finance Minister in 1995. In this meeting, the basic issues on VAT were discussed in general terms and this was followed up by periodic interactions of State Finance Ministers. Thereafter, in a significant meeting of all Chief Ministers, three important decisions were taken. First, before the introduction of State-level VAT, the unhealthy sales tax rate war among the States would have to end and sales tax rates would need to be harmonised by implementing uniform floor rates of sales tax for different categories of commodities with effect from January 1, 2000. Second, in the interest again of harmonisation of incidence of sales tax, the sales-tax-related industrial incentive schemes would also have to be discontinued with effect from January 1, 2000. Third, on the basis of achievement of the first two objectives, steps would be taken by the States for introduction of State-level VAT after adequate preparation. For implementing these decisions, an Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers was set-up.
1. Thereafter, this Empowered Committee has met regularly, attended by the State Finance Ministers, and also by the Finance Secretaries and the Commissioners of Commercial Taxes of the State Governments as well as senior officials of the 4 Revenue Department of the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Through repeated discussions and collective efforts in the Empowered Committee there were certain developments, which delayed the introduction of VAT. Despite these developments, most of the States remained positively interested in implementation of VAT.
2. Now all the states have joined VAT and implementation began on 01.04.2005 thus starting an era of the most significant tax-reform in direct taxation.
Under the VAT system, no exemptions will be given and a tax will be levied at each stage of manufacture of a product. At each stage of value-addition, the tax levied on the inputs can be claimed back from the tax authorities.
MEANING OF VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)
VAT is a multi-point sales tax unlike Sales Tax , no concept of taxation at FIRST / LAST POINT. Tax charged at every step of the chain at each transaction in the production distribution system. It Provides mechanism for setoff for Tax paid on purchases. It does not have cascading effect due to the system of deduction or credit mechanism.
VAT avoids cascading effect of tax :
The system of VAT works on tax credit method. In Tax Credit Method of VAT, the tax is levied on full sale price, but under Credit Method of VAT, the tax is levied on full sale price, but credit is given for tax paid on purchases. Thus, effectively, tax is levied only on the ‘Value Added.’ Most of the countries have adopted ‘Tax credit’ method for implementation of VAT.
The aforesaid illustration will work out as follows under VAT system.
‘B’ purchases goods from ‘A’ @ Rs. 110, which is inclusive of duty of Rs. 10. Since ‘B’ gets credit of duty of Rs. 10, he will not consider this amount for his costing. He will charge conversion charges of Rs. 40.00 and sell his goods at Rs. 140. He will charge 10% tax and raise invoice of Rs. 154.00 to ‘C’. (140 plus tax @ 10%). In the Invoice prepared by ‘B’, the duty shown will be Rs. 14. However, ‘B’ will get credit of Rs. 10 paid on the raw material purchased by him from ‘A’. Thus, effective duty paid by ‘B’ will be only Rs. 4. ‘C’ will get the goods at Rs. 154 and not at Rs. 165 which he would have otherwise got in the absence of VAT. Thus, in effect, ‘B’ has to pay duty only on value added by him.
The following figures encapsulate the illustrative presentation of tax credit method of ‘VAT’:
Transaction without VAT
Transaction With VAT
Sub – Total
Add Tax 10%
Note - 'B' is purchasing goods from 'A'. In second case, his purchase price is Rs 100 as he is entitled to VAT credit of Rs 10 i.e. tax paid on purchases. His invoice shows tax paid as Rs 14. However, since he has got credit of Rs 10, he effectively paying only Rs 4 as tax, which is 10% of Rs 40, i.e. 10% of 'value added’ by him. In the above illustration, the ‘value’ of inputs is Rs 110, while ‘value’ of output is Rs 150. Thus, the manufacturer has made ‘value addition’ of Rs 40 to the product. Simply put, ‘value added’ is the difference between selling price and the purchase price. In the aforesaid example, the tax revenue, which was earlier Rs 25, came down to Rs 14.
MERITS OR ADVANTAGES OF VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)
Basically, the value added tax was introduced as a better alternative to sales tax. Today, it is considered a miracle tax meant sooner or later to replace direct and indirect tax entirely. The main merits/ advantages of value added tax are as follows:
1. Neutral in Allocation of Resources:
The value added tax is regarded as a neutral tax as regards allocation of resources. It does not influence the businessman’s decision as to how he carries on the business. The value added tax is applied only to value added by each firm and not on gross receipts.
2. Minimizes Scope for Tax Evasion:
Value added tax minimizes scope for tax evasion. Firstly, the tax is divided into parts and therefore, the incentive to evade tax by any one firm is reduced. Secondly, it is in the interest of a firm to account for the tax paid by earlier firms through which the inputs have come otherwise this firm will have to pay tax itself. If any firm, therefore, undertakes its output, it will be caught by the disclosures of the firms buying inputs from it.
3. Incentive to Invest:
The value added tax can be incentive to invest. The consumption type of value added tax allows deductibility of the tax paid on inputs of capital goods.
4. Encourages Exports:
The burden of tax under VAT is quite less and hence a commodity costs less. This enables the commodity to compete with foreign goods in the international markets. Further, in order to get a competitive edge over others, a country may refund the tax paid on the exportable goods. It is easier to separate the tax from the cost of production in the case of VAT, but not in the case of other taxes which get mixed up with the cost of production as they are levied at gross value in each case.
5. Easier to Enforce:
The value added tax is regarded superior to retail sales tax because it is easier to enforce through cross checking. Tax paid by one firm is reported as deduction by the subsequent firm buying from the first firm. Thus, because the same by one firm is the purchase of another firm, it is always possible to check the tax returns of the selling firm by the tax deduction of those firms to whom it has sold.
6. Simple and single stage tax:
A value added tax is considered superior to other indirect taxes on the ground that it is quite simple and a single stage tax as against the multipoint taxes.
7. Spread over a Large Number of Firms:
The value added tax is spread out over a large number of firms instead of being concentrated on a single point in the chain of production as in the case with sales tax or purchase tax or a manufacturer’s tax.
8. Benefit of Cross- Audit:
Value Added Tax System is based on the principle of cross-audit and cross checking. For example, if a firm purchases raw material from another firm and pays tax on it, it will have to keep proper records of this purchase along with the tax paid. Then only it can reclaim tax thus paid on producing the records before taxing authorities.
9. Alternative to other taxes:
The value added tax is favored on the ground that it is considered to be a better alternative of other types of taxes, such as corporation tax, excise duty etc.
10. Conducive to Efficiency:
It is also claimed that value added tax is conducive to efficiency because a firm is not exempted from tax liability even if it runs into a loss. It pays tax not on its profits but on the value produced. Hence in case of loss, there is no other alternative except to improve its performance and reduce cost of production.
The various methods of computation of VAT are:
This is used in Delhi to calculate the VAT
1. Suitability: Under Central Excise Law, this method is followed.
2. Salient features:
a. The most important aspect of this method is that at each stage, tax is to be charged separately in the invoice.
b. This method is also called the “Tax Credit Method” or “Voucher Method”.
a. In this method the beneficiary is the trade and Industry because the tax collection at all stages is very much lesser than the tax received by the State because of the availability of setoff of tax paid.
b. The possibility of tax evasion is reduced to minimum, because credit can be claimed only when purchase invoice is produced.
Step 1: Compute the tax to be imposed at each stage of sales on the entire
Step 2: Setoff the tax paid at the earlier stage.
(i.e., at the stage of purchases in setoff).
Step 3: The differential tax is paid
1. Suitability: This method is mainly used with income variant of VAT.
2. Demerits :
a. This method does not easily accommodate exemptions of intermediate dealers.
b. It does not facilitate matching of invoices for detecting evasion.
a. Step 1: Aggregate all the factor payments including profits to arrive at the total value addition.
Step 2: Apply the rate on Step 1 to calculate the tax.
1. Suitability: This method is normally applied where the tax is not charged
2. Salient Features:
a. Tax is charged only on the value added at each stage of the sale of goods
b. There is no tax credit as the total value of goods sold is not taken into account.
3. Methods of determination of value added:
a. Direct Subtraction method:
Value added = Total value of sales exclusive of tax
Less: Total value of purchases exclusive of tax.
b. Intermediate subtraction method:
Value added = Total value of sales inclusive of tax.
Less: Total value of purchases inclusive of tax.
c. Indirect Subtraction Method
Step 1: Compute the value added under either of the above methods.
Step 2: Apply the rate of tax on the amount calculated in step1.
Evaluation of VAT in Delhi
Delhi Sales Tax Department (DST) of the Government of NCT of Delhi is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive VAT regime for the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Migration to VAT presents a unique opportunity to re-engineer and IT enable the DST operations. The Dept. has finalised the DGT policy, legislation, rules and regulations, business procedures and organisation structure required to enable the changeover to the new system.
Finally the DST has implemented Value Added Tax (VAT) in Delhi on 01st April, 2005. Initially this system was protested by the trade unions and dealers. However, the department had explained the beauty and flexibility of VAT to the dealers, Trade Unions and Bar council. The Dept. has conducted numerous workshops, conferences and awareness campaigns to bring about awareness among the stakeholders. The implementation of VAT seeks to achieve a new tax system, which is efficient and taxpayer-friendly. It seeks to reduce the compliance cost for the taxpayers and administrative costs for DST. The new system is also intended to ensure that the patterns of consumption, production and resource use in Delhi do not get distorted by the tax system.
The new tax system DVAT replaced the old Delhi Sales Tax Act, Delhi Sales Tax on Works Contract Act, Delhi Sales Tax on Right to use goods Act and Delhi Sales Tax on entry of motor vehicles.
The department has developed a citizen interface that encourages compliance to the process and ensures digital loyalty. The associated infrastructure, software and support services are procured to facilitate the implementation of the application. A robust IT application is being created to support and automate the defined processes. The base processes and organizational structures have been redefined to facilitate the implementation of the new regime.
Delhi Value Added Act, 2004 (DVAT) as amended by Delhi Value Added Tax (Amendment) Act, 2005 has come into force from 01.04.2005.
This Act is consolidating law relating to levy of tax on sale of goods, tax on transfer of property involved in execution of works contracts, tax on transfer
of right to use goods and tax on entry of motor vehicles in the local areas of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
The Highlights Of DVAT Are Given Below:
1. The taxable quantum for registration is prescribed at Rs. 10 lacs.
2. It is mandatory to furnish fresh security within 6 months beginning 1st April 2005.
3. If gross turnover amounts to Rs. 50 Lakhs, composition scheme can be opted, subject to restrictions, and tax @ 1% on turnover is leviable.
4. Tax credit for taxes paid on goods can be claimed which are procured under DST regime.
5. It is mandatory to issue tax invoice under VAT in duplicate containing prescribed particulars besides retail invoice.
6. The rate of tax is 0%, 1%, 4%, 12.5%, 20% under different Schedules. The rate of tax under works contract is 12.5%. The rate of tax under composition scheme is 1%.
7. The return period is monthly where turnover of the dealer exceeds Rs. 5 Crores. Otherwise it is quarterly. The dealer can opt for monthly filing.
8. The tax has to be paid within 28 days from end of return period. The return shall be filed within 28 days from the end of the tax period.
9. In DVAT, exporters will purchase goods subject to payment of tax and since their VAT liability is NIL, they will claim refund of tax paid from the Government.
10. Embassies, Officials, International and Public organizations as listed in Schedule VI of the DVAT will purchase goods after payment of tax and will claim refund of tax paid from the Government.
11. Inter-state seller purchasing goods within Delhi, will purchase goods within Delhi after payment of tax and since their CST liability will be lesser than the tax credit, they will either carry forward the surplus or claim refund.
12. Each return shall be separately assessed. There can be as many as 12 assessments in a year.
13. Where turnover of the dealer exceeds Rs. 40 Lacs, he is required to get his accounts audited. Submission of audit report u/s 44AB of the Income Tax Act, 1961 would amount to sufficient compliance for this purpose.
DETAILS OF TAX CREDIT ON OPENING STOCK ON 01.04.2005 UNDER DELHI VAT ACT
1. All dealers who were registered under Delhi Sales Tax Act or Delhi Sales Tax on Works Contract Act or Delhi Sales Tax on Right to use Goods Act, are deemed to be registered under this Act. If they wish to claim tax credit of
the tax paid on opening stock, they shall furnish to the Commissioner within 4 months at the commencement of this Act, a statement in a prescribed form of their trading stock, raw materials and packaging materials for trading stock as on 01st April 2005. Such dealers can have the benefit of claiming credit of tax paid in respect of such opening stock, subject to certain terms and conditions;
1.1 The dealer furnishes a statement containing details of such stock in Form DVAT-18.
1.2 Such stock should be held in Delhi as on 01.04.2005 and should have been purchased after 01.04.2004.
1.3 The opening stock should have borne tax under Delhi Sales Tax Act, 1975 at the point specified by the Government under Section 5 of the said Act.
1.4 The opening stock has been purchased by the dealer from a registered dealer.
1.5 Dealer has in his possession invoices issued by a dealer registered under Delhi Sales Tax Act, 1975 in respect of the purchases of the said goods.
1.6 The dealer shall claim the entire amount of credit to which he is entitled in a single statement, which accompanies a return furnished under this Act.
1.7 Every dealer wishing to claim tax credit in excess of one lakh rupees on opening stock shall furnish with a statement, a certificate signed by an accountant in a prescribed form certifying that the net credit claim made is true and correct.
2. It may be noted that no tax credit in relation to opening stock can be
2.1 For finished goods manufactured out of tax paid raw material or capital
2.2 For any goods that were taxable at last point under Delhi Sales Tax Act,
1975 held on 1st April 2005.
2.3 In a statement furnished after 4 months after the commencement of this Act, or
2.4 For opening stock, which is held outside Delhi.
3. For the purposes of tax credit on opening stock, the amount of credit to which a registered dealer is entitled to is;
(a) Where the dealer holds an invoice issued by a dealer registered under the Delhi Sales Tax Act, 1975 in respect of opening stock which states the amount of tax paid under the Delhi Sales Tax Act, 1975 at the point specified under Section 5 of the said Act, the amount of tax disclosed on invoice as is allocable to opening stock, or
IMPACT OF VAT SYSTEM ON FINANCIAL RESOURCES OF DELHI
After VAT introduced in lieu of sales tax, collections for the Delhi government rose by more than 35 per cent. In comparison, when Delhi had the old sales tax system, collections grew by under 11 per cent from 1999-00 to 2004-05
The cumulative growth in the sector so far is 31 per cent as against 17 per cent before VAT. The increase in VAT is Rs 883 crore, Rs 61.26 crore in excise, Rs 2.34 crore in entertainment tax and Rs 46.92 crore in luxury tax every fiscal under VAT regime.
Finance minister said:
"The additional collection of Rs 993.52 crore was possible because of implementation
of the simplified procedure." VAT commissioner of Delhi also said the sectors that
had seen a growth were petroleum products, dry fruits, medicines, FMCGs and edible
"The dry fruit sector has shown a 15-20 per cent growth and additional vigilance will ensure better results.
The National Capital Territory of Delhi (NCT) has already witnessed a 20 per cent jump in tax collections every year after implementing DVAT. Sales tax collections of Delhi for April-June 2004 stood at about Rs 1,030 crore and collections during the same months after VAT would be around Rs 1,200 crore per year.
A peculiar feature of the erstwhile Delhi sales tax system was that the sales tax was imposed at the last point on approximately half the commodities and no tax was imposed on inputs used in producing goods falling under the last-point system.
Proving critics of this progressive legislation wrong, revenue collections under the Value Added Tax (VAT) regime have shown a record growth, registering nearly 25 per cent increase compared to the tax collections during the same period last year. The collections include revenue from excise, entertainment, VAT and luxury tax.
Delhi Finance Minister who managed to get VAT implemented in the Capital, congratulated the officials of the VAT Department for this unprecedented show that was a result of better administrative measures, transparency and simplification of rules in the functioning of the department. The empowered committee of state finance ministers has expressed concern that the rate of VAT collection might be impacted due to economic slowdown. However, It is observed that currently there is no such impact on the rate of VAT collection in states, which is under VAT regime has been 23.43 per cent higher than the pre VAT scenario.
CNG is exempted in Delhi from VAT.
Delhi have imposed VAT on diesel at 20%, which is higher than the 12% sales tax charged earlier. Similarly, Delhi imposed VAT on LPG at 4%, which is lesser than the previous sales tax rate of 8 percent.
Three items - sugar, textile and tobacco - covered under Additional Excise Duties, are not under VAT regime as:
1. Khandsari including sugar but not including imported sugar in all forms.
2. Textile but not including Bed sheet, pillow cover and imported varieties of textiles.
3. Unmanufactured Tobacco, bidis and tobacco used in the manufacture of bidis and hukka tobacco.
The Delhi state has decided to set up taxation information exchange system to prevent the revenue leakage system. the total data of all the 730 commodities which are under VAT would be recorded through the system.
SOME IMPORTANT FINDINGS REGARDING VAT’s PROBLEMS AND ISSUES
During the study on the present topic “Value Added Tax In Delhi- A Critical Study”, the researcher noticed the following observations:
a. Continuance of CST under VAT regime:
CST and VAT are not compatible. CST has not been made VATable. That is, CST paid cannot be claimed for credit under present VAT system.
The additional tax burden has to be ultimately borne by the final consumer. Until CST is abolished, the main objective of VAT will be lost and will seriously undermine the benefits of VAT in rationalizing the supply chain management and removing distortions in inter-state movement of goods.
b. Differential tax treatment:
While the Delhi state following the VAT regime allow the credit of all the taxes paid at an earlier stage, the states following the sales tax imposing another tax by various names such as resale tax, turnover tax, etc. this may lead to a situation, where a business unit having its business spread across the country would not be able to maintain a uniform pricing system. The margins of various businesses would also get affected.
c. Complicated Tax:
It is said that the value added tax is a complicated tax and hence needs an honest and efficient government machinery to do the cross checking and link up various production activities and the resulting tax liability of each firm.
d. Movement of goods
Where the goods move from Delhi state to a non-VAT state, a credit of locally procured material would be available against the CST that is required to be paid.
e. Incentive schemes:
With the decision of the implementation of VAT, the delhi state government has put the incentives schemes aside. All the businesses, which were granted the benefits of various incentive schemes, need to find a way out to sustain and survive.
f. Inflationary in nature:
It is also found that in Delhi state value added tax is inflationary in nature as it leaves its consumers with largest disposable incomes.
g. Exemption schemes:
As the basic idea of VAT is to ensure uniformity across various sections, it is imperative that there should not be any schemes permitting exemptions for specific dealers.
h. Additional Burden on Tax Authorities, Producers and Shopkeepers:
Another point of criticism of value added tax in Delhi is that it entails additional burden on tax authorities, producers and shopkeepers etc., because it involves maintenance of elaborate and costly accounting records at every stage from the producer to the retailer.
i. Sweeping powers given to commissioners:
The legitimate fear of dealer is that of harassment by the officials. Today the main reasons of India having poor GDP is on account of the fact that there is gross miss trust between the department and the dealer. If the relationship is not built on trust it will breed corruption and evasion attitude.
j. High Collection cost:
It is found that in case of value added tax, the collection cost of revenue is quite high as against the other types of taxes.
k. No uniformity in the rates:
Even among the states including Delhi that have implemented the VAT, there is no uniformity in the rates that is being followed. The Empowered Committee covered only 550 commodities in two schedules of 4% and 12.5% VAT, leaving out many items to the whims and fancies of the State tax administration.
l. Possibility of Tax Evasion:
Under this system, each firm itself is required to calculate its liability to begin with, and also find out the taxes paid by the earlier firms. The government machinery is inefficient and is not well equipped with problems of the firm. Thus, it gives wide scope for tax evasion.
m. Complicated Procedures:
It is found that procedures under value added tax in Delhi State are quite complicated. They will have to be simplified particularly in case of small traders and artisans.
n. Poor quality of adjudication orders
For the successful VAT implementation, all the 130 countries who have adopted it had to revamp their judicial systems. In India, this issue has not been suitably addressed yet.
o. Not Conducive to efficiency:
It is noticed that in Delhi State, VAT is not conducive to efficiency. In a seller’s market goods will be purchased by the consumers irrespective of the fact that they are of inferior quality and high prices. Hence, it is doubtful whether value added tax will prove helpful in improving efficiency in Delhi.
Researcher puts some suggestions for getting more benefits of VAT.
I. Remove of Central Sales Tax:
Before implementing of VAT, Delhi government should remove CST, so that there is no confusion among the traders as well as consumer.
Delhi Government should take care of billing because in the VAT billing is essential for getting the rebate on inputs. Billing process should be easy and made in such a format that separate commodity have separate VAT.
III. Composition fees must be reduced:
Central government has given facilities under VAT, a small or medium traders, whose turnover is up to 50 lacks is entitled for a composition fees. But the main problems in the rate of composition fees, presently government fixed the composition fees 1 % of their turnover, which is too high it must be reduced so that small traders come up for this composition fees in their business.
IV. All Additional Taxes must be removed:
For implementation of VAT Delhi government should abolished imposition of additional taxes like Entry tax, Octroi, Local body tax. Toll tax etc.
V. Enforcement Activities must be increase:
For better implementation of VAT, Delhi government should increase their enforcement activities, as the result of that trader cannot do evasion of VAT on their commodities.
VI. Intra State and inter State network:
Delhi Government should try to make a inter relation with the state and intern state network, because this network gives information of tax structure like VAT. Once government gets intra state and inter sate network established then there might be chance of accuracy and transparency in VAT. Although in the world 130 countries have already adopted VAT and they have a well maintained network, result of that traders as well as consumers easily get the information of VAT. It reduce confusion among traders and consumers and make help to implement easily VAT on there Commodities.
VII. Training must be given to Officers as well as traders:
Before implantation of VAT proper training must be given to concerning officers as well as traders, so their may be no confusion among traders and officers regarding documentation, process and billing. It also helps to easily imposition of VAT on commodity.
Therefore in brief it can be said that from the above study it is evident that value added tax requires a highly efficient and honest administrative machinery which is not easily available in a country like India. In this connection the Indirect Taxation Enquiry Committee (1976) in its report in 1977 examined the feasibility of value added tax system. It came to the conclusion that under the existing administrative machinery and other prevailing circumstances, we should be quite cautious in adopting this tax system. It recommended its adoption in a phased manner and to a limited number of only manufacturing industries in Delhi state.