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Evasion of over Rs 4,500 cr in service tax, excise duties: Fin Mi
June, 10th 2013

Increased efforts to check revenue leakage by the Finance Ministry have resulted in detection of over Rs 4,500 crore in service tax, excise and customs duty evasion during last year.

Out of the total Rs 4,744.92 crore of indirect tax evasion detected during April and December last year, officials made a recovery of Rs 531 crore, according to official data.

As many as 592 cases involving service tax evasion of Rs 3,055 crore were detected during 2012-13 up to December. Sustained investigation via issuance of show cause notices among others had resulted in recovery of Rs 435 crore, it said.

The Finance Ministry officials had registered 321 cases of central excise duty evasion involving an amount of Rs 571 crore during the same period of last fiscal, it said.

The officials also made recovery of Rs 96 crore being evaded as excise duty after due investigation into the matter, the data said. A total of 710 cases of customs duty evasion involving Rs 1,118.92 crore were detected between April-September last year, it said.

Representational Image. Reuters
The Finance Ministry is following a zero tolerance policy against tax evaders and has cautioned customs, central excise and service tax defaulters of stringent action.

Ministry officials say sustained efforts had resulted in detection and recovery of such a huge amount in evasion of indirect tax comprising service tax, excise and customs duty.

Investigations have found that companies and individuals were fudging data to avoid service tax. “In some cases, we found that a service provider has not acquired service tax registration number,” said a Revenue department official involved in these cases.

Similarly, in case of excise duty evasion, companies were maintaining wrong data of finished goods so as to evade tariff, the official said. In cases of customs duty evasion, the officials could lay their hands on many ‘fly-by-night’ exporters and importers.

A number of evaders were found to be misusing export promotion schemes such as duty drawback among others, he said. The Ministry has introduced and implemented a first-of-its-kind amnesty scheme for service tax defaulters.

According to the ‘Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme’ (VCES), a defaulter may declare his due tax liabilities, including the cess charges, for a period between October 1, 2007 and December 31, 2012 and pay it to the government after making a truthful declaration and avoid penalty, interest or any other penal proceedings.

The officials have also booked 1,646 cases of narcotics and seized contraband goods worths Rs 164.25 crore between April-September last year.
Title:- Govt seeks to hide tax levied in GST regime

Dircption:- The Union finance ministry — in consultation with the empowered committee of state finance ministers — is working on a mechanism where the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime prices are declared in a manner that would ensure the total tax levied would not be disclosed to consumers.

The government wants to hide the tax levied as it fears that if a bill is handed out to consumers containing break-up of prices of the commodity and the levies, it may invite wider criticism since the state and central tax component may add up to as high as 20%.

The proposed GST regime will have a dual tax structure where one will be the central component levied by the Centre, or the central GST, and the other to be levied by the states, or the state GST. In the dual tax structure, the Centre and states would have concurrent jurisdiction and the rate of taxes is likely to be in the range of 10% each. While the basic features of the law would be uniform, the dual model would be implemented through multiple statutes.

"A committee has been set up having members from both finance ministry and the empowered committee to deliberate how the tax could be structured within the cost of product and services," said Sushil Modi, Bihar deputy CM and chairman of the empowered committee of state finance ministers. Modi had on Friday met industry representatives and tax experts to invite their opinion on issues related to the rolling out of the GST.

The finance ministry has asked the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) to work out revenue neutral rates for both the central GST and the state GST on the basis of data up to 2012-13. Earlier, the NIPFP had given their estimation for revenue neutral rates for state GST, state-wise, based on the 2009-10 data.

It had suggested rates to be 8.45% if the central sales tax (CST) is completely eliminated. At current CST rate of 2%, NIPFP had recommended to keep the state GST at 10.46%. However, the rates vary state-wise — between 5.88% and 17.21%.

While the Centre wants complete elimination of CST when GST is rolled out, the states are demanding to retain the CST at 1%-2% for initial years of the implementation of the GST to make up for their losses for migrating to the new indirect tax regime.

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