The CBEC has issued an instructions vide letter F. No. 296/185/2014-CX.9 dated September 30, 2014 to all CCs and DGs on its action plan to evolve Non-adversrial indirect tax administration for the benefit of trade, industry and other stakeholders, whereby certain initiatives are being undertaken as follows:
Punctuality: Officers are advised to maintain the appointed time as indicated in the communications regarding personal hearing/ trade meeting and any other interaction with taxpayers. It may also be ensured that adequate gap in the timings between two meetings be maintained so that there is no undue delay in the subsequent meeting.
Prompt acknowledgement of all letters/complaints/references: It may be ensured that all references/ communications received from the trade are acknowledged promptly. To this end, a centralised computerized system for receipt/ dispatch of dak may be put in place so that status can also be monitored centrally.
Priority processing of representations/ communications received from taxpayers: It is the mission of CBEC to administer indirect taxes collection by creating a climate for voluntary compliance and by providing suitable guidance to tax payers. To this end, it is imperative that all communications received from the trade seeking clarifications are attended to expeditiously.
Regular interaction with the trade: As per the Board's instructions, meetings of the Regional Advisory Committee/Public Grievance Committee/Permanent Trade Facilitation Committee/Open House etc., chaired by the Chief Commissioner/ Commissioner are to be held by the concerned Zones/ Commissionerates on a regular basis. In this regard the Board desires that field officers persuade assessee to ensure participation at a higher level from Trade and industry so that these meeting result in tangible outcomes.
Further, the Board is also in the process of:
a. Simplifying the Registration process to obviate the need for physical visit of the taxpayers to the offices.
b. Facilitating online credit of refunds and rebates to the taxpayers.
c. Easing of Compliance verification norms.
These initiatives are designed to bring about a more collaborative and solutionoriented indirect tax administration, in tandem with the international best practices.
Service Tax Return (ST-3) utility available for filing Service Tax Return for the period April to September, 2014
Service Tax Return (ST-3) utility for the period from April to September, 2014 is now available for e-filing by the assessee. The last date for filing the Service Tax returns for said period is October 25, 2014.
The assessee can file the return either online or can use the offline utility by downloading the latest version from http://acesdownload.nic.in/ or from DOWNLOADS Section of ACES website.
Further, it is to be noted that e-filing of Service Tax Return is mandatory for every assessee.
In order to avoid last minute congestion and inconvenience, all assesses who wish to file their ST-3 for said period are advised to start e-filing the returns immediately and not to wait till the last date.
RECENT CASE LAWS
A consignment agent who is free to sell goods to customers cannot be made taxable under Clearing and Forwarding services
B K Sales Corporation Vs. Commissioner Of Central Excise, Rohtak, Haryana [2014- TIOL-1900-CESTAT-DEL]
B K Sales Corporation (“the Appellant”) was appointed as consignment agent by way of an Agreement by Narmada Chematur Petrochemicals Ltd. (“the principal”). In terms of the Agreement, the principal was required to supply their product duly packed in drums on regular basis to the Appellant and the Appellant was required to sell the same in smaller lots to the customers at the prices fixed by the principal and the report of such sale was required to be given by the Appellant to their principal from time to time. The invoices were to be issued by the Appellant in the name of principal including their name as consignment agent.
The Department alleged that since the definition of Clearing and Forwarding (“C&F”) agent given under erstwhile Section 65(25) of the Finance Act, 1994 includes consignment agent, the Appellant is liable to discharge Service tax liability for rendering C&F services to the principal. On the other hand, the Appellant argued that the merely being a consignment agent does not bring him in the definition of C&F agent, unless such consignment agent is doing the job of C&F operations. The Agreement clearly shows that no C&F operations are being done by the Appellant and he is free to sell the goods to any other customers by raising an invoice.
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