Excise Duty in India Last Updated : 05 Jun 2020

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Note: Excise duty has been replaced by the Goods and Services Tax(GST) w.e.f. 1 July 2017.

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.

News About Excise Duty

  • 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.

    06 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.

    27 April 2020

  • Import Duty of 10% To Be Levied On Wheat, Pulses

    The government has issued a notification stating there would be a 10% duty levied on the import of wheat and tur or pigeon pea dal effective immediately. This decision was taken as the government believes there will be record food grain production in the country in the current year (July 2016- June 2017).

    The move is also aimed at protecting farmers, since food grains fell below the minimum support price (MSP) in most states.

    This will also help reduce the decline in the price of wholesale tur dal and assure farmers of MSP during the ongoing procurement season.

    As farmers had a good kharif season, a bumper crop is expected this year, which has resulted in wholesale prices falling to new lows. As farmers are also expecting a bumper wheat crop, the import duty would help them receive a good price for their harvest during post-harvest procurement.

    29 March 2017

  • 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.

    17 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.

    10 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.

    12 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.

    22 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.

    25 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.

    21 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.

    19 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.

    4 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.

    30 June 2016

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