All Rajasthan Vat Consultants Association (ARVCA) (Incorporation under process) has recently given by e-mail on 22.12.2014 Memorandum on VAT issues faced by the Traders and Professionals in the State to Hon. Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Rajasthan. The Memorandum Covered the following 16 topics :-
1. The Input Credit Mismatch
2. Speed and Capacity of RAJVAT Site
3. Late fees on delayed filing of Returns
4. Issues related to Declaration Forms
5. Exemption Scheme for Contractors
6. Vat Audit
7. CST on MSME Industries
8. Registration of Dealers
9. Commodity Based Surveys
10. Working of CTD
11. Refunds of Dealers
12. Input Credit at Check Posts
13. Entry Tax
14. Tax Clearance Certificate
15. Minimum Amount of Appeal
16. Regular Meetings with professionals
Text of the Memorandum is as follows
Commercial Taxes Department
We have already presented a memorandum to your good self with respected to the Extension of the date of filing of annual VAT return in Form VAT-10A with a hope that your good self will act according to the need of the Trade , Industry and the professional community.
Further sir, in First quarter of the Next year 2015 state Government is going to present its Budget for the Financial year 2015-16 hence we would like to present you the “VAT Master Memorandum” to highlight the problems which are being faced by the Trade and Industry with respect to the present VAT procedures and further we are also submitting some suggestions regarding the solution of some of these problems.
1. THE INPUT CREDIT AND IT’S MISMATCH:-
The mismatch of the input credit is the biggest problem which is disturbing the dealers of the state since last several months. Sir, your good self should appreciate the fact that this exercise is consuming lot of time and energy of the dealers and the working of the professionals working on behalf of the dealers.
Sir, 100% matching the input credit is not the practical solution of this problem so if certain percentage of input credit is matched then it should be accepted instead of making a exercise of checking and verifying it 100%.
In Form VAT-7A and VAT-8A the entries are accepted by matching the TIN and not the “NAME and TIN” hence a TIN is wrongly entered then the entry is accepted if the wrong TIN belongs to any other dealer.
Further Sir, the system of reporting of Mismatch is not a foolproof system hence it require improvement to facilitate the dealers to get their returns and returns of their suppliers correct.
2. SPEED AND CAPACITY OF THE RAJVAT SITE:-
The speed and the capacity of the Rajvat site are a big hurdle and matter of concern for the dealers and the professionals. Your good self will appreciate the fact that almost all Vat return are being filed by Chartered Accountants and Tax professionals on behalf of the dealers and sir, we are suffering a lot in this respect. The capacity and speed of the site get a big jerk on the last five days of the last date filing of return of each quarter. Sir, this is a very old problem and it is with us since inception of online system of VAT returns. Now the same site has the load of other works also such as Registration of Dealers, issuing the declaration forms, reporting and rectifying the Mismatch of the input credit ,sales Mismatch and other online working hence the problem is going to become more and more serious. We are getting lot of promises in this respect since last 2 or 3 years without any results hence it is requested to your good self to look into this problem and give a workable solution to this problem.
3. LATE FEES FOR DELAYED FILING OF RETURN:-
The late fees for delayed filing of return should be made rational and should not be made a revenue generating source. Further the late fees should not be more than the 10% of actual Tax payable by the dealer. In case of nil return No late fees should be imposed and further in case where there is no Tax payable the penalty having a token amount of Rs.500.00 should be imposed.
Sir there is a technical problem with respect to the E-filed VAT returns before the system of submission of the E-consent when hard copy of the acknowledgement was required to be presented and if dealer forgot to present the hard copy of the acknowledgement after E-filing the return he has to face heavy penalty in form of late fee. Sir, since now the system of presenting hard copy of the acknowledgement is already dispensed with , a relaxation/final opportunity should be given to these dealers and their date of uploading of VAT return should be treated as date of filing of VAT return to give relief to such dealers from their technical and innocent error. This will avoid hardship and litigation also.
4. ISSUES RELATED TO DECLARATION FORMS :-
Sir, the time limit of presenting the C-forms is very unreasonably short and it is not possible for the dealers to present the C-forms (and other declaration forms) within this short period because receiving these declaration forms is not in control of the dealers of our states to get these forms from their purchasers who are Governed and Registered in other states.
Sir, seeking again and again extension is unnecessary burden on the dealer plus unnecessary paper work for the department. The enhancement of the period of presenting the C-forms will reduce the physical interface of the dealer with the department and also reduce the use of discretionary power by the AO and both these activities are undesirable in the era and success of 100% information Technology system for which department is working under your guidance.
The demands created for want of these declaration forms are paper demands and unnecessary burden on the dealers of the state and resulting in big hurdle in Interstate sale of goods from the state.
Sir pleases increase this time to 2 years from the close of the financial year to which these forms are concerned.
sir when assessments are made on yearly basis then why C-forms are required quarterly. The correction in C-forms should be allowed as and when required instead of imposing a time limit of 6 Months.
Further sir, huge demands of previous years are pending due to non presentation of C-forms (and other declaration forms) which are received late by dealers and lying with them because due to restriction of time limit department is not able to accept them. Sir, please give a blanket exemption from time limit for all the declaration forms up to the year 2013-14 to give relief to the dealers of the state from these unnecessary demands and further encourage them to sell goods to other states.
Further sir Mandatory VAT-47 and VAT-49 are big hurdles in interstate trade in the state and dealers have to wait for these forms to interstate purchases and sales of notified goods. Sir please remove these forms for 6 Months first and take a look at revenue effect and if nothing negative found then please remove these paper hurdles in smooth running of interstate trade.
5. EXEMPTION SCHEME FOR CONTRACTORS:-
The newly introduced exemption scheme for contractors has lost attraction and imbibed lot of confusions. The rate structure of the EC scheme is defective and need clarification. Further sir, in compared to the old EC scheme the present EC scheme is not economically viable and attractive for the contractors who import maximum goods from other states. Your Goodself will appreciate that our state largely is a consumable state and lot many items are imported by the contractors from other starts.
Sir, please get this EC scheme fully studied from the expert group and form a fresh scheme in this respect. Our association offers to share the knowledge with the department officials to make this scheme beneficial, practical and rational.
6. VAT AUDIT:-
Sir, VAT audit was the integral part of VAT when it was introduced in 2006 in the state. The Central Government has also mentioned in “White paper on VAT” which was released in 2003 that VAT audit would be the important part of the VAT but after initial provisions of VAT audit, these provisions were withdrawn abruptly citing E-filing of VAT returns as alternate of VAT audit but sir E-filing and information technology has nothing to do with the importance of the VAT and VAT Audit is the essential tool to restrict the evasion of Tax.
Your good self is requested to please reintroduce the provisions of the VAT Audit for the better tax collection and also to restrict the Tax evasion.
Our association will be happy to provide expertise in formation of a Good and useful format of Vat audit report in this respect which will certainly help the government in increased revenue collection.
7. CST RATE FOR MSME INDUSTRY:-
A Concessional rate of CST was introduced with respect to inter-state sales of goods by certain MSME industries in the state some years back. The initial concessional rate in this respect was 0.25% which was suddenly increased to 1% in last budget. Sir this is a very harsh increase because interstate trade not only brings revenue to our state but it is a healthy sign development and progress of Trade and Industries of the state.
Sir, please bring this rate again to its existing rate of 0.25% for the benefit of Industrial development of the state.
Further Mineral and Marble industry is not able to take benefit of this exemption hence please extend the benefit to these basic industries of the state also.
8. REGISTRATION OF DEALERS:-
The registration application are made mandatory to be E-filed by the dealers but still they have to submit it in paper format after uploading the same and this is called half hearted introduction and use of information technology and thus the proper benefits of the facility is not being given to the dealers. . The presentation of Paper form of the form should be dispensed with and further the Registration number should also be issued immediately to the dealer as in the case of it is done in service Tax Registration.
Further the age old system of the RC enquiry of New Registration should also be dispensed with because it is not serving any purpose other than wastage of time and energy of dealer, professionals and departmental staff. Further such type of human intervention in purely 100% IT system for which Commercial Taxes department is working should be avoided. Reliance should be placed on the dealers of the state and in case of adverse situation the department has sufficient powers to Book the culprits.
Sir, there should be a declared policy for registration of dealers residing outside state and seeking registration in the state of Rajasthan. In absence of any declared policy in this respect it is very complex and confusing situation for these dealers and this is a real setback for the state.
The Registration certificate should be delivered through E-mail within 24 hours from the time of uploading of Registration application and the rectification of RC should also be made online.
9. PLEASE SIR STOP COMMODITY BASED SURVEYS:-
A new practice has been started in the Commercial Taxes department and now surveys are conducted on the basis of selection of a commodity throughout the state but sir, principally the surveys should be conducted on the basis of information about tax evasion by a dealer.
Sir, please stop this practice because for most of the dealers selected for these surveys, these surveys are only harassment to them.
Sir , your goodself should appreciate the fact that surveys at the business places is not a routine activity hence surveys should not be conducted as a routine activity and the selection of dealer for survey should be based on perfect pre-information about dealer’s suspected activities and his indulgence in tax avoiding activities.
10. WORKING OF COMMERICAL OFFICES AT VARIOUS CENTRES:-
Sir, your department is working day and night to convert the whole system in a perfect information technology system and professionals are contributing and also working towards achievement of goal of the department but sir, the commercial Taxes offices at various centers are working like 19th centuries offices.
First the system of receiving “DAK” at the commercial taxes offices is a very
Cumbersome system and Once a person wants to give some document to any AO’s ward then first he has to get it marked by the AO and go to the Ward clerk who will give him the receipt on the office copy without any official seal. In this situation it is compulsory that both the AO and clerk are available on their seat and if any one of the two are not available due to official duty or otherwise then the Dak will not be received and the person has to visit again next day. Further if AO is on leave or on official duty there is no system who will mark the Dak and this difficulty also persist in case of issue of manual Forms specially VAT-47.
Sir, this practice is sheer wastage of valuable time of the dealers, professionals and their staff.
Sir, these systems are more than 50 years old and now when modernization is going on everywhere including your department these age-old systems should be dispensed with.
Centralized counters should be established near the entrance of all the commercial Tax offices to receive all the DAK and official receipts should be issued with the seal of the department.
The departmental should be trained to behave with the outsiders including dealers and professionals in a Tax payer friendly manner instead of age-old autocratic behavior they are doing since last 6 decades.
In most of the centers the Bar rooms to be used for professions are being used for official purposes and in most of the cases the professionals have to wait outside the office of the AO for want of proper bar room.
Sir, this is need of the hour and please look seriously at this neglected area and tax payers and friendly approach of the department in this respect will enhance the image of the department plus will save lot of time of the dealers and the professionals.
11. REFUNDS TO THE DEALERS:-
Sir, a large number of refunds of excess credit are pending with the department though as per circular issued by the department refunds should be issued within one month from the date of application in this respect but the refunds are withheld for years giving one or two reasons.
Even if there are reasons but the dealers are not informed about it and they have to enquire again and again. Verification of input credit from assessment year 2006-07 to 2010-11 is the responsibility of the department and how dealers can help the department in this respect?
Further again why dealers are required to apply for refunds separately. Sir, they have claimed refund in their VAT returns and this is the clear indication that they want refund and don’t want to carry forward the excess credit why they are required to separately apply for refunds and then making rounds to the department for getting it. Sir when dealers filed their final return demanding the refunds the procedure of issuing refunds to them should start automatically and refunds should directly be credited in their accounts. Sir this is the era of IT and your goodself is also declaring the same again and again hence your goodself is therefore requested to please keep away the unnecessary human intervention in these matters for smooth working of the department and making the department dealer friendly. .
12. INPUT CREDIT AT CHECK POSTS:-
Sir at some places on certain commodities tax is charged at check posts but sir these dealers have the effect of input credit on their tax liability but the effect of this input credit is not given on self declaration of the dealers but a certificate is required to be issued by the AO in this respect.
Sir, the purchases are made on day to day basis but the certificates cannot be issued daily basis and as we have mentioned above that Local commercial taxes offices are still working on age-old method hence timely getting the certificates is not an easy and workable task hence lot of money of these dealers is blocked in this double taxation.
A system should be there to combat this genuine problem of these dealers and the benefit of credit should be given at the check posts on self declaration of dealers. These self declarations should be dispatched to the concerned AOs and in case of discrepancy action should be taken against the erring dealers.
The reformed system in this respect will give great relief to lot of concerned dealers.
13. ENTRY TAX:-
Sir, The rates of Entry tax are very high in the state and it is counterproductive also and further sir when Nation and our State are moving towards the GST , your goodself is requested to please remove the entry tax from the dealers of the state or at least reduce the rate of Entry Tax.
14, TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE:-
If the due return is filed by the dealer then system should have a facility to generate a “Tax Clearance certificate” of the dealer instead of applying for it. Every dealer should have right to get a Tax Clearance Certificate from the sight instead of demanding it from the department. We should use the information technology system in a better and dealer friendly way.
15. MINIMUM AMOUNT FOR APPEALS:-
Certain monitory Limits should be fixed for going to higher authorities/courts for appeal in case of decisions made by the DC (Appeals) and Sir, at present appeals are being filed for very low amount and this is wastage of time and energy of the department/ professionals.
16. REGULAR MEETING WITH PROFESSIONALS:-
Your goodself should appreciate the fact that most of the VAT related procedural work is being handled by Chartered Accountants and Tax professionals and whole system of Filing of return is being handled by the professionals very efficiently even though they have to work day and night. In our state there is no system to engage in-house professionals by the dealers and all the work is being done by Practicing chartered Accountants and Tax professionals. In our state the department is not directly connected with dealers and the professionals in this respect are doing great job between the Tax payer dealers and Tax receiving commercial Taxes department. This is the ground reality.
Sir, these professionals have certain problems with the working and current procedure of the Commercial Taxes Department and these problems can only be solved by open house discussion meeting with the departmental officials with the professionals working in this field on regular basis. A monthly meeting at each centre under the supervision of the area DC (Adm.) will serve the purpose in this respect. The meeting should be open house and every professional working in that area should be allowed to discuss the problem with local officials and Minutes of these meeting should be called by your goodself for supervising the follow up actions.
Sir, please consider our suggestions for better Tax management in the State of Rajasthan and we will submit further submission after getting more inputs from our members.
Thanks and Regards
FOR ALL RAJASTHAN VAT CONSULTANTS ASSOCIATION
PRESIDENT – CA R.A. SHARMA
SECRETARY -CA DHEERAJ BORAD
Submitted for publication by CA SUDHIR HALAKHANDI