Finance minister P Chidambaram today warned service tax evaders that the voluntary compliance scheme announced in the Budget 2013-14 is a rare opportunity to comply with the tax regulations and make a fresh start.
In an interaction with the industry and tax professionals,the finance minister said that the Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme (VCES),which ends on December 31,is unlikely to be announced for at least two decades due to curbs imposed by the Supreme Court,and is one clear opportunity to come clean.
A one-time offer that is not likely to come your way for at least a couple of decades. Therefore,it is in the best interest of everyone to take advantage of the offer, he said.
The government had last introduced the scheme for direct tax evaders voluntary disclosure of income scheme in 1997. So far,the government has received 9,000 declarations involving Rs 2,000 crore under the VCES,out of which 107 have been rejected. Mumbai has emerged as the leading zone from where the assessees have come forward to avail of the scheme.
In the Budget the government had announced VCES as a one-time amnesty scheme to pay service tax dues for the period from October 1,2007,to December 31,2012,without interest and penalty. While the 50 per cent amount has to be paid by December 31,the rest can be paid by June 2014 and with interest by December 31 next year. The finance minister said that the government will appoint a panel to look into the applications which have been rejected and work out ways to accept them.