Staff Reporter

PUDUCHERRY: The Commissionerate of Central Excise and Service Tax, Puducherry, conducted a Service Tax Mela 2009 on Wednesday. About 25 persons availed themselves of the services at the mela.

It was organised to create awareness of the need to pay service tax among service providers. The services offered at the mela included new registrations, cancellation of registrations, clarifications for those who have already registered and assistance by service tax return preparers.

The mela facilitated direct interaction with the assessees, said Deputy Commissioner of the Commissionerate V. Rajagopalan.

There were about 2,300 service tax assessees in Puducherry. More than 100 services came under the purview of the service tax, including manpower suppliers/recruiting agencies, consulting engineers, owners of marriage halls and cable televisions, he said.

“Service tax compliance is not up to the expected level in Puducherry. This is why we are conducting the mela. Those with an annual turnover of over Rs. nine lakh should register with the Commissionerate. The assessees should compulsorily file returns every six months without delay to avoid penalty. They should pay the tax correctly in the interest of the nation,” he said.

However, officials said that out of the 2,300 assessees, only 1,020 filed returns during the first half year of 2009-2010 and appealed to all registered assessees for timely filing of returns.

There were 10 return preparers appointed by the government for Puducherry, officials added.