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E-Filing of Service Tax returns mandatory
12 October, 2011 Ahmedabad :
E-Filing of Service Tax returns mandatory

When the society advances, the rulers also need to adapt and keep pace with the progress. Inspired the extensive use and advantages of computers and internet, which have made communication easier, many Government departments have shed the age old practices of filing paper returns and have adapted paperless transactions. Service Tax department, although have been slow in implementing the policy of paperless transactions, during the last decade have made some definite progress in this direction.

Service tax returns in Form ST-3 are designed to have details of value of services rendered, Cenvat credit availed on inputs, input services and capital goods and tax paid swiss panerai replica watches and are required to be filed by service provider on half-yearly basis. As per the Service Tax Rules, 1994 such return is required to be paid on or before 25th of the month following the particular half year i.e. on or before 25th April for the half year ending 31st March and 25th October for the half year ending 30th September. Till October, 2011, every service provider who have paid service tax of Rs. 10 Lakhs or more by cash or through Cenvat account during the preceding year, was required to e-file their half yearly returns. The Government of India vide Notification No. 43/2011-ST dated 25.08.2011 have now made e-filing of service tax returns mandatory from 01.10.2011 for all class of service provider irrespective of their tax payments during the preceding year.

The Government have also made similar amendments in Central Excise and Cenvat Credit provisions also. It has been decided to make it mandatory for the assessees to submit the prescribed Central Excise Returns electronically w.e.f. 1st day of October, 2011. As per these amendments the ER-1 Return required to be filed monthly by Central Excise assessees, ER-2 Return required to be filed monthly by 100% EOUs and ER-3 Returns required to be filed by SSI units will have to be electronically filed from 01.10.2011 irrespective of the duty paid in the preceding financial year. E-filing of other returns like ER-4 containing annual financial information of the Central Excise unit, ER-5 and ER-6 giving details of principal inputs used in the manufacturing activity, ER-7 giving details of annual installed capacity of the manufacturing unit and ER-8 required to be filed by units paying Central Excise duty 1% are also now compulsory.

This initiative of the Government is a positive step in the right direction. The e-filing of returns will also help the trade in compiling with the mandatory requirements of the department with zero delay. Another advantage of this scheme is that the representatives of trade will not be required to visit Government offices for filing of returns and get entangled in the bureaucratic red-tapesim. Thus with efiling of Service tax returns mandatory now on, one wonders whether the government is serious about making computers, internet services and other IT infrastructure, affordable and available to one and all.

Courtesy: From the desk of Monish Bhalla, Founder, www.servicetaxonline.com
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