Generally we come across two terms ―assessment‖ and ―adjudication‖. Both have their own colour and odour. But if we consider practical view point both the terms are considered to have almost the same meaning. Let us discuss the terms in brief.
Assessment is derived from the word ―assess‖ which means evaluation, estimation judgment, opinion etc. We usually use this word in reference to examination results, determination of tax liability by own self and even by the tax officers.
Adjudicate on the other hand means to hear or try and decide judicially. Hence adjudication means giving a decision. Hence forth it could be said that in the context of service tax the Central Excise Officers are empowered to assess the correctness of the data filed in returns or recorded in books.
In case he is doubtful about the same he is empowered to further investigate the matter and adjudicate the same as per the provisions of the Act.
Modes of Assessment
―Self-assessment‖ means that the person responsible will have to assess himself his tax liability and then comply with the requirements. Therefore in context of service tax when an assessee looking to the value of the taxable service provided by him assess the tax liability and pays accordingly is “selfassessment‖. Means where the assessee himself finds out whether a particular service rendered is taxable or not, what rate of service tax is applicable to him and after assessing his liability he himself discharges the same, such compliance is nothing but self-assessment and in India in most of the taxes whether it is direct or indirect tax self-assessment is the base and the Government expects the assessee himself to be responsible and tax compliant.
Section 70 deals with this particular concept of Self-Assessment. This concept was introduced with effect from 16.07.2001 so far as service tax is concerned. Let us understand the provisions of Section 70 and try to find out what happened to this section during last 20 years.
Every person responsible for collecting the service tax shall furnish or cause to be furnished to the Central Excise Officer in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner, a quarterly return, within fifteen days of the end of the preceding quarter, showing—
(a) the aggregate of payments received in respect of the value of taxable services;
(b) the amount of service tax collected;
(c) the amount of service tax paid to the credit of the Central Government; and
(d) such other particulars as may be prescribed.
In the case of any person who, in the opinion of Central Excise Officer, is responsible for collecting service tax under this Chapter but who has not furnished a return under sub-section (1), the Central Excise Officer may, before the expiry of the quarter in which the return is to be furnished, issue a notice to such person and serve it upon him, requiring him to furnish within thirty days from the date of service of the notice the return in the prescribed form and verified in the prescribed manner setting forth the prescribed particulars.
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