Indirect tax wing rejigged ahead of GST launch

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NEW DELHI: As it prepares to launch the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by July 1, the finance ministry on Saturday approved the re-organisation of the indirect tax wing renaming the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC). The decision will be sent for legislative approval.

The existing formations of central excise and service tax under the CBEC have been reorganised to implement and enforce the provisions of the proposed GST. The changes were approved by finance minister Arun Jaitley. The proposed CBIC is expected to supervise the work of all its field formations and directorates and assist the government in policy-making linked to GST and will continue with its central excise levy and customs functions

GST will harmonise 11 state and central levies into a national sales tax, reducing transaction costs and usher in transparency. The tax reform will subsume central and state levies such as excise duty, additional duties of customs, service tax, value added tax, central sales tax, entry tax, octroi and luxury tax.

The CBIC will have 21 zones, 101 GST tax payer services commissionerates comprising 15 sub-commissionerates, 768 divisions, 3,969 ranges, 49 audit commissionerates and 50 appeals commissionerates. “This will ensure rendering of taxpayer services to all the taxpayers through an indirect tax administration structure, having pan-India presence,” according to a finance ministry statement.
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For a robust IT network, the directorate general of systems under the CBEC is being strengthened. The directorate general tax payer services is being expanded for greater outreach for facilitating smooth transition for the taxpayers to the GST environment. The existing training establishment, will be renamed as the National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics. It will have presence across the country, to train employees of the indirect tax administration of the Centre as well as of the state and to members of trade and industry.

The renamed directorate general of goods & service tax intelligence will also be strengthened and expanded to emerge as a key wing in the fight against tax evasion and black money.