Govt restructures indirect tax body for GST rollout

The government has restructured and renamed its indirect tax body as it pushes to roll out the Goods and Services Tax by July. GST will subsume a number of levies on goods and services like excise, VAT and service tax - charged by state and central governments.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), part of the Department of Revenue in the finance ministry, will now be called Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC). The reorganised body will assist the government in framing policy for GST, central excise levy and customs, a statement from the finance ministry said.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley has approved the reorganisation of the field formations of the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). CBEC will be renamed after getting legislative approval.

The existing formations of Central Excise and Service Tax under the CBEC have been re-organised to implement and enforce the provisions of the proposed Goods and Services Tax Laws.

"The proposed CBIC shall, inter alia, supervise the work of all its field formations and directorates and assist the government in policy making in relation to GST, continuing central excise levy and customs functions," an official statement said.

The CBIC will have 21 zones, 101 GST taxpayer 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.

The Directorate General of Systems under CBEC is being strengthened for a robust IT network while 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, to be renamed as National Academy of Customs, Indirect Taxes and Narcotics, will have an all-India presence, to enable capacity building to the employees of the indirect tax administration of the centre as well as of the state governments and to members of trade and industry. The renamed Directorate General of Goods and Service Tax Intelligence is also being strengthened and expanded to become an important wing of the government in its fight against tax evasion and black money.