Govt collects Rs 5,500 crore under VCES

Govt collects Rs 5,500 crore under VCES

The government has collected about Rs 5,500 crore so far from 40,000 declarations under the service tax amnesty scheme, Revenue Secretary Sumit Bose said on Monday.

"There has been an overwhelming response to the VCES (Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme)," Bose told reporters.

"In the last four days, we have received over 16,000 applications involving Rs 1,500 crore of service tax dues," Bose said.

The amnesty scheme, announced in the Budget for 2013-14 (April-March), will close on Tuesday.Bose said the scheme would not be extended beyond December 31.

Tax department offices would be kept open beyond working hours on Monday and till midnight on Tuesday to facilitate accepting more declarations, he said.

He warned of stern action, including arrest and prosecution against service tax evaders, starting January 1.

The scheme was launched as only 40 per cent of the registered service tax assessees of the total 17 lakh file returns.

The government said it is aiming to collect Rs 1.80 lakh crore from service tax in 2013-14, up 35.9 per cent from last year.

Under the scheme, the assessees can pay tax dues since October 1, 2007 without interest, penalty or legal proceedings.

The current service tax rate is 12 per cent.

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