The protest of lawyers against Union government's move to `bring them in the purview of service tax' is unfounded. Affirming this at a press conference here on Monday, chief commissioner, customs and excise, Lucknow region, said, "Individual lawyers will not have to pay service tax to the government...the rule will apply only for big law firms, associates, enterprises and companies when they transact with another counterpart." It may be noted that lawyers in many parts of state had taken to the streets last week soon after the announcement was made by the finance minister to this effect in the Budget statement.
Doctors too had thought that they would have to pay a portion of their earnings as service tax to the government. But, only cosmetic and plastic surgeons will have to pay the tax. The government has excluded surgeons who take up reconstructive surgery on accidental cases or patients suffering burn injuries. "All the changes are subject to enactment of the Finance Bill 2009," he said.
It may be noted that service tax is an indirect tax in operation for the last 15 years. It is levied to net those economic activities which were contributing considerably to the gross domestic product but were not taxed. More than 106 services come under the head of the central excise department. This year, transport of goods through rail, stock broker services, information technology software services and modifications in the business auxiliary services have also been brought under the service tax net.