The Directorate of Commercial Taxes, West Bengal is headed by the Commissioner of Commercial Taxes. Below the Commissioner, there are Special Commissioners, Additional Commissioners, Senior Joint Commissioners, Joint Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners and State Tax Officers to assist the Commissioner.
Charges - A Charge is the basic functional unit of the Directorate. There are 48 Charges in West Bengal. A Charge is headed by a Charge Officer, who can be a Joint Commissioner or a Senior Joint Commissioner. This unit is entrusted with the administration of the GST Act, and includes registration, amendment, cancellation and its revocation, audit and assessment, enforcement, anti-evasion, raising demand and its recovery and refund, besides legacy works under other Acts. The Charge Officer reports to the Administrative Circle head.
Circles - Administratively, the Directorate is divided into 16 Circles. A Circle is headed by the Additional Commissioner or the Senior Joint Commissioner. He is supported by other Senior Joint Commissioners, Joint Commissioners and other officers, down to those at the Charge level. They exercise Administrative, Appellate and Revisional Jurisdiction over the Charges under them and Audit, Adjudication and recovery thereof at the Circle level.
Large Taxpayers’ Unit (LTU) - To facilitate the revenue administration of the largest taxpayers of the State, a dedicated unit called Large Taxpayers’ Unit has been formed. It is headed administratively by a Special Commissioner and assisted by Additional, Senior Joint and Joint Commissioners. All registered tax-payers under the LTU are divided into 18 sectoral groups, twelve for goods, six for services, and one to look after the legacy work.
Bureau of Investigation - There are 2 units of Bureau of Investigation, geographically, having jurisdiction over North and South Bengal respectively. They are headed by Special Commissioners and assisted by other officers. The Bureau of Investigation has four functionalities: Wayside checking for movement of goods, Investigation, ITC Investigation and Data Analysis. Each unit is headed by a Special Officer of the rank of a Special Commissioner or an Additional Commissioner. There are 8 Zonal offices under the Bureau of Investigation, 2 in North Bengal and 6 in South Bengal.
The Commercial Tax Directorate has successfully implemented the Government Process Re-engineering (GPR) under the Mission Mode Project for Commercial Taxes (MMP-CT) as a part of the National eGovernance Plan (NeGP), bringing in much needed efficiency, accountability and transparency to the process of tax administration. The streamlining of processes and warehousing of data also resulted in faster response to prevent tax evasion and address public grievances. Information Systems Division (ISD) has been the backbone of the Directorate of Commercial Taxes in West Bengal for implementation of e-Governance in various aspects of indirect taxes. The ISD, as the internal Information Technology (IT) wing of the directorate, plays a key role in maintenance and upgradation of IT infrastructure and implementation of new e-services. With the introduction of GST, ISD now provides the basis on which the entire Directorate functions.
ISD has been a catalyst in rolling out the citizen-centric/business-centric services with a view to reducing the cost of compliance and enhance the ease of doing business in the State of West Bengal. The uninterrupted and untiring efforts of ISD was recognised when the Directorate won several awards for success in e-Governance initiatives viz. CSI Nihilent Award, National e-Governance Award, SKOCH Award, Golden Peacock Award, etc over the years.
All the offices are connected with the Central Data Base maintained in the Headquarters of this Directorate through LAN and WAN.
All offices have access to the Internal Website containing internal information and communication, as well as the GST Back Office portal, for their day-to-day activities under GST. The Directorate has its internal modular application called IMPACT which helps the officer to perform all statutory obligations.
The H.R.D. Cell of the Directorate has been successfully guiding, facilitating and training a huge number of personnel working in our Organization and sensitizing them about the different laws particularly the GST Act 2017, W.B. VAT Act, 2003 and the R.T.I. Act, 2005 which are of prime importance at present.
The thrust of in-house programmes is generally placed on the Induction Training of officers, for overall qualitative improvement in the work culture of this organization. In addition, In-Service Training programmes for employees down to the level of Lower Division Clerks are also undertaken. Each training programme includes extensive discourses on Statutes, Workshops, Case Studies, Group Discussion and Interactive Sessions. In certain cases great emphasis is laid on solving problems. Outreach programmes are also conducted on the GST Act and other aspects of tax administration for the tax officials and other Government and non-government organizations all over the state.
GOODS AND SERVICE TAX - POLICY PLANNING UNIT [GST-PPU]
The history of Indirect Taxation in India has witnessed an unprecedented change with the introduction of Goods and Services Tax with effect from 1st of July 2017. The existing system of indirect taxation in India was characterized by multiplicity of taxes and duties. This included Central duties and taxes like Central Excise Duty, Additional Excise duty, CVD (Counterveiling Duty), SAD (Special Additional Duty), Service Tax, Central Sales Tax and State taxes like VAT, Entertainment Tax, Luxury Tax, and Entry Tax, all of which have been subsumed in GST.
GST Policy Planning Unit was set up in the Directorate by the Commissioner, Commercial Taxes, West Bengal with the objective of successful implementation of GST in the state of West Bengal. It also undertakes examination of review proposals of GST law, rule, rate of tax and Circulars received from the Central Government; responds to queries raised by various stakeholders including Government Departments, Local bodies and business associations; and evolves new ideas in tune with GST law for betterment of tax administration.
Certificate Organization - The C.O. under the Directorate is entrusted with the function of realising dues from Certificate Debtors.
Profession Tax Range and Unit Offices - There are five Profession Tax Ranges in Kolkata and four Profession Tax Ranges in the districts. Twenty-three Profession Tax Units operate in the district under the appropriate Range Offices.
Law Section: It monitors disputes between the aggrieved parties and the State of West Bengal at different legal forums, including West Bengal Commercial Taxes Appellate and Revisional Board, West Bengal Taxation Tribunal, State Administrative Tribunal, Kolkata High Court and Supreme Court of India and other Civil and Criminal Courts.
Public Relations Office: Communicating with the Central Government, other offices of the State Government; Publication of advertisements, Trade and other Circulars; replying to queries made by Governments, various institutions, Tax payers, Dealers, Tax Practitioners, Trade Bodies and other persons; and Processing of pre-budget proposals received from trade, industry and individuals on taxation matters dealt with by the Directorate, falls under the purview of the PRO.
The Directorate has established a central help desk to mitigate issues for taxpayers. In addition to that, there are helpdesks at each Charge. There are dedicated help lines (033)71221000 and (033)71221222 and 1800 121 0060 (toll-free) as well, which are manned during office hours. An e-Grievance system is also in place to redress public grievances.
This Directorate has its own official website www.wbcomtax.gov.in.