Voluntary compliance scheme to help widen tax base: Revenue secy

Voluntary compliance scheme to help widen tax base: Revenue secy New Delhi: Pitching for higher tax collections, Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose Wednesday said the recently announced voluntary compliance scheme for service tax defaulters will help the government widen the tax base.

"The voluntary compliance scheme for the services sector is another step taken by the government to widen the tax base," Bose said at a CII post-budget conference here.

He further said that the setting up of Tax Administration Reforms Commission (TARC) is an important step for increasing compliance through movement towards a world class tax system that reflects the best global practices.

The government has proposed one-time, 'Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme', for service tax defaulters in the Budget on February 28 to entice larger number of assessees to return to the tax fold.

A defaulter may avail of the voluntary compliance scheme on the condition that he files a truthful declaration of service tax dues since October 1, 2007 and makes the payment in one or two instalments before the prescribed dates.

"In such a case, interest, penalty and other consequences will be waived. I hope to entice a large number of assessees to return to the tax fold. I also hope to collect a reasonable sum of money," Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said while presenting Union Budget 2013-14 in Parliament.

Highlighting that only 7,00,000 out of the nearly 17,00,000 registered service tax assessees were filing returns, Chidambaram had said: "We cannot go after each of them. I have to motivate them to file returns and pay the tax dues."

PTI