Govt likely to bring more services in tax net
The government is likely to bring more services in the tax net to raise revenues and may introduce a negative list in the forthcoming Budget.
The government is expected to keep 22 services in the negative list and impose 10% tax on the rest, sources said, adding that services for the purpose would be defined as all kinds of economic activities, barring goods, money and immovable property.
At present, the tax is levied on 119 services. For the current fiscal, Centre hopes to mop up Rs 82,000 crore from this levy.
Last month, the empowered committee of state finance ministers on GST had approved imposition of service tax based on a negative list of services after the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) came out with a draft report in December.
Sources said the ministry is working hard to introduce the negative list from the next fiscal (2012-13) as that would help it garner more revenue.
The Budget is expected to be announced by mid-March.
In their pre-Budget consultative meeting with the Finance Minister, industry too demanded that government should come out with negative list, while expanding the service tax base.
A negative list based on service tax represents a change in the government's approach as it is taxes on the principle of the positive list.
The negative list concept is practiced globally and is proposed to be introduced in India as part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The government is trying to introduce the new GST regime, which will subsume various levies like excise, service tax and states tax, like value-added tax, entry tax and purchase tax.
Services account for nearly 63 per cent of India's GDP and widening of the net could yield an additional 20 per cent in service tax.
The Empowered Committee had suggested that all the items mentioned in the Constitution's Schedule II, such as entertainment, should be included in the negative list to ensure that the Centre cannot impose tax on them.