Finance Ministry books Rs 3491 cr of Service tax evasion

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New Delhi, Jan 18: The Finance Ministry has booked 2,181 cases of evasion of service tax in nine months of current fiscal, involving an amount of Rs 3,491 crore and urged Indian Inc not to evade service taxes.

''Out of Rs 3,491 crore of service tax evasion until December 2007, the Finance Ministry has already recovered an amount of Rs 386 crore from Indian Inc,'' Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Member P C Jha said. He added that during 2006-07, the Finance Ministry detected 4,034 cases of evasion, involving amount of Rs 1,995 crore out of which Rs 554 crore was paid by those that evaded service tax on one pretext or other.

Giving detailes about service tax, Mr Jha predicted that by end of fiscal 2007-08, revenue from service tax would have grown by 122 times, after a spurt in revenue collections through service tax.

The contribution of service tax in the total revenue according to Mr Jha is still very small as service sector contribution to GDP has increased from 40 per cent in 1994 to about 55 per cent at present.

''The current rate of growth of service sector is about 10 per cent but the contribution of service tax in the total indirect tax collection is only about 18 per cent and its contribution in total tax revenue of the central government is only about 8.6 per cent,'' Mr Jha said while speaking at a conference organised by industry chamber Assocham on 'Service Tax: Changing Dimensions' held here today.

During the year 2006-07, the total collection from indirect tax was Rs 2,40,877 crore out of which collection from service tax was Rs 37,483 crore. The remaining amount was Rs 1,17,000 crore from excise and about Rs 86,000 crore from customs,'' he added.

In 2007-08, the expected revenue from indirect taxes like customs, excise and service tax collectively is about Rs 2,80,000 crore out of which service tax would account for Rs 50,200 crore.

The collection of service tax during this year is satisfactory and the growth so far is about 355 which is 1 per cent more than required to achieve the target. Mr Jha said that currently, 100 services are under service tax net with applicable rate of duty of 12.36 per cent and number of such taxpayer have reached 4.75 lakh and the budget estimates from this tax for this year is Rs 50,200 crore.

He also informed that the six exclusive service tax Commissionerates at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad have their individual interactive websites.

These websites provide assistance to taxpayers in finding out status of their applications and refund claims and in knowing about the procedural or technical requirements.

According to him, the revenue department has also set up large taxpayers unit which is a significant measure in the sense that the taxpayers have to remain in touch with one office for the three taxes, like excise, service tax and income tax.


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