The Google SMS Channel

The official site of the Google sms channel says:

Google sms channels is a service that enables channels/groups on SMS. It’s a free service that enables you to get premium content published by Google publishing partners, Google popular products (Google News, Blogger and Google Groups) and websites with RSS/Atom support for free. SMS Channels allows you to create your own channel(s) to publish content that other users can subscribe to. You can also create groups over SMS to communicate with your friends, family, and co-workers.

I have created a channel for this site. I will post a review of it once I get enough input about its working, reliability and hassle free operation. You can try subscribing to it and see it you receive updates from this site.

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Seven new services under Service Tax net

With the Finance Bill 2008 receiving Presidential assent, Seven new taxable services will come under the Service Tax net w.e.f May 16. These new services include Information Technology, Software services, investment management services, ULIP, Internet Telecommunication services, stock exchange services, Commodity Exchanges and Clearing houses.

The revenue department has also extended the scheme of refund of service tax paid by exporters to three additional services, taking the total number of services for which service tax refund is available to exporters to 19.

Exporters can now get service tax refund on purchase or sale of foreign currency by authorised dealers or foreign exchange brokers.

However, exporters have to produce evidence to show that the services utilised by them for purchase or sale of foreign currency is related to export of goods.

So if you fall under any of the new services, remember to comply with the provisions of the Service Tax Act

Post Budget rate of CST

Post Budget rate of CST

Though the Hon’ble Finance Minister has announced reduction of Central Sales Tax Act (CST) from 3% to 2%, notification regarding the same has not been issued till today. So in such a situation, it is suggested that dealers should continue charging CST @ 3%. In case there is a notification on later date with retrospective effect, excess of 1% can be adjusted against future bills or as per discretion or settlement reached between the parties.

Trade Circular

CAs can audit; Sales Tax Lawyers can’t: HC

In a decision that will affect the lawyers specialising in Sales Tax laws as well as former Sales Tax officers’ who work as sales tax practitioners, Bombay High Court has held that only Chartered Accountants (CAs) can audit and certify accounts for traders.

Hitherto, traders had to hire only sales tax lawyers or former sales tax officers as advisors in tax matters. But a recent amendment to Maharashtra Value Added Tax Act made it mandatory for traders with sale of over Rs 40 lakhs to get their accounts audited and certified by a professional CA.

The amendment specifies that only a CA can audit the account. It allows lawyers and other sales tax practitioners to represent traders before sales tax commissioner and tribunals, but not to audit accounts.

Various organisations, including Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, the Sales Tax Practitioners Association of Maharashtra and Bombay Small Scale Industries Association moved High Court, claiming that this restraint violated right to equality enshrined in the Constitution.

Also, it would force traders to cough up extra money for engaging CAs, they contended. But division bench of Justices F I Rebello and R S Mohite rejected these arguments. “Auditing is a specialised job which can be undertaken by the person professionally competent and trained to audit,” judges said, holding that advocates and other sales tax practitioners were not qualified for this job.

SOURCE

SEBI Circular on Mutual Fund Warning

Taking a note of the hasty and unintelligible manner in which the Mutual Fund advertisers warn about the market risks associated with Mutual Funds, the SEBI has issued a circular bearing no. SEBI/IMD/CIR No.12/118340/08 Dated 26.02.2008 setting guidelines for the manner in which such warning/message is to be conveyed.

The circular states that –

– The time for display of the standard warning be over a period of five seconds in case of audio advertisements and shall be read in an easily understandable manner.

– In case of audio visual advertisements the time for display and voice over of the standard warning be enhanced to five seconds.

All mutual funds are required to comply with the above requirements in letter and spirit.

So with effect from April 1, 2008, expect the statement – “Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read the offer document carefully before investing” to be recited in an intelligible manner . This step of SEBI is definitely appreciable.

USE MICR CODE TO GET EARLY REFUND

You might be the one of the few who are eligible for refund under the Income Tax Act but dread the thought of waiting for a very long period to get refund. Well, you can overcome this hurdle. Take a look at how MICR Code can fasten the process of you getting the refund.

CA Rajan Gupta has explained in very easy language the usefulness of MICR to get refund.

Get prices for mobiles in India

Get prices of cellphones, mobiles, bluetooth, cellphone accessories, etc. at following sites –

Ebay
Fonearena
Gadgetsguru
Indiatimes
Mobilestore
Rediff
Wavetel – Recommended
Univercell

Remember to check sellers reputation esp. at sites like ebay.

Prices at these site might be a little higher then the regular market. Do cross check.

Before making payments, check if the site has a valid security certificate.