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GST recasts indirect tax boards name
September, 13th 2016

The Central Board of Excise and Customs is proposed to be renamed as the Central Board of Indirect Taxes as India readies itself for a paradigm shift in indirect taxation by transitioning to a goods and services tax regime.

The new name will also encompass a growing area of revenue which the earlier name never acknowledged—that of service tax.

India first introduced service tax in 1994 and 22 years since then service tax collections contribute almost one third of the indirect tax collections.

Service tax is also levied on almost all the services except for a small negative list which mentions the excluded services. In comparison, central excise came into force in 1944—even before India achieved independence.

GST, a destination-based tax, will subsume most of the indirect taxes levied by the centre and the states like excise duty, service tax, value added tax, entertainment tax, luxury tax and entry tax. It will also cut down costs of businesses by removing barriers across states and ensuring a seamless flow of goods and services.

The renaming of the board also reflects the major administrative reset that the central indirect tax authority will have to bring about.

Not only will the central tax officials have to work closely with the states, the internal division of work between the main three verticals—customs, service tax and excise duty have also changed.

Under the restructured central board of indirect taxes, there will be six members besides the chairman.

These include member (GST) who will look after GST, member (central excise and legacy issues) who will look into all items outside GST’s net on which excise will be levied and to tackle the legacy issues and member (customs).

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