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Service tax law
June, 30th 2006
 

The law on service tax in India is one of the worst drafted. At present, more than 90 services fall under the service tax net. But on none of these is the law completely clear. After the addition of two service tax heads, Business Auxiliary Service (BAS) and Business Support Service (BSS), it looks like the majority of other heads have become redundant. This has forced many service taxpayers to go for additional registration under these heads despite correct timely deposit of the tax.

Besides, the distinction between input and output service and the maintenance of separate books of accounts for claiming service tax credit has added to the woes of small service-tax assessees. Instead of adding clarity to the subject, the power given to commissioners to issue trade notices, circulars and clarifications is causing confusion and manipulation of the law so as to trap even non-assessees under the service tax net.

Suhas S. Bohra
Mumbai

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