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CAs get half a breather on service tax
July, 14th 2006
The finance ministry today gave chartered accountants, cost accountants, and company secretaries some reason to cheer by exempting some of their services from payment of service tax. 
The exemption has been limited to representational services provided by them through appearance before a statutory authority in course of a legal proceeding. 
The government had earlier brought all services provided by practising chartered accountants, cost accountants, and company secretaries under the purview of service tax, with effect from March 1, 2006. 
The decision to impose service tax on their services became contentious, with a chartered accountants lobby pointing at the exemption from service tax made available to lawyers. 
Official sources said the latest decision had been taken following representations from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India, and the Association of Company Secretaries of India, seeking an exemption on specified services provided by these professionals, to bring them on a par with similar services provided by other professionals which were out of the purview of the tax. 
The decision to impose service tax on the three categories had also attracted writ petitions in court. The Delhi High Court saw two writ petitions being filed by chartered accountants, including one by an individual CA, Sunil Gupta.
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