Taxation plays a vital role in the economy and makes a significant contribution to it. In India, the tax structure encompasses different types of taxes and duties like excise duty. To streamline the process of paying taxes and claiming returns, it is essential for individuals whose income comes under a taxable bracket to become familiar with the different types of taxes and duties. 

Following is a look at the fundamentals of excise duty meaning to help gain valuable information about it.

What is Excise Duty?

Fundamentally, excise duty is a tax levied on the domestically produced goods. Generally, it is charged on their production and sale and is also known as CENVAT or Central Value Added Tax.

Excise duty is an indirect form of taxation and is collected from a customer by a retailer or an intermediary. It is paid when goods are transferred from the production unit to a warehouse. 

This particular tax is governed by two sets of acts – Central Excise Act, 1944 and Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. Ideally, the Central Board of Excise and Customs is responsible for the collection of excise duty

With the introduction of GST, several indirect taxes have been subsumed, including excise tax. Nonetheless, it is still applicable to a few items like petroleum, liquor, etc.  

Types of Excise Duty

In a broader sense, there are 3 distinct types of excise duty, namely –

  • Basic Excise Duty

This type of excise duty is levied on goods that come under the schedule one of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985. It is imposed on all excisable goods except salt. 

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  • Additional Excise Duty

It is a tax levied on all goods that are scheduled under Section 3 of the ‘Additional Duties of Excise Act’ of 1957. This tax collected is shared between the state and central government and is levied instead of sales tax. 

  • Special Excise Duty

This category of tax is levied on those goods listed under the Second Schedule of the Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985.

One must note that individuals are exempted from paying taxes. However, such a benefit can be availed based on –

  • Value of turnover in a given financial year.
  • Raw materials used.
  • Process involved. 

Regardless, individuals who cannot avail these exemptions should make it a point to pay the excise duty on time. 

Who Should Pay Excise Duty?

These three parties have to pay an excise duty – 

  1. Manufacturers of goods.
  2. Entities who got the goods in question manufactured by hired labourers.
  3. Entities who have goods in question manufactured by other parties.

Implications of Not Paying Excise Duty 

As per Central Excise Act, individuals are subject to pay penalty in the form of fines if they fail to pay excise duty. Typically, the penalty ranges from 25% to 50% of the evaded tax amount. To avoid it, one must pay this tax on time and also ensure that the filed tax amount is accurate. 

Steps to Pay Excise Duty 

With the help of Electronic Accounting System in Excise and Service Tax (EASIEST), the payment gateway of CBEC, one can pay excise duty in a few steps. These are discussed below –

Step 1 – Go to EASIEST and select the option for e-payment.

Step 2 – Enter the allotted Assessee number and verify it online.

Step 3 – Provide details like – address, name and information related to the jurisdictional commissionerate among others.

Step 4 – Navigate to the menu for tax-type and then choose the Codes for Excise.

Step 5 – Once the accounting code is selected, proceed to select the financial institution through which one can make payment.

Step 6 – Verify the information shared and then make requisite payments.

Step 7 – With the help of user-ID and password, log in to the gateway for net banking.

Step 8 – Enter the tax to be paid and the account for making payment.

Step 9 – Once payment is made, a Challan Counterfoil will be generated. 

Such a challan contains CIN which serves as a proof of payment.

Step 10 – Use the Challan Status Inquiry feature to verify the payment status on EASIEST portal. 

Often individuals tend to confuse excise duty with other types of taxes like – custom duty. To ensure the same is charged and treated accurately, taxpayers need to become familiar with more than excise duty meaning. For instance, they should also check out the fundamental differences between GST and excise tax, or excise duty and customs duty, among others.

Differences between Custom Duty and Excise Duty

These pointers below highlight differences between custom duty and excise duty –

Parameters  Excise Duty Custom Duty
Place of manufacture  It is levied on goods that are produced in India. It is levied on goods that are sold in India but are produced in another country. 
Payer The manufacturer of goods bears it. The importer of goods bears it. 

Differences between GST and Excise Duty 

This table below enumerates the fundamental differences between GST and excise duty –

Parameters Excise duty GST
Tax base This tax is levied on manufactured goods. It is implemented at the time of removal of goods from the production unit.  It is levied on goods and services. However, GST is levied at the time of supply of goods and services.
Filing of returns Monthly or annual returns have to be filed before the 30th of April.  GST returns have to be filed monthly or quarterly. On the other hand, the annual return has to be filed prior to the 30th of September. 
Rate of tax As per the norms of Central Excess Tariff – the current rate of excise duty is 12.36% (it, however, depends on the produced goods). As per GST norms, the rate of taxes are –

0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%.

Invoice matching  The concept of invoice matching does not exist under the purview of excise duty. The input tax credit can be claimed based on the self-assessed return filed by taxpayers. The input tax credit is given based on invoice matching. 
Input tax credit  Taxpayers can avail credit on the tax that is levied on input products and services.   Input credit can be availed on both products and services. One must note that GST credit can be availed on IGST, SGST or CGST.

Once individuals become aware of these fundamentals of excise duty, they should find out about the steps involved in claiming the input tax credit. Subsequently, they should become familiar with the interface of the e-portal payment to streamline the process better and more effectively.