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A. Service Tax

1.  Rate of Service Tax – The rate of service tax has been changed to 14% w.e.f. June 1, 2015. No cess shall now be applicable. Levy of Swacchh Bharat Cess has not been notified till yet.

2. Service Tax payment for the month of July, 2015 is due for payment on 6th August, 2015 for assesses excluding Individual, Proprietary Firm, Partnership Firm or LLP. It is now mandatory for all assesses w.e.f. October 1, 2014, to pay their dues through internet banking (e-payment) (In case the assessee wants to use any mode other than internet banking, a specific permission may be taken from the Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner). In case of Challan payment, the due date shall be 5th August, 2015.

3. ST 3 Return – Half Yearly Service Tax Return (ST-3) for the period October – March 2015 was due on April 25th, 2015. The Excel Utility can be downloaded from www.aces.gov.in/ downloads. In case return has not been filed, the same may be filed with applicable late fees.

4. Please note that in case you are liable to pay Service Tax (in case of services under reverse charge), you are not allowed to set it off against available balance of CENVAT credit. You need to pay the same. You can however avail CENVAT credit of this payment as in normal cases.

5. Amendment in the registration certificate is mandatory to reflect the complete set of services provided/ availed under reverse charge as per the new accounting codes.

6. CENVAT can be availed only for the last 1 year, changed from 6 months w.e.f. March 1, 2015 in the normal case, other than cases of re-credit, as clarified by the Government.

7. Rate of Interest – Interest rates have been revised w.e.f. 1-10-14 to 18% for delay till 6 months, 24% for delay from 6 months to 12 months and 30% for delay beyond 1 year. 3% small service provider’s benefit will be available.

B. Central Excise

1.  Basic Rate of Excise – The basic rate for excise duty has been changed to 12.5% (without cess) w.e.f. March 1, 2015. 

2. Excise payment for the month of July, 2015 is due for payment on 6th August, 2015 for assesses excluding SSIs. It is now mandatory for all assesses w.e.f. October 1, 2014, to pay their dues through internet banking (e-payment) (In case the assessee wants to use any mode other than internet banking, a specific permission may be taken from the Assistant Commissioner/ Deputy Commissioner). In case of Challan payment, the due date shall be 5th August, 2015.

3. Excise Returns – Last date for filing of ER 1, ER 2 and ER 6 is 10th August, 2015.

4. CENVAT can now be availed only for the last 1 year changed from 6 months w.e.f. March 1, 2015 in the normal case, other than cases of re-credit, as clarified by the Government.

C. Goods & Services Tax (GST)

1.    Government accepts recommendations of Select Committee – The Government has accepted the recommendations of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee and the revised Bill has also been approved by the Cabinet. However with the logjam in Parliament and no business being conducted, it is unlikely that the GST Bill may be approved in this Monsoon Session of the Parliament. However, the Government has reiterated its stand to implement GST from April 1, 2016. In this direction, Cess has been removed from Excise Duty and Service Tax.

2. A Steering Committee been formed under the Co-Chairmanship of Additional Secretary, Department of Revenue and Member Secretary, Empowered Committee of State Finance Ministers. This Committee has Members from Department of Revenue, Central Board of Excise & Customs, Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and representatives of State Governments. This Committee shall monitor the progress of IT preparedness of GSTN/CBEC/Tax authorities, finalisation of reports of all the Sub-Committees constituted on different aspects relating to the mechanics of GST and drafting of CGST, IGST and SGST laws/rules. The Committee shall also monitor the progress on consultations with various stakeholders like trade and industry and training of officers.

3. Another Committee has been formed under the Chairmanship of the Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance to recommend possible tax rates under GST that would be consistent with the present level of revenue collection of Centre and States. While making recommendations, this Committee would take into account expected levels of growth of economy, different levels of compliance and broadening of tax base under GST. The Committee would also analyse the Sector-wise and State-wise impact of GST on the economy.

4. Preparatory exercise - Assessees are advised to do their homework and start mapping their input taxes, processes and identify suppliers who are not registered and take other measures so that the ground work is kept ready by the time GST is implemented.

D. West Bengal Value Added Tax (WBVAT) and Profession Tax

1. Amnesty Scheme for Registration – As announced in the West Bengal Budget, 2015, a scheme for providing amnesty to dealers who did not take registration has been introduced and is available on the website of the Department www.wbcomtax.nic.in. Relevant forms and copy of challan have been uploaded on the website. Dealers are encouraged to take benefit of this scheme as it involves only payment of tax on declared turnover.

2. Settlement of Disputes – As announced in the West Bengal Budget, 2015, a scheme for settlement of disputes has been introduced from April 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015 (Trade Circular No. 01/2015 dt. 27-3-15). The last date for applying for Settlement of Disputes before Commercial Taxes has been extended from 31-07-2015 to31-08-2015. 

3. Due date of payment – The due date for payment of WBVAT and CST for July 2015 is August 21, 2015

E. Major Amendments in July 2015

Service Tax

1. Revised guidelines for scrutiny of ST-3 returns - Circular No. 185/4/2015-ST [F.No.137/314/2012-ST], dated 30-6-2015

Central Excise

1. Several amendments in Notification No. 30/2004-CE dated 09.07.2004, No. 1/2011-CE dated 01.03.2011 and No. 12/2012-CE dated 17.03.2012 has been made to clarify that benefit of excise duty exemption on final products manufactured [subject to the condition of non-availment of Cenvat credit of duty on inputs or capital goods used] is available only to the domestic manufacturer and not to the buyer/ importer of such goods - Notification Nos. 34, 35, 36/2015-CE dated 17.07.2015 and Notification Nos. 37, 38, 39/2015 - CE dated 21.07.2015

2. Instructions on Detailed Scrutiny Of Central Excise Returns has been issued vide Circular No.1004/11/2015-Cx, Dated 21-7-2015

3. Instructions on maintenance of records in electronic form and authentication of records by digital signature and manner of verification - Instruction [F.No.224/44/ 2014-CX.6], dated 6-7-2015 and Notification No.18/2015-C.E. (N.T.), dated 6-7-2015

West Bengal Value Added Tax (WBVAT)

1. The last date for submission of WBVAT & CST Returns for April to June 2015 Qtr has been extended to 20 August 2015

2. The extended date for submission of hard copy of the WBVAT & CST Returns for April to June 2015 Qtr is 27 August 2015

This is for your kind information.

Best Regards
Tarun


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Category Service Tax, Other Articles by - TARUN KUMAR GUPTA 



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