To overcome these judgments, Central Government vide the Finance (No. 2) Act, 2014 has inserted a new clause (k) in sub-section (2) of Section 94 of the Act with effect from 6 August 2014 which is reproduced as below:
“k) Imposition, on persons liable to pay service tax, for the proper levy and collection of tax, of duty of furnishing information, keeping records and the manner in which such records shall be verified.”
Thereafter, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (k) of sub-section (2), read with sub-section (1) of Section 94, Central Government vide Notification No. 23/2014-ST dated December 5, 2014 had substituted Rule 5A(2) of the Service Tax Rules, thereby nominating a Chartered Accountant or a Cost Accountant along with an officer authorised by the Commissioner or the Audit Party deputed by the Commissioner or CAG to conduct Service Tax Audit.
Now, Circular No. 181/7/2014-ST dated 10th December, 2014 is issued by the revenue to clarify the scope of clause (k) newly inserted in sub-section (2) of Section 94. The Circular in point 3 clarified that “It may be noted that the expression “verified” used in section 94(2)(k) of the said Act is of wide import and would include within its scope, audit by the departmental officers, as the procedure prescribed for audit is essentially a procedure for verification mandated in the statute.”