With elections around the corner, the State Government, while presenting its vote-on-account in the Assembly, introduced no new taxes and proposed a 17 per cent increase in plan outlay, at ₹ 57,905 crore, for financial year 2017. The interim financial statement projects ₹ 8 crore deficit for 2016-17.

Finance Minister Mr. Amit Mitra, with an eye on the Assembly elections, enlisted the Government’s “unprecedented” allocation in the social sector, while pointing out that the debt-ridden State has received no help from the Centre in terms of debt morantorium.

“This budget proposes no new tax and announcement of no new scheme, this year being an election year. This is allocation for the full year and vote-on-accounts for four months on the expenditure the Government will incur till new Government is in place,” Finance Minister said. He added that the State, on the Gross Value Added count, has expanded at 12 per cent against national growth of 7.3 per cent.

I would like to highlight the changes in Finance Act, 2017

1. Reduction in Stamp Duty on registration of under construction property

In case of registration of agreement relating to sale or assignment or lease cum sale for flats or apartments or units which are under construction or to be constructed, stamp duty shall be charged at the rate of 2% of the market value of the property subject to following conditions.

a. Plan of the flats or apartments or units has been sanctioned within a period from 1-1-2015 to the date of effect of this notification and

b. Final Conveyance shall be completed within 31st January, 2019.

2. There are some changes in rate of stamp duty on transactions like proprietary accounts, currency, interest, debt security and bonds.

3. The Jurisdiction of the West Bengal Taxation Tribunal has been extended to The West Bengal Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Areas Act, 2012, from 1st April, 2017.

4. The date for issue of provisional certificate of settlement to the applicant in prescribed form extended from 7 working days to 15 working days from the date of receipt of application for settlement of disputed taxes in Form 2.

5. Entry tax is not applicable in case of a dealer who’s turnover is less than ₹ 5 lakhs in a return period subject to a maximum of ₹ 20 lakhs in a year.

6. West Bengal Tax on Entry of Goods into Local Areas Act, 2012 has been validated, as such any assessment order, provisional order, collection of tax, interest, late fees will be deemed to be and to have always been done or taken in accordance with law.

7. In line with GST, the earlier limit for liability to pay tax on transfer of property in goods involved in execution of
works contract under section 14 of WBVAT Act, increased from ₹ 10 lakhs to ₹ 20 lakhs.

8. Rate of VAT in case of dealer following/opted to pay at compound rate of tax increased from 1% to 3% under sections 16 and 18 of the West Bengal Value Added Tax Act, 2003.

9. The requirement for submission of VAT Audit report in Form 88 by a Private Limited Company or a Public Limited Company or any other dealer who’s turnover including stock transfer to branches exceeds ₹ 10 lakhs has been dispensed with and

10. Every registered dealer who is required to get his accounts audited under section 44AB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 shall within 31st December submit a copy of Audit report as required under Income-tax Act, 1961 along with a copy of Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet for such year.

11. The followings goods has been included in Schedule A, accordingly no tax is payable on sale of such goods.

a. Biodiesel excluding ethanol

b. Biomass Briquettes (earlier taxable @ 5%)

c. Hair bands and Hair Clips (earlier taxable @ 5%)

d. Kerosene Stove (earlier taxable @ 5%)

e. Leaf plates and Cups (earlier taxable @ 5%)

f. Solar water heater

g. Teracotta tiles

12. Machineries for generation of electricity from waste has been included in Schedule C and will be charged to tax @ 5%.

Knowledge can only be got in one way, the way of experience; there is no other way to know.

– Swami Vivekananda

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