Vat amendments irk Jharkhand sales tax assessees

Jamshedpur, Apr 27 | Updated: Apr 28 2007, 08:45am hrs
Jharkhand sales tax assessees are angry about some amendments in the state's value-added tax (Vat) provisions that make life more difficult for the taxpayer.

They said the amendments have been made without consulting members of the Jharkhand Vat Amendment Committee, of which most trade associations of the state are members.

Jharkhand was among the last lot of states in the country to introduce Vat, with effect from April 1, 2006.

On March 9, 2007, the state brought in an amendment in its Vat provisions that said all three types of forms meant for transportation of goods will have to be authenticated by the department, and that too with retrospective effect from April 1, 2006.

On implementing Vat, the department had, while asking sales tax assessees to get forms printed on their own, said that only green forms, which are meant for 'importing goods from outside the state,' needed to be authenticated by the department.

The two other forms, which didn't need the department's authentication earlier but now need it, are for 'transportation of goods within the state' and for 'sending goods outside the state'.

"They want everybody to bow before them for each and every transaction," said RN Gupta, president of the Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Several SCC&I members talk openly about palms having to be greased in order to get transportation forms authenticated and how the amendment will worsen the situation for them.

Prior to implementation of Vat, sales tax assessees were to file both monthly and quarterly returns. When Vat came into force, they were required to file only monthly returns. An amendment has now been made that makes it compulsory for the assessee to file quarterly returns again, over and above monthly returns.

"The monthly data given by the assessee is an elaborate one under Vat. The department, instead of burdening him further, can easily add them up to arrive at the quarterly figures," said Gupta.

Trade sources said it's strange for the department to bring in such 'funny' amendments as the state's sales tax revenue has gone up by 30% since it introduced Vat on April 1, 2006.