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Finance Ministry mulls new intel wing to check service tax evasion
April, 08th 2013

Concerned over mounting cases of service tax evasion, the Government is mulling to create a separate intelligence unit to check the menace and stop leakage of revenue.

The proposed Directorate of Anti Evasion to check service tax evasion is likely to be set up by the Finance Ministry close on the lines of two other intelligence agencies under it--Directorate General of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), official sources said.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs ( CBEC) has detected service tax evasion of Rs 9,800 crore during April-December period of the last fiscal (2012-13) against Rs 5,000-6,000 crore in the same period of 2011-12.

The move to form a new directorate came after rise in the number of services under the service tax ambit, they said.

"The number of services under service tax has increased significantly. There is a need to strengthen anti-evasion activities in service tax to ensure proper compliance from service tax assessees. A separate Directorate of Anti Evasion on the lines of DRI and DGCEI for service tax may serve the purpose," according to an official note by the Ministry.

At present, DGCEI is entrusted with the responsibilities for collecting intelligence and acting against both the central excise and service tax evaders.

Whereas, the DRI is mandated to check customs duty evasion and collection of intelligence about smuggling of contraband goods, narcotics and under-invoicing among others.

Sources said the DGCEI and DRI have been actively catching service tax, excise and customs duty evaders. However, a separate directorate may help in ensuring strict check on service tax evasion, they said.

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