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Thinkfest: Revenue dept looking into tax paymt by event mgmt co

November 29, 2013 22:05 IST

The Central revenue department is inquiring into the payment of service tax by the event management firm which had organised the controversial Thinkfest on behalf of the Tehelka magazine.

"We are looking into service tax payment by the event management company," said a senior functionary of the Central Excise and Service Tax Department.

The official said the event management company, which had organised the Thinkfest, was required to pay the service tax as such services attract the levy.

The officials, he added, had been asked to ascertain the quantum of the levy which had to be paid every month. Delhi-based Tehelka had organised the three-day Thinkfest earlier this month, during which its editor Tarun Tejpal allegedly sexually assaulted a woman journalist of his magazine in a hotel lift.

The Thinkfest, organised from November 8-10, was attended by various international and national dignitaries, including a Union minister.

The Revenue official further said the most of the event management companies are based in Mumbai and what the department would try to ascertain that the taxes due to the exchequer were paid in time.

According to the official, the even management companies engaged in organising the International Film Festival in Goa, too, would be required to pay service tax. He said the some issues regarding the payment of the service tax for the last year's film festival too were pending and the department was trying to sort them out.

Answering questions on the response of the service tax amnesty scheme, he said that it had remained lukewarm but efforts were being made to collect as much as possible.

The official further said that some of the assesses wanted that they should be given more time to pay the service tax as they were facing financial hardship because of ban on mining activities by the Supreme Court.

The official said that it was a policy decision and he had forwarded the representations received from the industry bodies to the headquarters in the national capital.

As per the Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme for service tax defaulters, an assessee declaring the dues is required to pay 50 per cent of the dues by  December-end and the remaining amount by the end of June next year.

The Goan businessmen are demanding that they may be given more time clear service tax dues as it would not be possible for them to pay taxes at present.

Chandra Shekhar in Panaji
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