New Delhi: In a stern warning to evaders of excise, customs and service tax, the government on Wednesday asked them to either pay the dues or face penal action which could include arrest, prosecution and property attachment.
"We are keeping a very close watch on such elements. They are advised to come forward and pay all taxes and avail of the benefit of reduced penalty," Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose told reporters here.
Those who fail to pay excise duty, he warned, should be prepared to face consequences which would include "provisional attachment of property, arrest and prosecution, suspension of Cenvat credit and 100 per cent penalty and interest".
The move comes in the backdrop of moderate growth in the indirect tax collection and the urgency to contain the fiscal deficit to the targeted 5.3 per cent of the GDP.
The Revenue Secretary said government would urge all assesses to ensure they make timely and correct payment of customs duty, excise duty and service tax for continued trade facilitation.
"It has been observed that a number of central excise assesses continue removing goods clandestinely, sometime even without registration, misusing Cenvat credit or simply not paying central excise duties which are due to the government in disregard of the law," he said.
With regard to Service tax, Bose said, it is also noticed that more than half of the service providers who are registered are not filing returns while a number of service providers who should be paying service tax now have not yet registered themselves.