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Negative list for Service Tax in Budget 2012

November 17, 2011

The Central Board of Excise & Customs will shortly release a revised concept paper on the negative list of services. Mr. V.K. Garg, Joint Secretary, Tax Research Unit, C.B.E. & C. informed that the government has received more than 1000 responses to the concept paper floated for public debate in August this year. He was addressing the National Conference on Service Tax organised by ASSOCHAM on 16th November, 2011 in New Delhi.

Taxing services based on a negative list would mean all services except those mentioned in the negative list, will be subject to Service Tax levy. The move to seek public opinion is seen as pre-cursor to introduction of negative list in Budget 2012. It will help in widening the tax base in line with the avowed objective of introducing a comprehensive Goods and Services Tax or GST next year.  Mr. Garg stated that the Union Government is close to striking a reasonable balance with the State Governments on the GST framework. He called upon the industry to be more active in voicing its views concerning GST.
The national conference began with an address by Mr. V. Lakshmikumaran, Co-chair, ASSOCHAM Indirect Taxation Council. He said that people don’t grudge in paying taxes but they want the procedures to be simplified. Mr. Lakshmikumaran requested the government to reveal its mind on the shape of GST even if the deadline could not be met. He drew the attention of the C.B.E. & C. to the lack of clarity on what constitutes ‘goods’ and ‘services’.

The event was attended by top revenue officers and experts. Dr.  Shobhit Jain, OSD, TRU said that the preparations for Budget 2012 has just commenced. He requested all the stake-holders to send their Budget suggestions early as it would give the Board more time to analyse and take a decision on implementation.
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