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Govt to exempt 14 more services from tax

Last updated on: June 20, 2012 21:15 IST

Govt to exempt 14 more services from tax

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Advocates with a turnover of up to Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million), companies engaged in construction of metro projects, law firms, and entities providing public conveniences will not have to pay 12 per cent service tax.

The government today announced that 14 more services would be exempted from payment of service tax by including them in the negative list which shall come into effect from July 1.

With the inclusion of 14 items, the total number of services in the negative list will go up to 38. All other services which do not figure in the list would be taxed.

Releasing the 107-page book 'Taxation of service: An Education Guide', Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that with the expansion of the service tax base, it would be possible for "the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to exceed the collection target of Rs 1.24 lakh crore in the current fiscal".

The government has collected Rs 97,000 crore (Rs 970 billion) on account of service tax in the last financial year. For the current year, the government has hiked the service tax rate by two per cent to 12 per cent.

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As per the guide, the 14 services which will be exempted from payment of tax include lending of books, publications or any other knowledge enhancing content or material by public libraries.

Besides, services provided to the government, local authorities or a government authority for the repair and maintenance of an aircraft would also come in the negative list.

Also, services provided by advocates to other advocates and business entities up to a turnover of Rs 10 lakh in the preceding financial year is exempt from service tax.

It said services provided by way of public convenience such as provision of facilities of bathroom, washroom, urinals or toilets would be included in the list.

The other services which would be exempted from tax include, auxiliary educational services and renting of immovable property provided by educational institutions in respect of education exempt from service tax.

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Besides, services relating to works contract to a scheme under JNNURM or Rajiv Awas Yojana would also come into the negative list.

The government has widened the definition of 'Services' to bring in more activities under the tax net. At present, 119 services that come under 'positive list' are levied.

As per the negative list, services like metered taxis, auto rickshaws, betting, gambling, lottery, entry to amusement parks, transport of goods or passengers and electricity transmission or distribution by discoms have been kept in the negative list.

Other important services which will not attract the tax include funeral, burial, mutate services and transport of deceased.

Coaching classes and training institutions will come under the net, though the tax will not be levied on school, university education and approved vocational courses, travel in first class and in air-conditioned rail coaches, too, will attract service tax.

The services sector account for about 60 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

In order to bring as many services as possible in the net, the government has come out with a very wide definition of service. With some exception, it has been defined service as "any activity carried out by a person for consideration".



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