SERVICE TAX payers in UP East region were found to be slower in filing returns during the first six months of the current fiscal, Anil Bhatnagar, chief commissioner, department of Excise, Customs & Service Tax, Lucknow, said today.
Addressing participants of a seminar titled ‘Management of Service Tax : Latest Amendments and Transportation’ organised jointly by the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) UP State and the Lucknow Regional Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), Bhatnagar said service tax collections in the UP East region during 2005-06 stood at Rs 464 crore.
“The target for service tax collections in the UP East region during 2006-07 is Rs 720 crore. We believe the revenue target should have been Rs 800 crore considering the high level of activity in the services sector,” he said.
Bhatnagar said the Excise, Customs & Service Tax department would like to inform tax payers that it was their government and their own country, so why not pay service tax regularly.
Regarding any complaints to be filed with the Department, he said that any service tax payer can contact the Commissioner, Service Tax or the Chief Commissioner himself in Lucknow any time during the day or night to get their problems redressed from a higher official. “The tax payers already have the right to seek information under the “Right to Information Act” (RTI) which had been enacted and implemented in the country”, Bhatnagar said.
Regarding the general fear in the minds of the service tax payers in confronting a khaki-clad official of the Department visiting their premises, he commented : “No Khaki-clad official of the Department be it the Superintendent or the Inspector would visit the office of a person unless directed by a Deputy Commissioner for scrutiny of the person’s account books. Without the written order of the Deputy Commissioner, a person can refuse to meet the Superintendent or the Inspector at his premises”.
Manu Varma, a Chartered Accountant and Director (Indirect Taxes) with RSM & Company, New Delhi in his presentation titled “Recent Changes in Service Tax: A Macro Balancing Act” said that the Union Finance Ministry still needs to clarify on the whether services offered by a doctor or a lawyer from a “shared premises” while acting as consultants is subjected to Service Tax or not.