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Centre extends deadline for paying service tax
In a relief to lakhs of service providers, the Centre has extended the last date for filing service tax return to April 30.

"The CBEC hereby extends the date for submission of form ST-3 for the period from October 1 to March 31, 2017, from April 25 to April 30, 2017," an order by the apex policy making body said.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said that the due date was extended as the assessees faced "intermittent difficulties" in accessing the ACES (Automation of Central Excise and Service Tax) website on April 25, the previous last date.

As per the rules, the service providers have to file the returns online on www.aces.gov.in.

The service tax collected by the assessee has to be deposited with the government on a monthly or quarterly basis and the return has to be filed half-yearly.

But whether the GSTN portal would be able to take this load or not is yet a matter of concern. Especially, when this will be used by all tax payers including not only service providers, but also traders and manufacturers.

In a bid to have a common portal for all tax payers, the government is asking existing excise, service tax and VAT assessees to shift to the GST Network (GSTN) portal for payment of tax and filing returns.

"After witnessing this extension of due date for filing service tax return, my concern is the government system might not be fully geared up for such large pool of tax payers and in terms of data requirement in returns," Nangia and Co Director-Indirect Taxation Rajat Mohan said.

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