Excise Duty in India

Excise duty is a form of indirect tax that is levied by the Central Government of India for the production, sale, or license of certain goods. Excise duty charges are also collected by state governments for alcohol and narcotics.

Note: Excise duty has been replaced by the Goods and Services Tax(GST) w.e.f. 1 July 2017.

What is Excise Duty?

Excise duty is a kind of indirect tax charged on the sale of certain products. The customer does not pay excise duty directly to the authorities, but it is added to the cost of the product by the producer or merchant and then passed on to the consumer by way of increased prices. The Excise Duty Act, 1944 governs the regulations related to excise duty in India and the tax is administered by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Types of Excise Duty

Here are the different types of excise duties:

  • Basic Excise Duty: Basic Excise Duty is levied under Section 3 of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944. Under this section, all excisable products apart from salt, manufactured of produced in India, are subject to Basic Excise Duty. Central Value Added Tax or CENVAT, as it is also called, is charged at the rates mentioned in the Central Excise Tariff Act.
  • Special Excise Duty: Central Excise Duty is charged under Section 37 of the Finance Act, 1978. It is levied on all excisable products that are subject to Basic Excise Duty under Section 3 of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944. The rate at which Special Excise Duty is charged is mentioned in the Second Schedule to Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.
  • Education Cess on Excise Duty: According to Section 93 of Finance (No. 2) Act, 2004, Education Cess is an excise duty that must be computed on the aggregate of all excise duties including special excise duty or other excise duties, but not including Education Cess of excisable goods.
  • Natural Calamity Contingent Duty: Section 136 of the Finance Act, 2001, has imposed the Natural Calamity Contingent Duty under clause 129 of the Finance Bill, 2001. The Natural Calamity Contingent Duty is charged on cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and pan masala.
  • Excise Duty in case of clearances by Export Oriented Units: The Export Oriented Units have an obligation to export all the goods produced by them. However, if their final product is cleared in a domestic tariff area, the rate at which excise duty is charged will be the same as customs duty on a similar article if imported in India.
  • Duties under other Acts: Certain duties as well as cesses are charged on manufactured goods under other Acts. The taxes, however, are collected under the administrative machinery of central excise. The rules and provisions of the Central Excise Act are responsible for the levy as well as collection of these duties and/or cesses/
  • Additional Duty on Goods of Special Importance: Additional Excise under Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957 is levied on certain goods of special importance. The ‘Additional Duty’ is charged along with excise duty. The Additional Duty on Goods of Special Importance scheme was implemented due to the suggestions made to the Government by manufacturers. The suggestions were made to avoid multiple taxes and duties at different levels. The levy of all taxes as well as their collection at one stage by one authority was expected to make it convenient to not only pay the tax, but to also administer it. Therefore, the Central and State Governments agreed to charge additional duty on certain items instead of charging sales tax. The additional duty was distributed among different states, and the State Government share the revenue from this duty based on the percentages specified in the second schedule of the Act.
  • Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty (CVD): This duty is charged on imports.
  • Additional Duty on Mineral Products: Under the Mineral Products (Additional Duties of Excise and Customs) Act, 1958, additional duty must be paid on mineral products such as motor spirit, furnace oil, diesel and kerosene.
  • Duty on Medical and Toilet Preparations: Under the Medical and Toilet Preparations (Excise Duties) Act, 1955, excise duty is charged on medical preparations.
  • Special Additional Duty of Customs: Special Additional Duty of Customs is charged on items that are bound under the Information Technology Agreement (apart from information technology software), and also on certain raw materials or inputs for the manufacture of IT or electronic products.

Who Should Pay Excise Duty?

Considering the fact that excise duty is charged on the manufacture/production of goods, the producer/manufacturer of goods is liable to pay excise duty to the government. The three parties that must pay excise duty include the following:

  • The individual or entity that manufactured or produced the goods
  • The individual or entity that was responsible for the manufacture of goods by way of hiring labour
  • The individual or entity responsible for the manufacture of goods by other parties

When to Pay Excise Duty?

Excise duty must be paid at the time of removal of goods. Assessees must pay the excise duty on the manufacture or production of goods. Under Rule no. 8 of the Central Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2002, excise duty should be paid on the fifth day of the following month from the date on which the goods were removed from the warehouse or factory for the purpose of sale. In case excise duty is paid online through netbanking, the due date to make the payment is the sixth day of the following month. However, if the payment is made in March, it must be done before March 31.

How to Pay Excise Duty

The Central Board of Excise and Customs launched the Electronic Accounting System in Excise and Service Tax (EASIEST) in 20017 as a web-based payment gateway so that assessees could pay service tax and Central excise duties online. The Central Board of Excise and Customs, from 1 October 2014, has made it compulsory to pay service tax and excise duties online via netbanking for all Service Tax and Central Excise assessees.

Step-by-step Process to pay Excise Duty online

In order to pay your Central Excise Duty online, you will have to visit the NSDL-EASIEST website at https://cbec-easiest.gov.in/EST/ and choose E-Payment (Excise & Service Tax). Here are the steps you will then have to follow to pay your Central Excise Duty online:

  1. Key in the 1-digit Assessee Code provided by the jurisdictional Commissionerate in order to start the process to pay your Excise Duty online.
  2. A simple online check will take place to validate your Assessee Code.
  3. In case your code is valid, the screen will display the corresponding assessee details such as name, address, Commissionerate code, etc.
  4. The Excise Duty to be paid will be chosen automatically based on your Assessee Code.
  5. You will then have to choose the kind of duty or tax to be paid. To do so, click on ‘Select Accounting Codes for Excise’.
  6. You can choose up to 6 Accounting Codes at any given time. Once you choose your code/s, the central system will validate the date, after which you will see a drop-down menu showing the names of different banks that provide the online payment facility. Choose the bank you prefer to make the payment.
  7. Once you choose the bank and move on to the next step in the payment process, you will see a confirmation screen where you will have to confirm the information you have entered. You will then be redirected to the netbanking site of the bank you have chosen.
  8. The challan details you have entered will be transmitted to the bank with your location code. You will then have to log in to your netbanking account to make the payment.
  9. Once you have successfully paid the Excise Duty, you will see a challan counterfoil which contains the payment details, the Challan Identification Number and the name of the bank through which you have made the payment. This counterfoil can be used as a receipt or proof of payment. You can download the same from the bank website.
  10. Once you have made the payment online, you can view the ‘Challan Status Enquiry’ on https://onlineservices.cbec-easiest.gov.in/csi.indexl and confirm that you have found/uploaded the e-payment challan in the NSDL website. In case you do not find the challan on the NSDL website, you can lodge a complaint with easiest@nsdl.co.in.

Banks through which you can pay Excise Duty online

The Reserve Bank of India has authorised the following banks to collect Excise Duty through their net banking facility:

  • Allahabad Bank
  • Axis Bank
  • Bank of Baroda
  • Bank of India
  • Bank of Maharashtra
  • Canara Bank
  • Central Bank
  • Corporation Bank
  • Dena Bank
  • HDFC Bank
  • ICICI Bank
  • IDBI Bank
  • Indian Bank
  • Indian Overseas Bank
  • Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Punjab National Bank
  • State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
  • State Bank of Hyderabad
  • State Bank of India
  • State Bank of Mysore
  • State Bank of Patiala
  • State Bank of Travancore
  • Syndicate Bank
  • UCO Bank
  • Union Bank of India
  • United Bank of India
  • Vijaya Bank

Differences Between GST and Excise Duty

Here are the key differences between the Goods and Services Tax and Excise Duty:

  • Tax base: Excise duty is levied on the manufacture of products, while GST is charged at every stage of the supply chain, from manufacture till the sale of the products.
  • Point of taxation: Excise duty is charged at the time of the removal of products, while GST is charged at the time of supply of products and services.
  • Tax rate: The rates applicable to excise duty are specified as per the central excise tariff rules. At the moment, excise duty is charged at 12.36% but it varies based on the kind of products. GST, on the other hand, has standard rates at 0%, 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% depending upon the kind of product.
  • Filing of returns: When it comes to the filing of returns, excise duty returns must be filed on a monthly basis, and a yearly return must be filed before April 30. Under GST, returns must be filed on a monthly basis and a yearly return must be filed before September 30.
  • Invoice matching: Under excise duty, there is no concept of invoice matching and the taxpayer can claim input tax credit based on self-assessed returns. Under GST, credit can be availed based on invoice number matching.
  • Input tax credit: When it comes to input tax credit, credit under excise duty can be availed on the tax levied on input goods and services. Under GST, credit can be taken too but the SGST credit cannot be adjusted against CGST credit and vice versa. However, IGST credit can be taken against SGST, CGST, or IGST.

How has GST affected Excise Duty?

After the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, the taxes that have been replaced by the new tax regime are as follows:

At the State Level:
  • State VAT/Sales Tax
  • Octroi and Entry Tax
  • Entertainment Tax
  • Luxury Tax
  • Purchase Tax
  • Fat Tax (in Kerala)
  • Taxes on gambling, lottery and betting
At the Central Level:
  • Central Excise Duty
  • Service Tax
  • Additional Excise Duty
  • Special Additional Duty of Customs
  • Additional Customs Duty commonly known as Countervailing Duty

Excise duty is charged on the production of goods and charged at the time of removal of products. GST, on the other hand, is charged on the supply of products and services. Central GST has replaced excise duty as excise is charged by the Central Government and it also collects the revenue from Central GST.

Penalty for not Paying Excise Duty

In case you fail to pay excise duty or commit an offence related to any excisable product, the duty chargeable thereon exceeds Rs.50 lakh and the defaulter may face imprisonment for a term that may extend up to 7 years. Fine will also be charged to the defaulter. Sometimes, the imprisonment term could extend up to 3 years, with or without fine, depending on the case.

Under Section 11A(4), the reasons for punishment for not paying or underpaying excise duty could be fraud, wilful misstatement, collusion, or suppression of facts. Here are the penalties for the various offences related to Excise Duty:

  • In case excise duty was not levied, or not paid, or was short-levied, or was short-paid, or incorrectly refunded due to collusion, fraud, suppression of facts, or wilful misstatement, the assessee will be subject to a penalty equal to 50% of the duty so determined.
  • In case the details pertaining to a transaction in the records reveal that any excise duty was not levied, or not paid, or was short-levied, or was short-paid, or was incorrectly refunded, the assessee will be subject to a penalty equal to 50% of the duty so determined.
  • In case the interest payable in addition to an excise duty is paid within 30 days from the date on which the same was communicated with the assessee, the penalty will be 25 of the duty so determined.
  • In case a person who is associated with the transporting, depositing, concealing, removing, selling, purchasing or keeping of any excisable products that he/she knows are liable to confiscation as per the law, will be liable to a penalty equal to the duty applicable to the goods or Rs.20,000, whichever is more.
  • In case a person makes/issues an excise duty invoice or another document claiming the removal of goods when said goods have not been delivered will be liable to a penalty equal to the amount of such benefit or Rs.5,000, whichever is more.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is excise duty on petrol in India?
  2. Effective from 6 May 2020, the total excise duty which is charged on petrol in India is Rs.32.98 per litre.

  3. Is CENVAT and excise duty same?
  4. No, CENVAT and excise duty are not the same. CENVAT or Central Value Added Tax is the charges paid in regard to the manufacture of any final product. Central Excise Tax, on the other hand, is charged on the manufacture of excisable goods only.

  5. Is excise duty part of GST?
  6. Yes, excise duty is a part of GST. Excise duty is an indirect tax which has been subsumed by the Goods and Services Tax or GST. However, there are certain items on which excise duty is still charged. For example, alcohol, tobacco, and fuel.

  7. Which is an example of an excise tax?
  8. Although excise duty has been subsumed by GST, there are certain items on which excise duty is chargeable such as petrol, diesel, tobacco, and alcohol.

  9. Is excise duty payable on exports?
  10. No, excise duty is not payable on exports. Goods can be exported without the payment of excise duty under rule 19. However, under rule 18, excise duty can also be paid on exported goods and a rebate can be claimed for the same.

News About Excise Duty

  • Excise duty collection grows by 48% following the record hike in taxes on fuel

    The collection of excise duty has witnessed a major jump of 48% for the current fiscal year owing to the record increase in taxes on fossil fuels like diesel and petrol. This has covered up for the drop in the sales of the fuels in the pandemic-stricken country.

    Between November 2014 and January 2016, the government has increased the excise duty on petrol and diesel nine times to curb out the profits arising out of the plummeting oil prices in the international market. The total excise duty which has been collected during the period of April 2020 to November 2020 summed up more than Rs.1.96 crore. The collection for the same period during the previous fiscal year was almost Rs.1.33 crore. The data has been provided by the Controlled General of Accounts (CGA).

    20 January 2021

  • The excise duty cut down for beer in Uttar Pradesh; price of wine and foreign liquor to be less expensive

    In Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh government had announced cut on the excise duty on beer in the next fiscal year which will result in the price of beer to be much cheaper. The duty which was 280% will be cut down to 200%.

    Apart from this, the licence fee has not been increased for the beer vendors in the excise policy and will be bringing revenue of Rs.34,500 crore. The cost of wine, low alcoholic beverages and foreign liquor will be cheaper with the government reducing the COVID cess in these categories.

    14 January 2021

  • Jammu and Kashmir state government removes 50% Corona Tax on liquor

    The Jammu and Kashmir state government removed the additional excise duty which was levied on liquor termed as Corona Tax. The 50% additional excise duty was levied in May and was withdrawn on 1 September 2020 for the new excise policy to be implemented.

    The new excise policy will provide reservation of 12% to six categories of people in opening bars and restaurants in the various tourist destinations in the UT. The six categories will include ex-servicemen, weaker sections of the society and the unemployed youth.

    The features of the new policy will include transparency in the liquor trade along with boosting the revenue through the rationalisation of duties.

    03 September 2020

  • During lockdown, no excise duty for liquor shops

    The Jharkhand state cabinet approved the Department of Excise and Prohibition’s proposal to waive off excise duty for liquor shops during the lockdown in the state. This is applicable for retail liquor outlets and for the period of the lockdown from 22 March to 19 May. Since excise duty is based on sales, it will be different from store to store. More than 1,400 retail stores that are licensed were permitted to resume sales after 2 months of closure, starting from 20 May, provided they followed social distancing norms. To make up for the loss in revenue to the state due to the lockdown’s impact on liquor sales, a special tax on MRP of 25% has also been imposed.

    24 August 2020

  • The government gathers Rs.40,000 crore through excise duty on diesel and petrol

    The government has now collected around Rs.40,000 crore from the excise levied on petrol and diesel within the first two months of the FY 2021.

    The exchequer's collection had increased three times in the month of May. During the time, the government had mopped up around Rs.29,396 crore (Rs.10,560 crore in the month of April) after there had been a rise in the excise duty. This was because the demand had rebounded with ease in lockdown restrictions. The government had increased the excise duty by Rs.10 per litre on petrol and also by Rs.13 per litre on diesel.

    29 June 2020

  • Excise duty on petrol, diesel hiked

    The government on Tuesday hiked the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs.10 and Rs.13 respectively. The increase will help the government garner additional revenue of Rs.1.6 lakh crore. As per the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customers, road cess and special additional excise duty on petrol has been hiked by Rs.8 and Rs.2 per litre respectively. In case of diesel, road cess has been increased by Rs.8 while special additional excise duty has been hiked by Rs.5 per litre. The recent development means that the total incidence of excise duty on petrol and diesel have rose by Rs.32.98 and Rs.31.83 per litre. It must be noted here that this was the second time since March when the government has hiked the excise duty. In the month of March, the excise duty on both petrol and diesel was raised by Rs.3 per litre. As per government sources, the move to increase excise duty is aimed at raising revenue in view of a tight fiscal situation.

    05 May 2020

  • Excise Department takes strong measures to stop illegal sale of alcohol

    In Bengaluru, the Excise Department has taken steps to strengthen its drive to prevent the illegal or black-market sale of alcohol. There have been several instances of cases being reported of the black marketing of alcohol since the government imposed a 21-day lockdown all over the country, including Karnataka.

    Since the ban was extended till 3 May, the officials of the excise department have been charging retailers if any discrepancy is being found in their inventory and suspending licenses if are any. This enforcement drive has focused on shop owners and has been intensified after Ramesh Jarkiholi, Water Resources Minister pointed out that there have been many retailers of liquor diverting their stocks of alcohol to the black market to keep their sales going during the lockdown.

    The drive has led to the suspension of 55 retail licenses and 219 people have been booked along with 40,000 litres of Indian Made Liquor (IML) and 25,000 litres of beer have been seized which has an estimated worth of Rs.5 crore.

    Officials have mentioned that there were some brands of beer and IML which were being sold at 10 times the retail price. According to them, the officials have been asked to take account of the inventory on the day, the lockdown was announced and the inventory at present to identify the defaulters.

    22 April 2020

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