The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) along with Department of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax, Hyderabad Zone has organized a Meeting on Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013 on 26th August, 2013 at Federation House.
Mr. B.B. Prasad, IRS., Chief Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax, Hyderabad Zone in his address stated that Service Tax has been introduced since 1994 and Service Tax is major source of income to the Central Government. The Service Tax has evolved and has come to source and it can be hardly ignored.
To take care of Omissions and Commissions, the Department has come out with the Voluntary Scheme for those who have not paid tax.
He appealed to the participants to avail the facility and not to ignore this as there will be no chance in near future.
Ms. Sheila Sangwan, IRS., Member (Budget), Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in her key note stated that the Service Sector contributes about 65% of the GDP, but the number of Service Tax Payers is quite less. The scheme was launched to bridge this gap and allow defaulting persons and companies to disclose their tax liabilities and file their Service Tax Returns. While there are nearly 17 lakhs registered assessees in Service Tax but only 7 lakhs have been filed the returns. The objective of the Scheme is to encourage disclosure of tax dues and compliance of Service Tax Law by the persons who have not paid Service Tax dues for the period from October, 2007 to December, 2012 either on account of ignorance of law or otherwise.
VCES is an opportunity for such persons to pay the Tax Dues and come clean. It gives you an amnesty from interest and penalty.
Presentation on Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme was presented by Mr. G. Shiril Saroj, Deputy Commissioner, (Service Tax Technical) & VCES.
The presentation was followed by an interactive session.
Mr. S.N. Saha, IRS., Mr. M.K. Singh, IRS., Mr. B. Ravichandran, IRS., Mr. G.V. Krishna Rao, IRS., Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax, Hyderabad-I, II, III and IV Commissionerate, Mr. M. Srinivas, IRS., Commissioner-Appeals I & III, Dr. S.L. Meena, IRS., Commissioner-Appeals II & IV, Mr. K.R.N. Chary, IRS., Additional Director General (Audit), Customs, Central Excise & Service Tax and Mr. P.N. Rao, IRS., Additional Director General, National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics, Regional Training Institute, Hyderabad attend the meeting along with the Member – CBEC.
Earlier to this, Mr. Srinivas Ayyadevara, President, FAPCCI in his welcome address requested for extension of Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013 even to cases where proceedings/investigation/audit have been initiated but not yet adjudicated and to Returns filed.
Mr. S. Thirumalai, Senior Advisor, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt.Ltd., and Advisor, Indirect Taxes Committee, FAPCCI in his introductory remarks stated that, having provided the need for industry and trade to evaluate all past positions and views taken in the context of service tax let me place for consideration a few aspects that may arise in the context of implementation of the VCES which perhaps may be essential for the success of the scheme. Industry estimates show that the VCES if adequately marketed by all stake holders could fetch about 10% of the service tax collections estimated for FY 2014. The scheme should therefore garner on a conservative basis about Rs 10,000 crore at the All India level.
The first and foremost would be the confidence infused in the trade and industry with respect to the early filers under the VCES and the acceptance in terms of form VCES- 2 by the Department within the period of seven working days from the date of receipt of the declaration as per Rule 5 of the VCES Rules, 2013. If this process gets elongated for roving enquiries relating to the past even at the stage of acceptance in VCES- 2 then this could dampen the other prospective filers. Evidence of this time lag has already surfaced and this should be addressed.
Mr. Meela Jayadev, Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee, FAPCCI introduced the Member- CBEC and Chief Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax.
The Meeting ended with Vote of Thanks by Mr. Shiv Kumar Gupta, Co- Chairman, Indirect Taxes Committee.