A.K. Prasad, Chief Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax (Mysore Zone), said on Saturday that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was likely to be imposed on a number of services that were so far out of the tax net.

He was delivering the keynote address at a seminar on taxation organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. Mr. Prasad said the lack of a separate law to govern the collection of service tax had created a lot of “problems for enforcers”. Added to this, there have been several amendments to the implementation of the service tax, making it a “confusing” legislation, he said.

Although the M. Govind Rao committee had prepared a law in 2001-02, it was likely that the government had not gone ahead with it because it did not have the infrastructure to implement the law. Now it was possible because close to 99 per cent of central excise-related work had been made online. If the government of India accepted the Goods and Services Tax through the 115 Constitutional Amendment Bill 2011 this year, Mr. Prasad said, the department of Central Excise was ready to carry out the work as officials had already been trained and the infrastructure was available.

In 1994, only three services were being taxed. Now, 119 services have come under its ambit. Mr. Prasad said a number of service providers try to prove that the service offered by them did fit the definition as stated in the law.

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