Payment of service tax is getting simpler as multi-location service providers are being allowed to obtain centralised registration much faster.
The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has simplified the procedure for granting registration. The board has extended the centralised registration scheme to taxpayers who though not providing taxable service were liable to pay service tax under the provisions of service tax law.
Earlier, only the person providing taxable service from more than one premises, and having centralised billing or accounting, could opt for centralised registration of premises from where the billing was done.
This facility, however, was not allowed to the service receiver or any person other than the service provider, who is liable to pay service tax. For example in case of goods transported by road, the person liable to pay service tax is the one who pays freight for such service in specified cases. Similarly, in the case of service provider located outside India, the person receiving service in India was liable to pay service tax.
The board has decided that service tax payers would now also be subject to audits. The CBEC is carrying out certain technical amendments in the rules to facilitate audit of service tax assessees.
The CBEC has amended the service tax rules to extend the facility of centralised registration to any person liable to pay service tax. Therefore, the service receiver, or any other person liable to pay service tax, having centralised accounting or billing will be eligible for centralised registration.
The board has also simplified the procedure for granting centralised registration by authorising the commissioner of central excise or service tax having jurisdiction over the premise to grant centralised registration.
The amendment would, however, not affect centralised registrations that were issued before November 11 this year, an official statement said.Earlier, centralised registration could be granted by the commissioner or the chief commissioner of central excise only if all premises where centralised billing or accounting system is maintained as well as from where the taxable service is provided and were within their jurisdictions.
If the premise of a service taxpayer was spread beyond a zone, the registration was granted by the director general (service tax) located in Mumbai, causing huge delays.