Thursday, February 28, 2013

AMNESTY SCHEME: SERVICE TAX RETURN NON FILERS-STOP FILERS


on Thursday, February 28, 2013

Good News for tax payers ,who has taken the service tax number but has not filed his service tax return from October 2 007 to December ,2012.Now they can file their tax return without any interest and penalty . The details of the scheme is given below and the scheme will be applicable after Budget will be passed and notified.

Finance minister in his speech said that Out of nearly 17 lakh registered assesses under Service Tax only 7 lakhs file returns regularly. Need to motivate them to file returns and pay tax dues. A onetime scheme called ‘Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme’ proposed to be introduced. Defaulter may avail of the scheme on condition that he files truthful declaration of Service Tax dues since 1st October 2007.

Extracts from Finance Minister budget Speech(read Complete Budget Speech 28.02.2013)

While there are nearly 17,00,000 registered assessees under service tax,only about 7,00,000 file returns. Many have simply stopped filing returns. We cannot go after each of them. I have to motivate them to file returns and pay the tax dues. Hence, I propose to introduce a one-time scheme called ‘Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme’. A defaulter may avail of the scheme on condition that he files a truthful declaration of service tax dues since 1.10.2007 and makes the payment in one or two installments before prescribed dates. In such a case, interest, penalty and other consequences will be waived. I hope to entice a large number of assessees to return to the tax fold. I also hope to collect a reasonable sum of money.
AMNESTY SCHEME FOR NON FILERS AND STOP FILERS :

To encourage voluntary compliance and broaden the tax base, it is proposed to provide one time amnesty by way of 
  • (i) waiver of interest and penalty; and 
  • (ii) immunity from prosecution, to the stop filers, non-filers or non-registrants or service providers (who have not disclosed true liability in the returns filed by them during the period from October 2007 to December 2012) who pay the "tax dues". 
  • Details of the scheme are given as under.
  • The scheme will be operational from the date on which the Finance Bill, 2013 receives the assent of the President. 
Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme

94. This Scheme may be called the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme,2013.

95. (1) In this Scheme, unless the context otherwise requires,—

(a) “Chapter” means Chapter V of the Finance Act, 1994;
(b) “declarant” means any person who makes a declaration under sub-section (1) of section 97;
(c) “designated authority” means an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of  Central Excise as notified by the Commissioner of Central Excise for the purposes of this Scheme;
(d) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules made under this Scheme;
(e) “tax dues” means the service tax due or payable under the Chapter or any other amount due or payable under section 73A thereof, for the period beginning from the 1st day of October, 2007and ending on the 31st day of December, 2012 including a cess leviable thereon under any other Act for the time being in force, but not paid as on the 1st day of March, 2013.

(2) Words and expressions used herein and not defined but defined in the Chapter or the rules made thereunder shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Chapter or the rules made thereunder.

96. (1) Any person may declare his tax dues in respect of which no notice or an order of determination under section 72 or section 73 or section 73A of the Chapter has been issued or made before the 1st day of March, 2013:

Provided that any person who has furnished return under section 70 of the Chapter and disclosed his true liability, but has not paid the disclosed amount of service tax or any part thereof, shall not be eligible to make declaration for the period covered by the said return:

Provided further that where a notice or an order of determination has been issued to a person in respect of any period on any issue, no declaration shall be made of his tax dues on the same issue for any subsequent period.

(2) Where a declaration has been made by a person against whom,—

(a) an inquiry or investigation in respect of a service tax not levied or not paid or short-levied or short-paid has been initiated by way of —

(i) search of premises under section 82 of the Chapter; or
(ii) issuance of summons under section 14 of the Central Excise Act, 1944, as made applicable to the Chapter under section 83 thereof; or
(iii) requiring production of accounts, documents or other evidence under the Chapter or the rules made thereunder; or

(b) an audit has been initiated, and such inquiry, investigation or audit is pending as on the 1st day of March, 2013, then, the designated authority shall, by an order, and for reasons to be recorded in writing, reject such declaration.

97. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Scheme, a person may make a declaration to the designated authority on or before the 31st day of December, 2013 in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(2) The designated authority shall acknowledge the declaration in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

(3) The declarant shall, on or before the 31st day of December, 2013, pay not less than fifty per cent. of the tax dues so declared under sub-section (1) and submit proof of such payment to the designated authority.

(4) The tax dues or part thereof remaining to be paid after the payment made under sub-section (3) shall be paid by the declarant on or before the 30th day of June, 2014:

Provided that where the declarant fails to pay said tax dues or part thereof on or before the said date, he shall pay the same on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 along with interest thereon,at such rate as is fixed under section 75 or, as the case may be, section 73B of the Chapter for the period of delay starting from the 1st day of July, 2014.

(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) and sub-section (4), any service tax which becomes due or payable by the declarant for the month of January, 2013 and subsequent months shall be paid by him in accordance with the provisions of the Chapter and accordingly, interest for delay in payment thereof, shall also be payable under the Chapter.

(6) The declarant shall furnish to the designated authority details of payment made from time to time under this Scheme along with a copy of acknowledgement issued to him under sub-section (2). 

(7) On furnishing the details of full payment of declared tax dues and the interest, if any, payable under the proviso to sub-section (4) the designated authority shall issue an acknowledgement of  discharge of such dues to the declarant in such form and in such manner as may be prescribed.

98. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any provision of the Chapter, the declarant, upon payment of the tax dues declared by him under sub-section (1) of section 97 and the interest payable under the proviso to sub-section (4) thereof, shall get immunity from penalty, interest or any other proceeding under the Chapter.

(2) Subject to the provisions of section 101, a declaration made under sub-section (1) of section 97 shall become conclusive upon issuance of acknowledgement of discharge under sub-section (7) of section 97 and no matter shall be reopened thereafter in any proceedings under the Chapter before any authority or court relating to the period covered by such declaration.

99. Any amount paid in pursuance of a declaration made under sub-section (1) of section 97 shall not be refundable under any circumstances.

100. Where the declarant fails to pay the tax dues, either fully or in part, as declared by him, such dues alongwith interest thereon shall be recovered under the provisions of section 87 of the Chapter.

101. (1) Where the Commissioner of Central Excise has reasons to believe that the declaration made by a declarant under this Scheme was substantially false, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, serve notice on the declarant in respect of such declaration requiring him to show cause why he should not pay the tax dues not paid or short-paid.
(2) No action shall be taken under sub-section (1) after the expiry of one year from the date of declaration.

(3) The show cause notice issued under sub-section (1) shall be deemed to have been issued under section 73, or as the case may be, under section 73A of the Chapter and the provisions of the Chapter shall accordingly apply.

102. For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that nothing contained in this Scheme shall be construed as conferring any benefit, concession or immunity on the declarant other than the benefit, concession or immunity granted under section 98.

103. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Scheme, the Central Government may, by order, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Scheme, remove the difficulty:

Provided that no such order shall be made after the expiry of a period of two years from the date on which the provisions of this Scheme come into force.

(2) Every order made under this section shall, as soon as may be after it is made, be laid before each House of Parliament.

104. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Scheme.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a) the form and the manner in which a declaration may be made under sub-section (1) of section 97;

(b) the form and the manner of acknowledging the declaration under sub-section (2) of section 97;

(c) the form and the manner of issuing the acknowledgement of discharge of tax dues under sub-section (7) of section 97;

(d) any other matter which is to be, or may be, prescribed, or in respect of which provision is to be made, by rules.

(3) The Central Government shall cause every rule made under this Scheme to be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.

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