CA Gautam Joshi
The State of Gujarat has shown significant interest in developing e-platform for Commercial Taxes (VAT) since last 2 years. Since December 2011, the e-Registration facility has been enabled and the procedure designed for online registration is absolutely clear and systematic approach. Not only that forms like 402-403, permissions for paying lump sum taxes under WCT Rules, WCT returns etc. have been made online and improvements in e-services is remarkable.
In early December 2012, another significant move taken by the department is introduction of commodity codes for different commodities.
Earlier, HSN Codes as defined under the Central Excise Act were considered for commodity codes for all purposes of commercial taxes. However, no significant reliance was made on such codes either at the time of registration or returns or other correspondence by the department. The commodity code fields were voluntary to be filled up.
However, Circular No. 181/2012-13 dated 06-12-2012 has been published to publicize the 8 digit commodity codes for different commodities. The basic purpose of introduction of these commodity codes is to further boost the e-services and the commodity codes are required to be disclosed by dealers in every correspondence with the department (i.e. registration, returns etc.) instead of detailed description of commodities. It is expected to follow these commodity codes in true spirits and the director general of systems will update the necessary forms in this regard and make commodity codes selection compulsory at the time of registration, returns or other e-services.
The complete list of commodity codes is available in the Circular No. 181/2012-13 dated 06-12-2012. (Please copy paste this link to see the complete Circular and list of commodity codes – http://www.commercialtax.gujarat.gov.in/vatwebsite/download/cir_noti/CIR/Commodity%20code.pdf)
It would be interesting to see if introduction of 8 digit commodity codes under Gujarat Commercial Tax come out to be a secret move or silent acceptance of the State of Gujarat for the upcoming Goods and Service Tax.