It provides for payment of service tax dues without interest, says A.S. Meenalochani (Joint Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax), addressing an excise awareness programme in Madurai

People in the district should make good use of the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES) 2013, which enables payment of service tax dues from October 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012 without interest, penalty and legal proceedings, including prosecution, A.S. Meenalochani, Joint Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax, said here.

Addressing an awareness programme jointly organised by the Excise Department and Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) on Monday, she said the VCES was a golden opportunity for those falling under the service tax net.

The VCES was introduced on May 10 this year through an amendment to the Finance Act to encourage those liable to pay service tax to disclose their liability voluntarily.

“We have planned to conduct similar awareness programmes through other trade bodies too,” Ms.Meenalochini said.

Later, her the department officials made a power point presentation on the scheme. They said the benefits of the VCES could be availed by those who had failed to declare their tax liabilitybut had not been issued with show-cause notices or order of determination besides not being subjected to facing inquiry or investigation.

Even people who had not registered with the department so far could avail themselves of the benefits after registering themselves. Of the total tax due declared by an applicant under the VCES, 50 per cent should be paid by December 31. The balance could be paid by June 30, 2014 without interest and by December 31, 2014 with interest.

The money paid under the VCES would not be reimbursed and the officials can initiate action against the applicants, within one year of their making such declaration, if the information provided was found to be substantially false. The application forms for voluntary compliance could be downloaded from www.vces.co.in

MADITSSIA president V.S. Manimaran said it would be very useful for the traders. He requested the Joint Commissioner to recommend raising the Central Excise tax exemption limit for micro, small and medium enterprises from Rs.1.5 crore to Rs.5 crore.

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