Service Tax is a levy on provision/rendition of service in India. Chapter V of Finance Act, 1994, introduced Service Tax in India and it came into force from July 1994. Finance Act, 1994 is the only parent legislature and there is no separate act for the same.

Service Tax is a process of evolution and undergoes change every year. As per Recent Service Tax Changes on Ground Level / amendments are brought into effect through various notifications, circulars, case laws etc every year an assessee is always confused which results in non compliance with the Service Tax law, overpayment/underpayment of Service Tax, disputes with the department and also engaging in corrupt practices. Thus it is important for an assessee to regularly update himself about the ever changing law.

This blog covers Service Tax Changes on Ground Level in terms of omissions, additions, or introduction of some new concept by way of new sub sections.

There are no major changes on the ground level but, the change which is introduced by Section (103) K of the Finance Act 2013 is of the highest critical importance and it has also brought ‘Inspector Raj’ back in action which is very much familiar to the conditions of pre-independent India.

The Sections 90 and 91 in the Finance Act, 1994, with effect from 10th May, 2013 introduced by Section 103 (K) has bestowed the departmental officers with powers to arrest an assessee at default.

In terms of Section 90 of Finance Act, 1994, as amended, offences under Section 89 (1) (ii) shall be cognizable and all other offences shall be non-cognizable and bailable. In terms of Section 91 (1) read with Section 89 (1) (i) and (ii) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended, the power to arrest has been introduced in cases involving evasion of Service Tax covered under Section 89 (1) (i) and (ii) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended and the amount of Service Tax evaded exceeds Rs. 50 lakhs. The same is clarified by the departmental circular no. 171/6/2013.

By Rohit Matlapudi

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