Bangalore, with over one lakh registrants yet to file service tax returns under the one-time Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme 2013, ranks among cities with highest defaulters.

Many may miss out on the benefits of the scheme due to lingering doubts, said Vanaja N. Sarna, Chief Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax, Bangalore Central Excise Zone, here on Friday.

Countrywide, only seven lakh of the 17 lakh registrants have filed service tax returns so far since the scheme became effective on May 10, leaving a chunky 10 lakh defaulters.

One-time opportunity

Urging participants to make use of the one-time opportunity, Ms. Sarna said the scheme was meant to improve service tax compliance and assessee base and would also spare declarants from penalty and interest under Service Tax laws.

She was speaking at an interactive session on the VCES organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

97 applications received

Suresh Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax, said in Bangalore alone, 97 applications were received up to August 29 with a declaration of Rs. 53 crore.

Under the scheme announced in the Budget, those who have not filed their returns should voluntarily declare their liabilities for five years from October 2007; they should pay at least 50 per cent of the due amount by December 31 this year and the rest by June 30, 2014.

‘Bold step’

Abhishek Goenka, Convener of CII-Karnataka’s Economic Affairs and Taxation Panel, and also Partner, BMR Advisors, called the VCES a bold step.

The CII’s exercise was to spread awareness about it, he said.

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