West Bengal Tightens E-way Bill Norms to Boost Tax Compliance


West Bengal Tightens E-way Bill Norms to Boost Tax Compliance
Nov, 2023



Kolkata, November 11, 2023 – The Commercial Tax Department of West Bengal has issued a pivotal notification that is set to redefine the logistics and transport sectors within the state. As per the Notification No. 02/2023-C.T./GST dated November 10, the e-way bill generation threshold for intra-state movement of goods will be lowered to Rs. 50,000 from the existing limit of Rs. 1 lakh, effective from December 1, 2023.


This policy revision also extends the e-way bill applicability to the transport of goods to and from job workers, a segment which was previously exempted, now requiring e-way bills for values exceeding Rs. 50,000.


To gain deeper insights into the impact of this regulatory update, we connected with CA Vikash Dhanania of GST DOST, a seasoned expert in GST matters. Dhanania provided a nuanced perspective on the recent changes. "This move to lower the e-way bill threshold could potentially tighten the noose on tax compliance and enable better tracking of goods movement," he observed. "However, it's not without its challenges, particularly for small businesses that may find the increased compliance demands taxing." He underscored the importance of businesses, especially the smaller players, to promptly adapt their operational and tax planning strategies while leveraging technological advancements to ease the e-way bill generation process.


The business community has expressed a spectrum of reactions to this development. There are those who commend the government's intent to ensure more stringent tax compliance, while others, like CA Sunil Dhanania from Book My Accountant, voice concerns about the implications for SMEs. "The lowered threshold means a larger number of transactions will now fall under the e-way bill mandate, potentially escalating compliance costs and administrative burdens, especially for SMEs that often deal in smaller-value transactions," CA Sunil pointed out.


Government officials have defended the amendment as a strategic move to fortify tax compliance and curb evasion. A senior official from the tax department commented, "The recalibration of the e-way bill threshold is aimed at intensifying the scrutiny of intra-state goods movement and cracking down on prevalent evasion tactics such as under-invoicing and diversion of goods."


With the countdown to the enforcement of the new e-way bill rules underway, businesses in West Bengal are gearing up for a significant adjustment in their logistics and compliance processes. The long-term implications of this policy shift on the efficiency of supply chains and the overall business environment in the state will be closely monitored and analyzed in the subsequent months.

- Tax Samachar