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Service tax collections may top Rs 38,000 cr this fiscal
March, 28th 2007
Service tax collections in 2007-08 could well exceed the target of Rs 50,200 crore, officials of the tax administration believe.

The revised target of service tax collections for the year that is coming to a close is likely to be exceeded by around Rs 200 crore, said a senior officials from the Government of India recently.

Because of the buoyancy in tax collections, the original target for 2006-07 of Rs 34,500 crore was revised to Rs 38,160 crore a few months ago. Now, even this is likely to be exceeded, according to Mr P.K. Jain, Commissioner of Service Tax.

The target for service tax collections for the year 2007-08 has been fixed at Rs 50,200 crore, but the tax departments see this as an "easy target".

Since new services have been added to the taxable list, the target would be easily met, Mr A.K. Raha, Member, Central Board of Excise & Customs, said.

Mr Raha and Mr Jain were among the officials who had come here to take part in a seminar on the Union Budget organised here by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Saturday.

They said that service tax on works contracts, rent on commercial property and cab services would add to the revenues.

Poor response for e-filing

The officials were dismayed that the response to the facility for online filing of service tax returns met with very poor response.

Speaking at the FICCI meeting, Mr Jain said that even in such an IT-savvy city as Chennai, where there were 40,000-odd service tax assessees, the number of assessees opting for the e-filing facility was in "two digits only".

Later, he said that the situation was similar elsewhere in the country too.

In an informal chat, both Mr Jain and Mr Raha observed that the `comfort level' that assessees had with the tax officials was so good that they were reluctant to go online.

If there is a mistake in the return, an officer would point it out and assessees would effect a correction, which is not possible in online filing, Mr Jain observed.

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