It is said that everything in our life is interconnected, with each activity or development contributing towards completing the circle of life. The world of business and trade is closely interlinked, with each participant playing a crucial part in developing and delivering the final product to a customer. In a bid to ensure that the framework regarding the working is clear, the government has made rules and regulations, ensuring that each participant is aware about their liabilities and duties, paving the road for smooth working.
Introduction to CENVAT:
CENVAT or Central Value Added Tax is a modification of the previously functioning MODVAT (Modified Value Added Tax), and is a part of the central excise framework of the country. Introduced in the year 2004, CENVAT aims to reduce the tax burden faced by a consumer when he/she purchases a product, offering a clear picture of tax liability at various stages of production. The CENVAT notification of 2004 offered clarity with regards to credit to both manufacturers and service providers, ensuring that all parties are aware about their duties. The government set up “The CENVAT Credit Rules” in 2004, which helps in implementing CENVAT in the country and provides the manufacturer of the final product certain tax credits on the excise duty payable by him/her.
A manufacturer or service provider is expected to pay certain basic duties in the execution of his/her work, with a number of steps involved in each stage of manufacture. CENVAT ensures that there is a smooth flow of duties, with no additional drain on any one segment, be it a manufacturer or a customer, eliminating double taxation and keeping the entire chain simple and clean.
Working of CENVAT:
Let us take the example of Gupta Fans Private Limited, a manufacturing company specialising in producing fans of different kinds. This company now requires raw material including steel blades, copper wires, plastic blades, motors, etc. The owner purchases the blades from Zuma Blades Private Limited, paying them a certain amount. Similarly he purchases the copper wires from Cupro Private Limited and motors from Motored Private Limited. Now each time the company purchases any of these input materials, it includes certain excise duties which have been added by the original manufacturer, thereby increasing the tax liability of Gupta fans.
CENVAT permits Gupta fans to use credit when they purchase an item for their manufacturing process, thereby reducing the overall tax liability, not just for them but also the final consumer. Now if we consider the total CENVAT of raw materials to be Rs 50,000 and the CENVAT on the final product to be Rs 60,000, the liability of Gupta Fans is (Rs 60,000 – Rs 50,000 = Rs 10,000).
CENVAT thereby reduces cascading taxation, ensuring that no party is unduly taxed an additional amount.
CENVAT Credit refers to the credit/set-off available to manufacturers when they use certain inputs to complete their product. In the example above, Gupta fans can claim credit on the copper wires, fan blades and motors, which can then be readjusted against their final tax liability. This credit eliminates the excise burden on manufacturers at different stages, with simple tax computation at the final stage applicable.
As per the CENVAT Credit Rules, a number of input items are eligible for CENVAT credit, with the rules having a definition for the same. Items which fall under this definition can be claimed as input items, thereby offering credit to manufacturers. Goods which are used by a manufacturer to complete the final product, goods which are used as additional components to provide warranty, goods which help in electricity generation and providing the final output are some of the popular examples of CENVAT inputs.
CENVAT Credit Rules:
The Union Government made changes to the old CENVAT Credit Rules of 2002, putting in place new CENVAT Credit Rules by exercising their powers under the Central Excise Act of 1944. A total of 16 rules are mentioned under this provision, each one containing information relevant to a certain topic. Here is a brief overview of the rules mentioned.
- Rule 1 relates to the title, area of implementation and the date of implementation of CENVAT
- Rule 2 contains the various definitions required to understand and implement CENVAT
- Rule 3 has information on CENVAT credit which is available to manufacturers
- Rule 4 mentions how eligible manufacturers can claim CENVAT credit
- Rule 5 contains provisions regarding the refund of credit and is further subdivided into Rule 5A
- Rule 6 states the obligations of manufacturers in lieu of goods and services which are exempted
- Rule 7 contains provisions regarding the distribution of CENVAT credit
- Rule 8 relates to storage of inputs by a manufacturer
- Rule 9 lists the documents and accounts which should be maintained by manufacturers
- Rule 10 pertains to transfer of credit
- Rule 11 deals with certain transitional provisions
- Rule 12 contains information about goods manufactured in certain Indian states and is subdivided into 12A and 12AA
- Rule 13 mentions the powers available with the central government when it comes to notifying goods
- Rule 14 has provisions for recovery of CENVAT credit which was wrongly availed
- Rule 15 lists the penalties applicable
- Rule 16 contains certain additional provisions related to CENVAT
These rules can be obtained from the official website of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.