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M/s Abhi Engineering Corporation Versus Commissioner of Central Excise & Customs, Nagpur

Rejection of application under Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013 Period of limitation for rejection of VCES application - Pendency of an inquiry while filing VCES declaration - Revenue contested that assessee's application falls under the provisions of Section 106(2)(a)(iii); assessee is not eligible to make any declaration under VCES scheme - Appellant contends to set aside the order.

Held That:- Notice proposing to reject the declaration is time barred i .....

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s in appeal against Order-in-Appeal No. NGP/EXCUS/000/APP/14-15 dated 13.10.2014 passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise & Customs (Appeals), Nagpur by which it has been held that the application filed by the appellant under the Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme, 2013 (VCES in short), has been rightly rejected. 2. The brief facts are that the appellant had filed under the VCES-1 declaration on 28.6.2013. Thereafter, the appellant made full payment of tax dues declare .....

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ules, 1994. It appeared to the Revenue that assessee's application falls under the provisions of Section 106(2)(a)(iii) of the Finance Act, 2013 and the assessee is not eligible to make any declaration under VCES scheme i.e. under Section 107 of Finance Act, 2013. Therefore, a notice dated 15.10.2013 was issued to the appellant requiring them to explain as to why their VCES-1 declaration filed, should not be rejected for being not eligible for VCES, 2013. 2.1 The appellant contested the show .....

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letter dated 20.9.2012 received from DGCEI, Mumbai (requiring the appellant to produce account, documents or records) along with declaration under VCES. Upon receipt of the appellant's application, the designated authority after examining the same have issued acknowledgement under form VCES-2 (acknowledgement of declaration under VCES), indicating prima facie approval of the declaration made. It was further contended that the appellant have followed the procedure prescribed for making the d .....

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e by a declarant under this Scheme was substantially false, he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, serve notice on the declarant in respect of such declaration requiring him to show cause why he should not pay the tax dues not paid or short paid. As the appellant have paid the full amount of tax dues as per his declaration, the provisions of Section 111(1) are not applicable. It was further pointed out that the appellant have not received any notice or order in terms of Section 72, 73 or .....

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lant to submit documents under the provisions of Section 14 of the Central Excise Act, the case is squarely covered under Section 106(2)(a)(iii). Accordingly, the appellant was held to be barred under provisions of Section 106(2)(a)(iii) from filing declaration under VCES. So far the issue of limitation raised by the appellant is concerned, with respect to clarification issued by CBE&C vide Circular No. 170/5/2013-ST dated 8.8.2013, where it is provided that notice of intention to reject the .....

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013 was held to be within time. 2.3 Being aggrieved, the appellant preferred an appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals). The learned Commissioner (Appeals) relying on the ruling of the Hon'ble Punjab & Haryana High Court in the case of Barnala Builders & Property Consultants Vs. Dy. Commissioner of Central Excise- Civil Writ Petition No.26929 of 2013, admitted the appeal and was pleased to dismiss the appeal upholding the order of rejection. 3. Being aggrieved, the appellant is in a .....

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x dues declared under the Scheme in the Service Tax returns pertaining to the period mentioned above. The only letter received by us requiring production of accounts, documents and records is annexed with this letter and marked as Annexure-B. The requisite documents and records in terms of the said letter have been submitted by us prior to March 1, 2013." 3.1 Further, with form VCES-1, the appellant had annexed a copy of letter dated 20.9.2012 received from DGCEI. Thus, no case of suppressi .....

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p; Service Tax. DGCEI asked the appellant to submit the documents like, registration certificates, copy of the balance-sheet and audit reports, print out of account statements relating to business transaction, copy of agreements for services provided, copy of bills raised, details of payment received from the clients. It is further pointed out that it has been clarified vide CBE&C Circular dated 8.8.2013, in para 2, that a communication from the Revenue seeking information of roving nature w .....

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ground or by taking a wider interpretation of the conditions enumerated in Section 106(2). If the issue or the period of inquiry, investigation or audit is identifiable from summons or any other document, the declaration in respect of such period or issue alone will be liable for rejection under the said provisions. Thus it is evident that the inquiry letter of DGCEI is not in respect of Service Tax not levied/short levied or short paid, it is merely of a roving nature. Further, neither any sum .....

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ed that the designated authority, if he has reason to believe that the declaration is covered by Section 106(2), shall give the notice of intention to reject the declaration within 30 days of filing of the declaration, stating the reasons for proposed rejection. The said clarifications have been reiterated in the subsequent Circular dated 25.11.2013, further mentioning that Commissioner should ensure that the time size of 30 days is followed scrupulously. Accordingly, the appellant urges for set .....

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