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FM urged to restore exemption to Comp. Secy's from Service Tax

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 6 (UNI) The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) said today, it will pursue the case for restoration of exemption of Service Tax for Company Secretaries which was withdrawn in the Budget adding, the step was discriminatory.

ICSI President H M Choraria, said ''the Institute has decided to pursue the issue of withdrawal of Notification No.59/98-Service Tax vigorously with the Finance Ministry with a view to seeking restoration of the exemption notification to save practising Company Secretaries from the discrimination and adverse effect''.

''The implication of the withdrawal is that the legal and taxation services rendered by the Company Secretaries will attract 10 per cent service tax plus the applicable surcharge and educational cess on and from March one, 2006 and at 12 per cent upon enactment of the Finance Bill 2006'' Mr Choraria said.

He was of the view that withdrawal of the Notification exempting the services of practising Company Secretaries from Service Tax violated the principle of equity on the basis of which the exemption was given. The action discriminated against the practising professionals in ''a very unfair and unjust manner,'' a release of the ICSI here said.

The notification exempts services other than accounting, auditing and statutory certification services provided by practising company secretary, chartered accountants, or cost accountants from the levy of service tax.

Practising Company Secretaries will now be required to pay Service Tax on certain services like appearance before the Custom, Excise and Service Tax Tribunals, Securities Appellate Tribunal, Company Law Board and on incorporation of companies, giving legal opinions, trade marks and patents services. On the same services given by certain other professionals, no service tax would be attracted. While the service tax is on services and not on the service providers, the rescinding of exemption notification 59/98-ST rendered the services of practising company secretaries costly because of the service tax, the release said.

UNI ARB SD BD1746

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