Service tax amnesty scheme yielded around Rs 7,700cr

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The service tax amnesty scheme has yielded around Rs 7,700 crore to the exchequer, a top finance ministry official said.

The Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES) that was launched on May 10, 2013 to enable service tax defaulters to pay dues without penalty or late payment charges, closed on December 31.

"The government has received tax amount to the tune of Rs around 7,700 crore for availing of government's Service tax amnesty scheme," the official told PTI.

Bulk of the declarations, according to the official, were made by assessees engaged in construction and works contracts, followed by transportation and supply of manpower.

An addition of Rs 7,700 crore in the kitty will provide some relief to the government which aims to collect Rs 1.80 lakh crore in service tax in the current fiscal.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had met industry bodies to encourage assessees to take advantage of the tax amnesty scheme to avoid punishment.

According to government estimates, out of 17 lakh registered service tax payers, only 7 lakh are paying the levy.

The service tax is levied at 12 per cent (plus 3 per cent surcharge) on all services expect those which are in the negative list.

As per the scheme, a defaulter may declare his tax liabilities for the period between October 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012. They would have to pay 50 per cent of the declared tax dues by December 31, 2013.

The scheme was introduced by Finance Minister P Chidambaram while presenting the Union Budget for 2013-14.

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