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  • Excise Duty in India

    In today's World the relevance of taxes are a lot more than just financial aid to the Government. It is also, the money that goes in for building the future of a nation. India being a democratic country requires this aid through taxes. The Central Government levies taxes along with the state government to their respective states. There are a few taxes that are levied by the local Municipality as well. Excise Duty falls under the Central Government of India.

    What is Excise Duty?

    This tax is levied on certain goods for their production or sale catering or on licenses on specific services and activities. Excise duty is an inland tax unlike custom duties is an inland tax. Also this duty charges are a form of indirect tax. Indirect taxes are generally collected by a retail store or an intermediary body from the person who ultimately bears the responsibility of paying the tax as a consumer. The producer of the goods then pays this tax to the government. This amount is excise of the VAT (Value Added Tax) and sales tax that is charged to the consumers when purchasing a good.

    The excise duty falls under the Excise Duty Act, 1944. The State Government charges them on certain goods such as narcotics, alcohol or alcoholic products, the duty charges on other goods are collected by the Central Government, hence the term, ‘Central Excise Duty’. The tax is however, collected by the Government when the good are being removed from the factory and dispatch.

    Acts and Rules For The Collection of Excise Duty:

    Under the authority of the Central Excise Act, 1944, the taxes are levied on manufacturing or production of goods. The rates for the taxes are specified under the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. This duty is chargeable on certain textile products such as yarn, fiber, etc. also excluding the Additional Excise Duty under Additional Duties of Excise (Textiles and Textile Articles) Act, 1975, which are also charged.. The Additional Duties of Excise (Goods of Special Importance) Act, 1957 and Miscellaneous Cess Acts permits and mandates collection of Additional Excise Duty and Cess respectively on many products over Basic Excise Duty authoritated by the Central Excise Act, 1944.

    Excise Duty

    Central Board of Excise and Customs:

    Established in 1855, by George Robinson, the British Governor General of India at the time, Central Board of Excise and Customs was intended to administer and manage customs laws in the country as well as the collection of import duties and land revenue. It is said to be one of the oldest government departments of India.

    The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is functions under the the Union Ministry of Finance’s Department of Revenue. The responsibility for administering the laws that govern laws under the following, and are not restricted to excise taxes alone:

    • Policy making for levying and collecting central and customs and excise duties
    • Management of Customs, Narcotics and Central Excise as per the prior set limits
    • Prevention the goods smuggling

    There are certain subsidiary organizations that function under the Central Board of Excise and Customs including:

    • Custom Houses
    • Central Excise Commission rates
    • Central Revenues Control Laboratory

    Products with Excise Duty Charges:

    Besides narcotics and alcohol, collected by the corresponding state Government, the Central Government charges excise duty on the following products:

    1. Live Animals and Animal Products:

      This includes live animals, meat and edible meat offal, Fish and Crustaceans, Molluscs and other Aquatic Invertebrates, Birds' Eggs, Natural Honey; Edible Products of Animal Origin, not elsewhere specified or included, Products of Animal Origin, not elsewhere specified or included.

    2. Vegetable Products:

      This category includes Live trees and other Plants; Bulb, Roots and the like; Cut flowers and Ornamental Foliage, Edible Vegetables and Certain Roots and Tubers.

    3. Other Products:

      Edible Fruit and Nuts; Peel of Citrus Fruit or Melons, Coffee, Tea, Mate, Spices, Products of the Milling Industry; Malt; Starches; Inulin; Wheat Gluten, cereals, Products of the Milling Industry; Malt; Starches; Inulin; Wheat Gluten, Oil Seeds and Oleaginous Fruits; Miscellaneous Grains, Seeds and Fruit; Industrial or Medicinal Plants; Straw and Fodder, Gums, Resins and other Vegetable Saps and Extracts and Vegetable Plaiting Materials.

    4. Products Made Out of Non-renewable Sources:

      Products made from precious Metals and other Metals, other industrial chemicals.

    All the rates are available under Central Excise Tariff & Central Excise Duty of 2015, as of August 2015.

    Sales Tax/VAT V/S Excise Duty:

    The biggest difference between VAT/sales tax and excise duty is that the prior to be charged on consumption of goods, whereas excise is charged on the manufacture and production of goods. Excise duties are also chargeable on a narrower range of products, as compared to VAT and sales tax. For example, excise is not chargeable on fossil fuels unlike sales tax and VAT. The excise amount is generally accounts for a higher percentage of the maximum retail price of the products. Excise is chargeable on per unit basis, i.e. it is calculated on the costing of good for a specific amount in the form of volume, weight or units. VAT and sales tax amounts are calculated proportional to the maximum retail price of the product or services.

    Excise Duty V/s Customs Duty:

    If you take a look at both of these taxes at first, both are taxes levied by the government of India but the most significant difference between the two is that customs duty is a tax levied upon goods imported into the country from foreign countries while excise duty is levied by the government on the goods manufactured in the country. It is important to note that many provisions are common to both customs and excise duty. Also, both taxes have similar procedures of administration, tribunal and settlement. At the same time the refund search, principles of valuation, confiscation and appeal are similar for both taxes.

    What is the Purpose of Excise Duty?

    There is a necessity of taxes in any country but it is important to know what the Government does with that money. Taxes are levied to ensure the smooth running of the public services in India. Excise duty is a part of it.

    It makes sure that the manufacturing sector is involving themselves in the taxation to cover all aspects. Taxes can also be a tool to control the sale of a good, especially narcotic substances and alcohol. The increase in tax amount of such products may have eventually lead to reduction of purchase due to ill affordability.

    Taxes in general, help Governments in infrastructure projects such as building roads, railway networks that are used by the public. It also helps to ensure that the defense forces i.e. navy, airforce and army are being maintained and the required arms are being funded, so that taxpayer or not, a citizen of India feels safe and secure at home. Other maintenances such as public parks, water treatment and cleanliness in public places are funded by such taxes. A lot of free public healthcare is funded through these taxes. Any Government or public building, organization, area or service is indeed funded by such taxes.

    Also, under the Indian law system excise tax, unless exempted under the corresponding acts. If an individual or an organization is caught evading excise tax, the penance could be a fine of 20-50% of duty evaded. It also spoils the organization and the involved individual’s image. Hence, the importance of excise duty.

    How do you Evaluate Excisable Goods?

    It is done in the basis any one of the 2 two provisions enshrined in the Central Excise law in India. These provisions are Valuation under section 4 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985, The earlier act is based on normal price where maximum retail price is not to the Central Government or where Tariff values have not been fixed for the articles. Under section 3(2) of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 the valuation is simply based on maximum retail price (MRP) under section 4A of the Central Excise Act, 1944. Section 4A of the Central Excise Act of 1944 applies on the excisable goods that are notified by the Central Govt.

    News About Excise Duty

    • Excise duty hike on fuel contributes to increase in government revenue

      According to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, indirect tax receipts rose by 25% in April to December, 2016. This may be due to an increase in excise duty on diesel and petrol in the last 2 years. Excise duty on diesel went up to Rs.17.3 per litre in February, 2016. The total excise collection rose to 54% in FY16 from 39% in FY15. The share of excise duty in the government’s revenue has increased to 19.5% in FY 2016-17 from 15.3% in FY 2015-16. Analysts estimate the total excise collection on fuel to increase to 45% in FY17. According to Citi Research, excise collections have increased by Rs.81,300 crores in FY16, and Rs.65,500 crores in FY17. However, excise collection is expected to drop in FY18 even if there is no change in excise duty. If the crude oil price increases in the future and the government decides to revise the excise duty, then there will be a significant change in excise collections in FY18.

      17th January 2017

    • Excise Tax Growth Deaccelerates with Demonetization

      Excise Tax, which is an indicator of manufacturing operations in the country, has exhibited a slowdown in its growth rate for the month of November after the 1000-rupee and 500-rupee ban came into effect. According to data published by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, the growth in collections of excise duty has come down to 36% from the 41% growth registered in October.

      10th December 2016

    • 1% excise duty on branded gold coins removed

      The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has notified that the government slashed 1 per cent excise duty on branded gold coins, which would result in them becoming cheaper. The excise duty will be zero on gold coins with a purity of 99.5 per cent and above, and that bears the name of a brand. This is, however, applicable only on those coins that are manufactured from gold on which the requisite duty of Customs or excise has been paid up. Meanwhile, any excise duty on silver coins that are branded continues to be exempted. This does not apply to articles of goldsmiths or silversmiths' products of precious metal or those of metal clad with precious metal carrying a brand name, which will continue to attract 1 per cent excise duty.

      The Managing Director of PC Jewelers Balram Garg stated that the excise duty on branded coins, which used to be 1% earlier, has been eliminated. He reasoned that this latest move has been undertaken to make branded coins cheaper while also promoting organised industry. The norm of levying excise duty of 1 per cent on branded gold coin was implemented in 2011.

      Former president of the All India Jewellery Federation Bachhraj Bamalwa commented that many jewellers are not engaged in manufacturing branded coins, and hence will not face any impact from the move, even though we welcome the move as a whole.

      A senior MMTC-Pamp (India) official added that the Excise duty was eliminated for those engaged in manufacturing gold coins having a purity of 99.5 per cent, and those made with imported gold and have already paid up the requisite Customs duty. Since MMTC was making gold coins under the Gold Monetisation Scheme, it continued to be subject to the one per cent excise duty norm.

      12th December 2016

    • Gold purchases to come under scrutiny

      Gold purchases made by customers through any means, cash, cheque, or credit card just before or after the demonetization of the Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes will come under scrutiny. The Excise department has given notices to 600 jewellers to provide the stocks and sales of gold for each day between the 7th of November and 10th of November. The days after the notice was issued the market saw a sharp drop in the demand for Gold bullion. It is speculated that many customers scrapped their Rs.500 and Rs.1,000 currency notes through purchase of gold, by paying an inflated price for the precious metal which could go as high as Rs.50,000 per 10 grams as compared to the market price of Rs.31,000 per 10 grams. Presently the tax on gold is charged at 1% for any purchases above Rs.5 lakh, which will be deducted at source.

      22nd November 2016

    • Export industry needs to brace itself for life after GST

      As GST has already been passed by both the upper and the lower house of Indian parliament, the next step is to decide on the possible rates that will be applicable.

      And as negotiations are already on the way to come up with a detailed GST rate structure by April 2017, several new reports regarding its impact is circling the news media.

      Currently, it is being said that export industry will face a rather tough time acclimatising itself with the new goods and services tax. For exporters a major impact would be the increased requirement and possible blockage of working capital.

      This is because the new mandate states that all duties need to be paid when a particular transaction is taking place and refunds can only be claimed after the exports are done. What this means is exporters need to mobilise funds for manufacturing and the payment of any such taxes or duties.

      25th October, 2016

    • GST Does Not Take Away Right of Government to Levy Excise Duty

      The Government has come to the conclusion that despite all the chaos and decisions made by the attorney general it still has the power to tax people for excise duty on goods besides petroleum despite the provision of the Constitution amendment law, that was given Septemeber 16. According to an interview given to the Economic Times by a top Government official that based on the 122nd Amendment 2014, GST Act which is supposed to levy GST would be able to cover the government’s interest until the implementation of the reform takes place.

      21st September 2016

    • Reliance Industries Hazira Plant Under Scrutiny

      In news that might spell trouble for Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, the company’s plant in Hazira, Gujarat has come under the tax department’s scanner.

      It is being reported that has evaded excise duty of about Rs. 25 crore and the central revenue authorities are closely debunking the issue.

      The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) of the Gujarat region has supposedly started a probe and has sought clarifications for RIL regarding the issue. The case concerns the wrongful classification of mixed Xylene—a chemical compound obtained through the cracking of Naphtha—which the company produces and sells to paint factories.

      RIL was alleged of paying only 12.5% by classifying Xylene as an organic chemical where it actually is a mineral oil that incurs 14% duty.

      Speaking on the same, a company spokesperson has said that the company has complied with all the rules and that they are clear of any wrongdoing as their work is routinely audited by government agencies.

      However, DGCEI officials from Surat region has sought all the relevant documents regarding the case and have demanded RIL’s senior officials to appear before a tribunal.

      The real extent of the evasion though will only be found out once the probe is complete.

      19th September 2016

    • Textile Traders In Surat Oppose Excise Duty On Branded Fabrics

      A new circular issued by the Central Excise and Customs Department has stated that a 2% duty would be levied on branded clothing such as saris, salwar suit and dress materials priced more than Rs.1,000. The Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) is opposing this move.

      The association has decided to send a memorandum to the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Textiles urging them to exclude fabrics made in man-made fibre hubs should be excluded from this excise duty.

      Most traders in Surat sell their products under a brand name, but being an MMF hub, the excise duty should be repealed, said FOSTTA.

      4th August 2016

    • Wine Consumption in Karnataka to get Costlier

      The Excise Department in Karnataka has issued a draft notification on June 22 for an increase in the excise duty by a whopping 177 percent which would make wine in certain categories costlier. The hike is scheduled to come into force on July 1. It is being touted as a measure to support the growers of the much famous Bangalore Blue Grapes.

      Clarifying the hike, the Excise Commissioner stated the spike in duty is only applicable for ENA (Extra Neutral Spirit). This move is being seen as a measure to promote sale and consumption of fruit wine. Grape Growers do not see this as a deterrent since a bulk of this category of grapes is being sold to wine producers in the state of Maharashtra. Before making a final decision in this regard, the feedback of growers and wine producers is likely to be taken into account.

      30th June 2016

    • Excise Duty Cut On Fuel Unlikely: Oil Minister

      Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has told the public not to expect a reduction in excise duty after petrol and diesel went up by Rs. 9-10 per litre since March. He said there should be no knee-jerk reaction either to slipping oil prices or increasing prices.

      He said the de-linking of petrol and diesel prices from government controls and leaving them to market movements was “a conscious decision” and “there is no rethink on it”. He added that petro and diesel prices were not directly linked to oil prices, but to gasoline and gas oil rates, which “do not necessarily move in tandem with crude oil prices”.

      Petrol prices on Wednesday was up by Rs.2.58 per litre and diesel increased by Rs.2.26 per litre.

      22nd June 2016

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