Profession Tax in West Bengal

The West Bengal State Tax on Professions, Trades, Callings and Employment Act, 1979 (commonly know as Profession Tax Act) came into force with effect from 1.4.1979 with the object of levying tax on professions, trades, callings and employments.

APPLICATION

Every person, who is engaged in any profession, trade, calling or employment and falling under any one or more of the entries enumerated in the Schedule appended to the Act, is liable to pay Profession Tax. The Schedule now contains 23 entries. Entry at serial No. 1 applies to salary or wage earners, while entries at serial numbers 2 to 23 relate to persons engaged in different professions, trades and callings.

TYPES OF TAXPAYERS

There are basically two types of taxpayers, viz.,

  1. Employers

  2. Self-employed persons

In case of employees liable to pay tax under entry at serial number 1 of the Schedule, the employer is liable to pay tax on behalf of his employees after deduction of tax from the salary or wages paid to the employees at the time of disbursement.

A self-employed person, on the other hand, will pay tax himself.

For payment of tax, an employer will have to obtain a ‘Certificate of Registration’ while a self-employed person will have to obtain a ‘Certificate of Enrolment’ from the appropriate Profession Tax Officer.

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HOW TO APPLY FOR REGISTRATION/ ENROLMENT

An application for registration has to be made by an employer in Form I to the Profession Tax Officer having jurisdiction over the employer’s place of work.

Similarly a self-employed person who is covered by one or more entries in the schedule shall apply for enrolment in Form-II before the appropriate Profession Tax Officer.

The person who is liable to obtain a certificate of enrolment, shall pay in the Bank/Treasury, the tax payable by him under the Act on Profession Tax challan and apply for a certificate of enrolment in Form II as referred to above to the Profession Tax Officer along with a receipted copy of challan as proof of payment of tax. Application for new enrolment may also be filed through the current website.

Both the applications in Form I or Form II should be filed within 90 days from the date of accrual of liability.

The registration certificate or the enrolment certificate will be issued by the Profession Tax Officer in Form IA or IIA respectively.

A Government Department, however, need not apply for a certificate of registration.

HOW AND WHEN TO PAY TAX

Registered employers are required to file returns with receipted challan showing payment of tax. In respect of such employers with annual tax liability up to Rupees three thousand, the return period is quarterly. Such employers shall furnish quarterly return within 30 days of expiry of each quarter and pay tax before filing such return. Other employers having annual tax liability exceeding Rupees three thousand shall furnish quarterly returns within 30 days of expiry of each quarter and make monthly payment of tax within 21 days of the next month in respect of the first two months of each quarter.

Tax is to be deposited in the specified Banks/ Treasury. Challans shall be in quadruplicate of which two receipted copies will be returned by the Bank/ Treasury to the taxpayer, out of which one copy has to be submitted by him to the Profession Tax Office.

Enrolled persons are required to pay the tax only once in a financial year, ordinarily, within 31st July of the year.

A copy of receipted challan showing such payment along with an appendage in Form IX shall be submited by the enrolled person to the appropriate Profession Tax Office.

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PAYMENT OF INTEREST

If an employer or enrolled person fails to pay tax as required under the law, he will be liable to pay simple interest @ 2% per month or part thereof on the amount due up to 31.3.2002 and the rate of the same is @ 1% with effect from 1.4.2002.

RETURNS

For registered employers with annual tax liability up to Rupees three thousand, the return period is quarterly. Such employers shall furnish quarterly return within 30 days of expiry of each quarter and pay tax before filing such return. Other employers having annual tax liability exceeding Rupees three thousand shall furnish quarterly returns within 30 days of expiry of each quarter and make monthly payment of tax within 21 days of the next month in respect of the first two months of each quarter.

ASSESSMENT

Assessments are made, ordinarily, for each year separately by the appropriate Profession Tax Officer in respect of registered employers to check the correctness of the returns filed by the employees.

In respect of registered employers with annual tax liability up to Rupees three thousand, assessments are made on the basis of selection for the years commencing from 1st April 1996.

PENALTIES

The Profession Tax Act provides for imposition of penalty in different cases.

Some of such cases are: -

  • Wilful failure to apply for registration/enrolment within time.

  • Deliberately giving false information in the application for registration/enrolment.

  • Failure to pay tax within time.

  • Failure to file return within time.

  • Failure to pay tax within time fixed in a notice of demand.

  • Wilful failure to maintain books of accounts and records.

 

PROSECUTION

In respect of certain offences, the law on Profession Tax in West Bengal provides for prosecution. Such offences are:

  • Failure to furnish return by a registered employer.

  • Failure to pay tax by an enrolled person.

  • Furnishing incorrect information in a return.

  • Furnishing incorrect information in an appendage in Form IX.

  • Failure to produce and explain records and books of accounts for inspection as required by an authority under the law.

  • Negligence or refusal to provide information as required under the law.

Such offences are cognizable and bailable. They are punishable with simple imprisonment or fine or both.   

 

CLASS OF PERSONS LIABLE TO PAY TAX

The Schedule which is appended to the Profession Tax Act, specifies the class of persons liable to pay tax and the rate of tax applicable in each case.

For further details in respect of Profession Tax, the following officer may please be contacted: -

Public Information Officer,
Directorate of Commercial Taxes,
14, Beliaghata Road, Calcutta-700015,
(Room No. 511/III)
Phone: 2251-6784 (Extn. 507)

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