Filing of sales tax returns, VAT refund to go online in Bengal

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on July 26, 2011

State e-governance scheme for small and medium enterprises

The West Bengal government on Monday announced an e-governance scheme to help the small and medium enterprises sector to file e-return of sales tax and also enable online refund of value added tax (VAT) through the electronic clearing schemes.

The State government has also decided to set up around 150 kiosks to facilitate online submission, payment and clearance of tax dues and filing and payment of tax refunds. If necessary, more kiosks will be set up on a PPP model.

Project cost

The e-governance initiatives will cost the State government around Rs 70 crore, which in turn will be shared on a 75-25 basis between the State and the Centre under the Mission Mode scheme of the Centre.

The five schemes introduced include e-registration for VAT and dematerialisation of registration certificates, filing of sales tax e-returns, e-payments under industrial promotion assistance, e-VAT refund and payment through ECS and e-submission of Form 16 under composition scheme.

The State Finance Minister, Mr Amit Mitra, said that the initiatives would not only curb the harassment faced by small and medium traders, but also reduce corruption in the Finance Department.

“We expect an increase in tax buoyancy as well as improved compliance by the people,” Mr Mitra said.


The online registration for VAT and dematerialisation of registration scheme, which was earlier carried out manually, will from August become online only. Applications can be filed throughout the day, Mr Mitra said, adding that the facility to file VAT returns will be launched on Monday.

The State government has also introduced an online filing for Form 16 scheme under which dealers can seek payment of lower tax.


According to Mr Mitra, the online refund of taxes through ECS through the payment under industrial promotion assistance scheme will help over 700 small and medium enterprises that have manufacturing facility in the state. Payments, currently made manually through cheques, will now be made directly to the bank accounts of the enterprises.

The financial assistance to enterprises through this scheme in nearly Rs 40 crore annually and is in the form of a VAT or Central Sales Tax drawback provided for modernisation or expansion of existing or new capabilities.

Further, exporters are now eligible for a refund of 90 per cent of their refund amount – inplace of the earlier 75 per cent – under the online VAT refund and payment through ECS scheme. Money will once again be deposited directly to bank accounts of exporters.

The system will stop fraudulent refunds and reduce any delays in the manual system.

Published on July 25, 2011

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