Cab operators based in Gurgaon and the NCR are under the scanner of government authorities for suspected service tax evasion worth crores of rupees. According to city authorities, Gurgaon has over 2,000 small and medium travel operators who cater to multi-national2CAB.TIMsed in the city. The service tax department is digging out details of the payments made by these companies in Gurgaon and adjoining areas.

Senior service tax officials claimed that the cab industry is evading tax by frequently changing companies. The cab operators are collecting service tax from the companies annually but they are pocketing it by changing their names and operating again with the same companies, said a senior official. The cab industry in Gurgaon has over 12,000 vehicles that provide transport services to MNCs, IT firms and other companies.

Elaborating further, the official said: The service tax liabilities are with the service provider in any form. Ideally, companies pay the service tax and pass it on to the cab operator who then deposits it to the service tax department. But this is not happening in many cases.

Explaining the service tax calculation, the official said that if the services provided by the service providers (in this case cab operators) to companies is billed over Rs 10 lakh, then service taxes have to be paid to the government. There are many big operators which are providing transport services to the MNCs and the total payments would overshoot the threshold limit. Records of all such companies are being called, including the cab operators engaged by them in the last five years, said the official.

When asked about the time frame of five years, the official said: The service tax evasion by anyone can be investigated up to five years in retrospection. The payment details sought from the companies will be matched with the amounts deposited by the cab operators. The cab owners found violating will be prosecuted as per the service tax laws, he added.

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