C. Gouridasan Nair

Now, it allows only VAT payment

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The e-payment system introduced by the Commercial Taxes Department to facilitate speedy payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) by the 1.63 lakh registered traders in the State will soon cover various other payments.

The department is planning to throw open the e-payment system for payment of sales tax, luxury tax, agricultural income tax, surcharges and money lending licence fees as well and allow traders to download C-forms, delivery note and various tax-related forms from its website. The idea is to make it easier for the traders to obtain forms and make remittances without having to visit the offices of the department.

The department could collect Rs.448 crore as VAT and Rs.546 crore by way of sales tax on petrol, diesel and liquor after the formal launch of the e-payment system on September 8. According to Finance Department sources, there has been a 10 per cent growth in tax collection from the beginning of this financial year and the continued buoyancy showed that there has been no resistance from the traders to the new system.

No penalty

The department had permitted traders who had met with technical hitches under the new system and could not make their tax payments within the deadline to make the payments after the deadline without penalty. Finance Department sources said that the rate of growth of tax revenue would show a marked increase once the e-payment facility became widely used.

A meeting of the welfare board for traders and industrialists here on Wednesday by Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac decided to extend the e-payment facility currently available with the State Bank of India (SBI) and State Bank of Travancore (SBT) to other nationalised banks and major scheduled commercial banks as well. The Finance Minister is convening a meeting here on Friday to discuss the proposal.