Kochi: The Central Excise authorities have requested service providers to file their returns well in advance to avoid the last-minute rush.

Assistant Commissioner G. Divakaran Nair said arrangements had been made in the respective ranges of the service tax division at the Central Excise Bhavan, Kathrikadavu, Kochi, for hassle-free filing of the returns. The last date for filing the service tax returns for the first half year of 2008-09 is October 28. Failure to file the returns before the due date will attract penal provisions.