The Finance Ministry has simplified the procedures for grant of centralised registration to service taxpayers who are providing services from multiple locations.
It has also amended the service tax rules to extend the facility of centralised registration to any person liable to pay service tax.
Hitherto, the facility of centralised registration was available only to the person providing taxable services from more than one premises and having centralised billing or accounting in respect of such services.
The facility of centralised registration was not allowed to service receiver or any person other than the service provider, who is liable to pay service tax. With the latest amendment, a service receiver or any other person made liable to pay service tax, having centralised accounting or billing for such service, would be eligible to take centralised registration.
The Finance Ministry's move would particularly benefit the fast moving consumer goods companies, which are required to pay service tax on the freight incurred by them for goods transported by road.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has also said that the Commissioner of Central Excise/Service Tax having jurisdiction over the premises for which centralised registration is sought would henceforth grant centralised registration. Hitherto, if the premises of service taxpayer were spread beyond a zone, the registration would have to be granted by Director-General (Service Tax), Mumbai.
The Ministry has also said service tax assessees would have to make available the records maintained by them to the audit parties deputed by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India in case the latter were to demand them.