Govt warns of tough action against service tax evaders

Tags: News
In a stern warning to service tax evaders, the government today asked them to either pay their dues by tomorrow or face penal action which could include arrest and prosecution.

"I would like to advise that from January 1, 2014 stern action will be taken against service tax evaders and provisions in the Finance Act relating to arrest and prosecution will be enforced in right earnest," Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose told reporters here.

The Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES), which came into effect from May 10, allows a service tax defaulter to pay dues without any penalty or late payment charges.

Under the scheme, a person may make a declaration to the designated authority on or before December 31.

Over 40,000 applications, involving tax amount of about Rs 5,500 crore, have been filed till December 29, Bose said.

In the last four days, the revenue department has received 16,000 application involving Rs 1,500 crore of service tax dues, as deadline for the first-of-its-kind amnesty scheme ends on Tuesday, the Revenue Secretary added.

He further said that today our offices will be open well beyond normal working hours. Tomorrow, our offices will be open till midnight to facilitate acceptance of declaration.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram recently said that schemes like VCES are rare opportunities which are unlikely to come again in the next 20 years. He had suggested tax evaders to take benefit of the amnesty scheme.

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