CA Gautam Joshi

ACES has started accepting Service Tax (ST-3) returns for the period April to June 2012 revising the earlier forms by removing few bugs. The extended time to file now is till 25th Nov for Apr to Jun 12 ST Returns. Returns for July to September 2012 is still undergoing some structural changes.

Though extended time has been granted, returns are no more half yearly and converted to quarterly period in line with approach to GST. However, is change in period of ST return linear/consistent with current ST Law? I suppose the light shall be glared on existing penal provisions. Section 77 charges penalty on non-filing of returns maximum up to Rs. 20,000/-. In just recent past, this provision was amended from penalty of Rs. 2,000/- to Rs. 20,000/- for a half yearly return and adding fuel to the gravity of penalty, it may be chargeable for a quarterly return now on wards resulting in to person failed to file ST return might be incurring Rs. 80,000/- per year (could be for NIL returns as well. Note :- though there are specific powers to the Superintendent to waive penalty in case of bonafide reasons for non-filing of NIL returns, hardly these provisions are put in practice).
These inconsistency in law can lead to serious financial damage on tax payers and needs close revision by drafting authority.

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  1. D Sahoo says:

    This is the indian system where the law makers prepare the way to damage/bye-pass the law before the law is passed.

    The ST dept taking the credibility and insisting the people for e-filling, but the dept is itself failure to manage their superintendents why because nowadays every thing has been so fast so that the dept insisting for e-filling and it is also good. But question arises that is the dept looking properly to the Tax payers, maximum tax holders are innocently payment the tax, but they have not filled the returns, it is not only the fault of the Tax payer, but the equal fault of the ST Dept why bcoz if a Tax payer is paying tax, but not filling the returns, then the ST Superintendents will know the status on online, they should issue letters to such Tax payers. But the the ST Superintendent are not performing their duties, they are appointed as “SUPERINTENDENT” that mean they have to supervise, now you say how the Superintendents have supervised their works.

    There are number of Tax payers those who have not filled their ST returns since 2007 though they had made the ST payments regularly, but till date the dept has not issued a letter, they never felt the necessity to contact the Tax payers, so why the “EMPTY VESEL SOUNDS MUCH” procedure of the Dept.

    According to my knowledge the ST Superintendents are neglecting to the Tax payers only for their own benefit…..why and how i am telling….the ST Superintendents knows very well that a-day will come when the Tax payer will come to their office, till then the ST people are waiting, as much as it will be delayed that will be good for negotiation with the Tax payers, bcoz the Law makers has given the authority to the ST Superintendent to decide the delay of non-filling of Returns, on this ground they are telling the Tax payers to submit the returns hard copy in back dates……NOW IT IS A GOOD SOURCE OF INCOME OF THE SUPERINTENDENTS….but it is the failure of the dept and harassment to the Tax payers..

    The dept should immediately revoke the penalty procedures to those Tax payers those who have made their payments regularly. It is very clear that a large number of tax payers are still not filled their ST returns, and THEY WILL NOT FILE BCOZ IF THEY WILL COME TO THE CONTACT OF THE DEPT THEN FIRST THE DEPT PEOPLES STARTS BARGAINING. Hence they feel it better to close the registration and prefer for a new ST Number and start newly….

    Other words if the Tax payer is liable to pay penalty for non-filling of the returns, the Superintendents should be equally penalised/punished for non-issue of letter, even if till date ST Superintendent has not allotted the Log In ID and Password…….

    HOPE the DEPT senior officers and law-makers will better understand.

  2. Gautam Joshi says:

    Dear AK Bhargava,

    ST return is basically a summary of facts/transactions done during the period of return so you need to file return and show that your liability is nil quoting respective exemption notification of ST liability is to be paid by service receiver (consignee) and not by you.


    Dear Gautam Joshi ji,

    Thanks for useful information on ST requiring quarterly return and penal provisions even on NIL returns. Kindly clarify if assessee who has below exemption limit turnover (Taxable)-nil)but has turnover wherein consignee has to pay the ST on transportation of goods, even then consolidated turnover is having NIL ST liability , should assessee file return?

  4. vswami says:

    The writer, unwittingly or otherwise,has advocated and canvassed against delays in the filing of returns, under the setrvice tax rules, being visited with a stringent penal consequence.

    Granting that as it may,from the point of view of income-tax payers, on the contrary, the intriguing point that surfaces, rerquiring a serious consideration by the Revenue, is why deductors (of TDS) should not be met with like/matching stringent penaly for delayed filing of TDS returns. For, that is bound to act as a detterent, and might help to safeguard the interests of, besides the taxpayers’ (deductees’), those of the Revenue as well.Attention should be drawn to the material galore in public domain, sharply focussing on the woes / grievances of the taxpayers against such delays. It requires a special mention that the hassles / hardships the taxpayers (deductees) are obliged to face are all the more serious and severe;that is, on account of deductors’ recalcitrant attitude , and defaults/delays in their posting /updating the TDS data, reigidly within the due dates,in the Form 26AS on NSDL’s website.

  5. Melvin Joseph says:

    The fine of Rs. 20,000 is a welcome step to ensure compliance. Please do have similar norms for the Robert Vadra, Gadkari and the like.
    It is sad to see that the rules are there for general public, not for the so called law breakers!

  6. M. C. Gupta says:

    Dear Mr. Joshi Guatam,

    During the preparation of ST-3 Return of Service Tax , serial no. is not aceepting to get the benefit of notification no. 1/2006. pl. advice.

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January 2021