Millennium Post

IRS officers’ body wants Centre’s control on service tax assessees

An association representing thousands of revenue service officers on Monday sought Centre’s control over service tax assessees under Goods and Services Tax (GST) having turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore and raised concern over demand from few states, including West Bengal, of controlling them. In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the Indian Revenue Service (Customs and Central Excise) officers’ association apprehended rise in blackmoney and tax evasion if states are given control over such assessees.

Other than West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Delhi, Odisha and also commercial tax officers working across the country under the state governments jurisdiction have also supported demands for control over service tax payers having less than Rs 1.5 crore turnover.

“The move towards GST is aimed at simplifying the tax structure, widening the tax base, reducing tax-evasion and incentivising the honest tax payers. It is supposed to be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders viz the taxpayers, Central and state government.

“The proposal for having divided control over the assessees with all assessee having revenue less than Rs 1.5 crore being monitored only by state government is in conflict with the very root and premise of having GST. It will lead to rampant tax evasion, confusion and chaos amongst assesses due to different interpretations of issues by different states from J&K to Kerala,” it said.

The association represents over 2,000 IRS officers. The officers’ body said no control of the Centre may lead to security threats in the present scenario, hindrance in corruption free clean economy and new modes of tax evasion by keeping the threshold below Rs 1.5 crore by creating several dummy companies and eventually revenue loss for the nation.

“It shall lead to mushrooming of a large number of proprietorship concerns and firms by the tax-payers in order to remain below the threshold turnover or under-report their turnover to remain out of dual tax administration, thereby incentivising the dishonest taxpayers,” the letter said.

The association cited apprehension expressed by some of its members regarding the role of Central Board of Excise and Customs--apex body for indirect tax administration, in GST implementation and post-GST indirect tax administration.

“Our officers who have worked diligently while observing complete discipline are now dismayed by the prospects which await us. Batches of 200 bright young IRS officers were recruited every year since 2008 to implement GST and now they stand at the crossroads with deep sense of anguish and despair.” 
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