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Manual scrutiny of Service Tax returns from August 1: CBEC
August, 03rd 2015

Seeking to strengthen compliance and verification, the CBEC has said that beginning August 1 it will start manual scrutiny of Service Tax returns of select assessees who have paid less than Rs 50 lakh of total tax during 2014-15.

"The focus of the detailed manual scrutiny of the returns (of Service Tax) of those assessees which are not being audited. The detailed return scrutiny would be conducted in respect of such assessees whose total tax paid for 2014-15 is below Rs 50 lakh," a CBEC circular said.

However, the assessees who are subject to service tax audits would not be covered under the detailed scrutiny programme.

"Small taxpayers, who usually do not fall within the ambit of service tax audits, may now be covered under the detailed scrutiny programme. With this, CBEC aims to strengthen the compliance verification mechanism," tax consultancy firm Ernst&Young (EY) said.

The selection of the asseessees for the purpose of manual scrutiny, CBEC said, would be made under three bands -- where the Service Tax is paid up to Rs 10 lakh, Rs 10-25 lakh and Rs 25-50 lakh in 2014-15.

The Central Board of Excise Customs (CBEC) said that a two part system of return scrutiny was envisaged -- a preliminary scrutiny which would be online and a detailed manual scrutiny of select returns based on specified parameters.

The circular said that the purpose of the preliminary scrutiny of returns is to ensure that complete and correct information has been furnished and the taxes have been paid timely.

It would also help in identification of "non-filers and stop-filers".

The detailed manual scrutiny of Service Tax returns, CBEC said, would ensure correctness of the assessment made by the assessee.

The Scrutiny Officer is required to reconcile information furnished in various Service Tax and Income Tax return forms and any available third party information, EY said.

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