Benefit of Voluntary Compliance encouragement Scheme can’t be denied due to Clerical Errors: CESTAT [Read Order]

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The Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has held that the benefit of the Voluntary Compliance encouragement Scheme, 2013 cannot be denied to the taxpayer merely on the ground of clerical errors.

The service tax department denied the benefit of the VCES-Voluntary Compliance encouragement Scheme to the appellant by citing a case of a clerical error in filing the declaration by the appellant/assessee. As per the gross taxable receipts, the gross tax payable including cess, was calculated at Rs. 27,05,933/-. However, erroneously the appellant failed to adjust or reduce the gross amount of tax payable with the amount of tax already paid, Rs. 5,68,859/- and declared Rs. 27,05,933/- as actual tax dues.

Before the Tribunal, the appellants contended that they cannot be denied the benefit of VCES, for simple clerical error on its part, which is evident on the face of the record, while declaring the correct tax dues.

Allowing the contentions, the Tribunal held that that the benefit of VCES 2013, have been denied by revenue, only for the simple clerical error in filling form VCES-1.

“The appellant has admittedly deposited the declared amount of tax dues, and they cannot be asked to deposit more tax, which will be against the provisions of service tax law, as well as Article 265 of the Constitution of India. Accordingly, I set aside the impugned order and hold that the appellant is entitled to the benefit of Voluntary Compliance encouragement Scheme – VCES 2013,” the Tribunal said.

To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE