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Service tax to fill the gap
December, 26th 2011

The central excise and customs officials have pinned their hopes on the service tax collections from the state this year. With fears of low customs and excise duty collections due to economic slowdown, excise officials are looking at service tax to fill the gap.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has made e-filing of service tax returns compulsory from this year. "From April to October 2011, we have collected Rs 1,608.65 crore as service tax, which was 36.58 per cent higher than Rs 1177.79 per cent collection in the same period last year in Ahmedabad commissionerate. We want to continue with the growth till March and have initiated several surveys of assesses. Notices are sent to non-filers and new registrations of service providers are being done," said an excise official. The last date for filing the half-yearly returns, from April to September 2011, is December 26.

The official said that Ahmedabad zone has around 27,000 service tax providers registered with them but a large chunk of them are non filers.

"Gujarat will be loosing more than Rs 7,000 crore due to slashing of duty on crude oil imports. However, duty collections from import duty on precious metals, mineral fuels, oils and chemicals have shown an impressive growth," said a senior excise official. "Also excise duty from engineering and chemical industry has seen a healthy growth. But emphasis is given to service tax collection since a large number of service providers don't even file their return."

Reliance Port and Terminal, Fascel, Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone, Gujarat State Petronet, L&T, Jaisu Shipping, Cadila Heath Care and BSNL remain to be the top service tax payers in Gujarat.

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