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Customs officials to go after service tax evaders
February, 08th 2013

The commissionerate of customs, central excise and service tax in Goa has learnt that there is massive evasion of service tax by builders, hoteliers, restaurants, barge owners and in renting of immovable property. To tackle the menace of tax evasion, it has constituted five special groups to identify the tax evaders and to recover the tax.

A statement released by commissioner for customs, central excise and service tax V P Rao, said that these special groups have already began conducting surveys and raids and have covered almost 100 service providers and recovered 3.50 crore so far.

"It is estimated that about 8 crore is the evasion detected so far and it is in the process of recovery. The special groups are going to further intensify their operations in the next two months to check tax evasion effectively. Also, it has come to the notice that many barge owners have collected tax from exporters of iron ore but have not paid it," Rao has said.

He said that barge owners are suspected to have adopted a modus operandi where they have collected 50% of the tax from exporters in cash and another 50% is returned to the exporter with an understanding that service tax involved does not have to be paid.

"The department is in the process of collecting information on such barge owners and exporters and deal with them harshly at an appropriate time. The commissionerate is considering measures like attachment of properties and prosecution to deal with the tax evaders effectively and comprehensively," the statement said. The commissioner has announced that it is willing to reward informers on tax evasion by builders, hoteliers, restaurants, barge owners, and by other service providers.

The information can be provided to assistant commissioners and the commissioner has appealed to service providers to cooperate with the special groups when they come for scrutiny.

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