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ICAI suggest changes to Swachh Bharat cess calculation
March, 31st 2015

Chartered accountants' apex body ICAI has suggested that the proposed cess of two per cent for clean India initiative should be calculated on the payable service tax instead of taxable services' value.

Calculating Swachh Bharat cess on the value taxable services would push the overall service tax rate to 16 per cent, it said.

In the Budget, the government has also proposed to hike the current service tax rate to 14 per cent.

"If Swachh Bharat cess is implemented, the total rate of service tax would be 16 per cent. Therefore, it is suggested that the Swachh Bharat cess be levied only on service tax payable rather than the value of taxable services," the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has said.

The suggestion has been made in its post Budget memorandum submitted to the government. ICAI has suggested certain amendments for proposals contained in the Finance Bill, 2015.

The Bill has proposed to empower the government to impose a Swachh Bharat cess on all or any of the taxable services at a rate of two per cent on the value of such taxable services.

While presenting the Budget for 2015-16, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had proposed an enabling provision to levy the cess at a rate of two per cent or less on all or certain services if need arises.

Resources generated from this cess will be utilised for financing and promoting initiatives towards Swachh Bharat.

In August 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given a call to achieve the objective of clean India by 2019 -- the 150th year of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, through the Swachh Bharat Mission.

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