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Surge in service tax mop-up

New Delhi, Dec. 25 (PTI): Revenues from service tax, which has become a new focus area for the finance ministry, have grown over 300 times in the past two decades.

The finance ministry has garnered about Rs 1.32 lakh crore in 2012-13 (provisional figures) against Rs 407 crore in 1994-95, according to official data.

Besides, the number of assessees have gone up over 400 times since 1994-95. There were about 17.12 lakh assessees during 2012-13, up from only 3,943 in 1994-95 when the tax was introduced.

Revenue from the tax has shown a huge growth in the past years with a surge in the number of services being covered under it.

The total number of taxable services has increased to 119 in 2012 from three in 1994.

The finance ministry had from July last year introduced the concept of taxation of service tax based on the “negative list”, which authorised the government to tax almost all the services mentioned in Section 66D of the finance act.

An amnesty scheme has also been launched by the finance ministry for service tax defaulters.

The voluntary compliance encouragement scheme, which is being implemented following the passage of this year’s finance bill on May 10, allows a service tax defaulter to pay dues without any penalty or late payment charges.

Under the scheme, a person may make a declaration to the designated authority on or before December 31, 2013.

The ministry has set an indirect tax collection target of Rs 5.65 lakh crore for 2013-14, through customs, excise and service tax.

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