Following changes as proposed by the Finance Bill 2014, became applicable.
Amendment - Finance Act, 1994
1) Time limits for adjudication: Time limits for completion of adjudication:
(i) 6 months from date of notice, in bonafide cases and
(ii) 1 year from date of notice, in malafide cases.
This time limit would need to be followed, as far as possible. [Section 73(4B)]
2) Removal of power to waive penalty: Exclusion of Section 78(1) from the power to waive penalty under Section 80.
3) Search and seizure: Joint Commissioner or Additional Commissioner or any other officer notified by the Board can authorize any Central Excise Officer to search and seize. [Section 82(1)]
4) Power to recover dues: Power to recover dues of a predecessor from the assets of a successor purchased from the predecessor. [Section 87]
5) Amendment in Central Excise Act, 1944 also applicable to service tax
i. Retrospective applicability: Any explanation inserted in a notification or special order at any time within one year of issue of notification or order, for clarifying the scope or applicability thereof, shall have effect from the date of issue of such notification or order. [Section 5A(2)]
ii. Furnishing of information return: Third party sources shall furnish periodic information, as specified, in the manner as may be prescribed. [Section 15A]
iii. Failure to provide information return: Failure to provide information return will attract penalty of Rs. 100/day.[Section 15B]
iv. Mandatory fixed pre-deposit: A mandatory fixed pre-deposit has been prescribed:
a. 7.5% of the duty, in case where duty or duty and penalty are in dispute, or penalty, where such penalty is in dispute for filing of appeal before the Commissioner (Appeal) or the Tribunal at the first stage, and
b. 10% of the duty, in case where duty or duty and penalty are in dispute, or penalty, where such penalty is in dispute for filing second stage appeal before the Tribunal.
The amount of pre-deposit payable would be subject to a ceiling of Rs 10 crore. [Section 35F]
v. Interest on pre deposit: Earlier, interest on delayed refund of pre deposit was prescribed @6% per annum on such amount, after the expiry of three months from the date of communication of the order of the Appellate Authority, till the date of payment of such amount. It is proposed to substitute this provision to provide that interest on delayed refund of pre deposit will be paid at a rate, not below 5% and not exceeding 30% per annum, on such amount from the date of payment till, the date of refund of such amount. [Section 35FF]
vi. Settlement Commission renamed as “Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission” and area expanded.
This is for your information.
CA Sushil Kr Goyal
Stephen House, Room No 64
4, B.B.D Bag (E) , 4th Floor