Tax officials have begun a close scrutiny of service tax evaders who are estimated to have deprived the exchequer of revenues to the tune of Rs 9,800 crore till December 2012.
In comparison, the service tax evasion last year was estimated at Rs 6,000 crore.
Issuing a stern warning to tax evaders, Lipika Majumdar Roy Choudhury, member, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said on Thursday, “Of the Rs 9,800 crore, about Rs 2,000 crore have been recovered.”
Service tax collections have risen by 34 per cent in the first nine months of the fiscal and the CBEC is hopeful of meeting the Budgeted target of Rs 1.24 lakh crore.
The department is also making efforts to recover the rest of the service tax dues. “In many cases, the service providers collect service tax from their clients but do not deposit it with the government,” she said.
Oil and gas sector firms are amongst the major service tax evaders and have admitted to evasion of over Rs 150 crore. Meanwhile, companies providing security services have also evaded service tax amounting to Rs 86 crore, while those involved in the pharmaceutical industry have evaded Rs 28 crore service tax. The government has lost out on Rs 18 crore of service tax due to evasion by firms providing construction services.
While the Director General of Central Excise Intelligence has detected a number of cases in the last six months, the CBEC member stressed that service tax must be paid.
“By Finance Act 2012, service tax was applied to all services barring those mentioned in a negative list. In addition, services under 39 broad category are exempt,” she said.