SERVICE TAX SWACHH BHARA CESS TO BE INTRODUCED FROM 15 NOVEMBER 2015 AT 0.5%

Ministry of Finance Department of Revenue Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC)  has issued the Notification for date and rate of Swachh Bharat Cess from 15th November 2015 at .5% on value of taxable services. So from 15th Nov 2015 Service Provider has to charge 14% Service Tax and .5% Swachh Bharat Cess on value of taxable services

[TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE OF INDIA, EXTRAORDINARY, PART II, SECTION 3, SUB-SECTION (i)]

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
(DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE)

New Delhi, the 6th November, 2015

 

Notification No. 22/2015-Service Tax

G.S.R. —(E).- In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994) read with sub-section (5) of section 119 of the Finance Act, 2015 (20 of 2015), the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts all taxable services from payment of such amount of the Swachh Bharat Cess leviable under sub-section (2) of section 119 of the said Act, which is in excess of Swachh Bharat Cess calculated at the rate of 0.5 percent. of the value of taxable services:

Provided that Swachh Bharat Cess shall not be leviable on services which are exempt from service tax by a notification issued under sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 or otherwise not leviable to service tax under section 66B of the Finance Act, 1994.

This notification shall come into force from the 15th day of November, 2015.

 

NEW SERVICE TAX RATE OF 14% EFFECTIVE FROM 1st JUNE 2015

Government of India i.e. Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) has issued the notification no D.O.F.No.334/5/2015-TRU on 19th may 2015 regarding the change in service tax rate from 12% to 14% and new service tax rate of 14% will be effective from 1st June 2015. Current Service Tax Rate of 12%+2%+1%=12.36% will remain applicable till 30th May 2015 from 1st June 2015 new rate of 14% shall come into force. Another addition of 2% i.e. Swachh Bharat Cess to this rate of 14% will remain pending till notified by the central government.

New Delhi, the 19th May, 2015
D.O.F.No.334/5/2015-TRU

The Finance Bill, 2015, has received the assent of the Honorable President and has been notified. In the Budget, 2015, certain amendments in the Finance Act, 1994 have been incorporated through the Finance Act, 2015, which will come into effect from a date to be notified. In this regard, 1st June, 2015 is being notified as the date on which the provisions as specified in paragraph 2 below will come into effect. Certain provisions in some notifications already issued, will also come into effect from 1st June, 2015.

2. Following provisions will come into effect from 1st June, 2015.

2.1 Section 66B of the Finance Act, 1994, prescribes the service tax rate. It has been amended by Section 108 of the Finance Act, 2015. The rate of Service Tax is being increased from 12% to 14% (including cesses). The increase in Service Tax rate will come into effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.14/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)

2.2 Sections 153 and 159 of the Finance Act, 2015 provide that section 95 of the Finance (No.2) Act, 2004 and section 140 of the Finance Act, 2007, levying Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Education Cess, respectively, on taxable services, shall cease to have effect from a date to be notified by the Central Government. The above provisions levying Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Education Cess should also cease to have effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.14/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers), that is the date with effect from which the increase in the Service Tax rate comes into effect.

2.3 The Negative List entry [section 66D (j)] that covers “admission to entertainment event or access to amusement facility” is to be omitted vide section 109 (4) of The Finance Act, 2015. Section 65B (9) and 65B (24) of the Finance Act, 1994 defines amusement facility and entertainment event, respectively. These entries in the definitions have been omitted by the Section 107 (a) and (c) of the Finance Act, 2015. These changes will come into effect from 1st June, 2015. The implication of these changes are as follows,-
(a) Service Tax shall be levied on the service provided by way of access to amusement facility providing fun or recreation by means of rides, gaming devices or bowling alleys in amusement parks, amusement arcades, water parks and theme parks.
(b) Service tax shall be levied on service by way of admission to entertainment event of concerts, pageants, musical performances concerts, award functions and sporting events other than the recognized sporting event, if the amount charged is more than Rs. 500 per person for the right to admission to such an event.
This levy would come into effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.14/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)

2.3.1 However, the existing exemption, by way of the Negative List entry, to service by way of admission to entertainment event, namely, exhibition of cinematographic film, circus, recognized sporting event, dance, theatrical performance including drama and ballet shall be continued, through the route of exemption. Entry 47 and definition of “recognised sporting event” [paragraph 2 entry „zab‟] has been inserted in notification No. 25/2012-ST vide S.No.1.(xii) and S. No. 2.(b) respectively of notification No. 06/2015-ST dated 1st March, 2015. This entry will also come into effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.16/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015)

2.4 The entry in the Negative List [section 66D (f)] that covers service by way of any process amounting to manufacture or production of goods has been amended vide section 109(2) of Finance Act, 2015, to exclude any service by way of carrying out any processes for production or manufacture of alcoholic liquor for human consumption. Consequently, Service Tax shall be levied on contract manufacturing/job work for production of potable liquor for a consideration. In this context, the definition of the term “process amounting to manufacture or production of goods” [section 65 B (40)] has also been amended vide section 107 (f) of the Finance Act, 2015. This levy would come into effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.14/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)

2.4.1 A consequential amendment in S. No. 30 of notification No. 25/2012-ST dated 20th June, 2012, to exclude intermediate production of alcoholic liquor for human consumption from ambit of the exemption, will also come into effect from 1st June, 2015. [Notification No. 06/2015-ST dated 1st March 2015 Entry at Sl. No. 1.(ix)] (Notification No.16/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)

2.5 An entry in the Negative list covers betting, gambling or lottery [Section 66D (i)]. This entry has been amended by section 109 (3) of the Finance Act, 2015 so as to include an explanation that “betting, gambling or lottery” shall not include the activity carried out by a lottery distributor or selling agent in relation to promotion, marketing, organising, selling of lottery or facilitating in organising lottery of any kind, in any other manner. The objective of making these exclusions was to make it explicitly clear that while lottery per se is not subject to service tax, aforesaid services in relation to lottery will be taxable. This will come into effect from 1st June, 2015. (Notification No.14/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)

2.6 In respect of certain services like money changing service, service provided by air travel agent, insurance service and service provided by lottery distributor and selling agent, the service provider has been allowed to pay service tax at an alternative rate subject to the conditions as prescribed under rules 6(7), 6(7A), 6(7B) and 6(7C) of the Service Tax Rules, 1994. Consequent to the upward revision in Service Tax rate, the said alternative rates shall also be revised proportionately.

2.6.1 Amendments to this effect have been made in the Service Tax Rules which will also come into effect from 1st June, 2015, that is the date with effect from which the increase in the Service Tax rate is made effective. [Notification No. 05/2015-ST 1st March 2015 Entry at Sl. No. 2(a)(e)(ii)] (Notification No.15/2015-Service Tax, dated 19th May, 2015 refers)
3. Presently, services provided by Government or a local authority, excluding certain services specified under clause (a) of section 66D, are covered in the Negative List. An enabling provision has been made, by amending section 66D (a) (iv), to exclude all services provided by the Government or local authority to a business entity from the Negative List [section 109(1) of Finance Act, 2015]. Consequently, the definition of “support service” [section 65 B (49)] is also to be omitted from date to be notified [section 107(h) of Finance Act, 2015].

As and when this amendment is given effect to, all services provided by the Government or local authority to a business entity, except the services that are specifically exempted, or covered by any another entry in the Negative List, shall be liable to service tax. The date from which this amendment would come into effect will be notified in due course.

4. An enabling provision has been incorporated in the Finance Act, 2015 vide section 117 (Chapter VI) to impose a Swachh Bharat Cess on all or any of the taxable services at a rate of 2% or lower on the value of such taxable services. This cess shall be levied on such services at such rate from such date as may be notified by the Central Government. The date from which this amendment would come into effect will be notified in due course.

5. In other words, date of effect of the provisions discussed in para 3 & 4 above are not being notified at present.

6. Amendments have been made by Sections 113, 114 and 115 in the Finance Act, 1994, in order to impart greater clarity and align the service tax provisions with those in Central Excise by adding provisions relating to closure of proceedings in sections 76, 78 and 78B. A similar alignment with the central excise provisions has been done in sections 76(2) and 78(2) with respect to cases where the appellate authority increases the duty or penalty. These changes have come into effect immediately after enactment of Finance Bill, 2015.

7. All the above changes may be brought to the notice of trade and industry and wide publicity may be made in this regard.

Process for Issue of Summons in Central Excise and Service Tax

Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has issued the guidelines on 20th January 2015 through circular No. 207/07/2014-CX-6 for issue of summons in Central Excise and Service Tax matters. As per Section 14 of Central Excise Act, 1944, summons can be used in an inquiry for recording statements or for collecting evidence/ documents. Summons can be issued by  Superintendents or higher authority but only after taking prior permission of  Assistant Commissioner or higher authority with reasons of summons recorded in writing. In case not able get written permission then telephonic permission is required & same should be reduced to writing and intimated to the officer.  The officer issuing summons should submit a report or should record a brief of the proceedings in the case file and submit the same to the  officer who had authorised the issue of summons. senior management officials such as CEO, CFO, General Managers of a large company or a PSU should not generally be issued summons at the first instance. They should be summoned only when there are indications in the investigation of their involvement in the decision making process which led to loss of revenue. Instruction has also been issued vide F. No. 137/39/2007-CX.4 dated 26.2.2007 in Service Tax matters. Board has already issued a circular vide F. No 208/122/89-CX.6 dated 13.10.1989 in respect of Central Excise

 

No. 207/07/2014-CX-6

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise and Customs

  New Delhi, the 20th January, 2015

 

To

 

Principal Chief / Chief Commissioners of Central Excise (All),

Principal Chief / Chief Commissioners of Central Excise of Central Excise & Service Tax (All),

Sub: Instructions regarding issue of summons in Central Excise and Service Tax matters – reg.

Madam/Sir,

It has been brought to the notice of the Board that in some instances, the summons under Section 14 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 have been issued by the field formations to the top senior officials of the companies in a routine manner to call for material evidence/ documents. Besides, summons have been issued to enforce recovery of dues, which are under dispute. As per Section 14 of Central Excise Act, 1944, summons can be used in an inquiry for recording statements or for collecting evidence/ documents. While the evidentiary value of securing documentary and oral evidence under the said legal provision can hardly be over emphasized, nevertheless, it is desirable that summons need not always be issued when a simple letter, politely worded, can also serve the purpose of securing documents relevant to investigation. It is emphasized that the use of summons be made only as a last resort when it is absolutely required.

On this issue, Board has already issued a circular vide F. No 208/122/89-CX.6 dated 13.10.1989 in respect of Central Excise. Instruction has also been issued vide F. No. 137/39/2007-CX.4 dated 26.2.2007 in Service Tax matters.

The following guidelines are being issued to be followed in both Central Excise and Service Tax matters:–

 

(i) Power to issue summons are generally exercised by Superintendents, though higher officers also issue summons. Summons by Superintendents should be issued after obtaining prior written permission from an officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner with the reasons for issuance of summons to be recorded in writing;

(ii) where for operational reasons it is not possible to obtain such prior written permission, oral/telephonic permission from such officer must be obtained and the same should be reduced to writing and intimated to the officer according such permission at the earliest opportunity;

(iii) In all cases, where summons are issued, the officer issuing summons should submit a report or should record a brief of the proceedings in the case file and submit the same to the  officer who had authorised the issue of summons.

Further, senior management officials such as CEO, CFO, General Managers of a large company or a PSU should not generally be issued summons at the first instance. They should be summoned only when there are indications in the investigation of their involvement in the decision making process which led to loss of revenue.

These instructions may be brought to the notice of all the field officers for strict compliance. Non observance of the instructions will be viewed seriously. Hindi version would follow.

 

 

Yours faithfully,

 

(ROHAN)

Under Secretary, (CX-6)

New Service Tax Rate 14% +2% i.e. 12.36% to 14%+2% =16% New Effective Date and Rate

Ministry of Finance of has issued the clarification related to the applicability of the new service tax rate of 14%+2%(Swachh Bharat Tax) total of 16% and as per the circular new rate and its applicable date will be notified by the government after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015 i.e. after budget is passed by the parliament and assented by the President of India and possible date will be between 20th April to 25th April 2015 till then current rate of 12.36% will be applicable.

Circular No. 183 / 02 / 2015-ST

F. No. B-1 /1/2015-TRU
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
(Tax Research Unit)

***

Room No. 153, North Block, New Delhi.

Dated 10th April, 2015.

To
Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise(All)
Chief Commissioner of Central Excise & Service Tax (All)
Director General of Service Tax
Director General of Central Excise Intelligence
Director General of Audit Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise (All)
Commissioner of Central Excise and Service Tax (All)
Commissioner of Service Tax (All) Madam/Sir,

Dear Madam/Sir,

Subject: Clarification on rate of service tax – regarding.

Doubts have been expressed in various forums regarding the proposed increase in the rate of service tax from 12.36% (including education cesses) to 14% on the value of taxable service.

2.         It may be noted that changes proposed in the Budget have/are coming into effect on various dates as already indicated in JS (TRU-II) D.O. letter dated 28th February, 2015. Certain amendments made in the Finance Act, 1994, including the change in service tax rate, will come into effect from a date to be notified by the Government after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015.

 3.        In this regard your attention is invited to clause 106 of the Finance Bill, 2015 and paragraph 3 of JS (TRU-II) D.O. letter, which  is reproduced below:-

“3. Service Tax Rate:

3.1       The rate of Service Tax is being increased from 12% plus Education Cesses to 14%. The ‘Education Cess’ and ‘Secondary and Higher Education Cess’ shall be subsumed in the revised rate of Service Tax. Thus, the effective increase in Service Tax rate will be from the existing rate of 12.36% (inclusive of cesses) to 14%, subsuming the cesses.

3.2       In this context, an amendment is being made in section 66B of the Finance Act, 1994. Further, it has been provided vide clauses 179 and 187 respectively of the Finance Bill, 2015 that sections 95 of the Finance Act, 2004 and 140 of the Finance Act, 2007, levying Education Cess and Secondary and Higher Education Cess on taxable services shall cease to have effect from a date to be notified by the Government.

3.3       The new Service Tax rate shall come into effect from a date to be notified by the Central Government after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015.

3.4       Till the time the revised rate comes into effect, the ‘Education Cess’ and ‘Secondary and Higher Education Cess’ will continue to be levied in Service Tax.”

4.         The paragraph reproduced above is self-explanatory and it is clear that the new Service Tax rate shall come into effect from a date to be notified by the Central Government after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015. The date will be notified in due course after the enactment.

5.         Similarly, certain doubts have been raised with regard to abatement on value of services provided in relation to serving of food or beverages by a restaurant, eating joint or a mess, having the facility of air-conditioning or central air-heating in any part of the establishment, at any time during the year. Valuation of services provided in relation to serving of food or beverages by a restaurant, eating joint or a mess is determined as provided in rule 2C of the Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006.

5.1       In the Union Budget, 2015, no change has been made in these rules; therefore, any confusion is unwarranted. Further, as explained above, the rate of service tax on the specified portion of the amount charged for such supply which is 40% continues to be 12.36% (includingcesses) at present i.e. 4.944 %. The rate of Service tax, as discussed above, will continue unchanged till a date which will be notified in due course.

6.         Wide publicity may be given so that the assesses and public are aware of the above.  All the major Industry/Trade Associations may be informed accordingly.

 

Yours sincerely,

(Dr. Abhishek Chandra Gupta)

Technical Officer, TRU

Tel: 011-23095547

Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme: Issues related to Undertaking, Payment of Tax Dues in Installment

The Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme. Issues for clarification related to additional undertaking, repayment of tax dues in installment and queries raised by department related to VCS declaration statement.

  • VCS Undertaking for Tax Dues related to VCS period only, there is only single undertaking that all the information given in VCS statement/declaration is true and correct. So Designated Authority should not ask for any other undertaking or declaration.
  • Payment of Service Tax in installment i.e. Payment of 50% tax dues in installment is allowed till 31.12.2013 and remaining 50% can be deposited in installment till 30.06.2014 without interest and with interest till 31.12.2014.
  • Designated Authority can only raise queries related to arithmetical check as regards the correctness of computation of tax dues, the Scheme does not envisage investigation by the designated authority into the veracity of declaration. Only if the Commissioner has reason to believe that the declaration filed by the declarant is substantially false he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, serve notice on the declarant requiring him to show cause why he should not pay the tax dues not paid or short-paid.

 F. No. B1/19/2013-TRU (Pt.)

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Excise & Customs
(Tax Research Unit)
***
New Delhi the 11th December, 2013
To,
All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise/Service Tax
Director General Service Tax
All Commissioners of Central Excise/Service Tax
Madam/Sir,
Sub: The Service Tax Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme – issues for clarification – reg The undersigned is directed to state that the Board has issued clarifications on issues concerning various aspects of the VCES, vide circulars dated 13.05.2013, 8.08.2013 and 25.11.2013. A FAQ has also been issued on VCES. However, certain instances have come to notice, as mentioned below, that the declarants under the VCES are still facing difficulties.
2. In one instance, the Designated Authority has asked a declarant, who has “tax dues” only or a part of the period covered by the Scheme, to furnish an undertaking that he had no unpaid “tax dues” for the remaining period covered by the Scheme. However, the Scheme does not envisage furnishing of any such undertaking. A declarant may have tax dues only for a part period covered by the Scheme. In terms of the Scheme a declaration of tax dues has to be made in Form VCES-I, which includes an undertaking that the information given in the
declaration is correct and complete. Therefore, the Designated Authority should not ask for any other undertaking or declaration beyond what has been prescribed in the Scheme or Rules made there under.
3. In another instance, the Designated Authority has objected to the payment of the first tranche of 50%, payable by 31.12.2013, in installments. It is clarified that the Scheme only prescribes that the declarant would pay a minimum amount of 50% of the tax dues by 31.12.2013. Rest of the payment may be made by 30.6.2014, without any interest, and any amount remaining unpaid on 30.6.2014 shall be paid by 31.12.2014, with interest for the period of delay beyond 30.6.2014. There is no bar to pay these amounts in installments. For example a declarant may pay the 50% amount that he is required to pay by 31.12.2013 in more than one installment. Therefore, payment of 50% “tax dues” in lump-sum may not be insisted to.
4. In some instances, it has been observed that the Designated Authority has raised frivolous/unnecessary queries as regards the veracity and the manner of calculation of tax dues. While the designated authority may cause arithmetical check as regards the correctness of computation of tax dues, the Scheme does not envisage investigation by the designated authority into the veracity of declaration. Only if the Commissioner has reason to believe that the declaration filed by the declarant is substantially false he may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, serve notice on the declarant requiring him to show cause why he should not pay the tax dues not paid or short-paid.

Service Tax on Restaurant Service, Circular No.173/8/2013 – ST

Air Conditioned or  central air heating Restaurant, eating joint or mess serving food or beverages are liable to pay service tax. Central Board of Excise & Customs has issued the clarification related to applicability of service tax on food served outside the Air Conditioned area which is clearly demarcated and separately named but food is sourced from a common kitchen, only the service provided in the AC restaurant is liable to service tax and service provided in a non air-conditioned or non centrally air- heated restaurant will not be liable to service tax. In such cases, service provided in the non air-conditioned / non-centrally air-heated restaurant will be treated as exempted service and credit entitlement will be as per the Cenvat Credit Rules.  In a hotel, if services are provided by a AC restaurant in other areas e.g. swimming pool or an open area attached to the restaurant are liable to service tax.

Circular No.173/8/2013 – ST

F.No.334/3/2013-TRU

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise & Customs

Tax Research Unit

                                                                                                               North Block

New Delhi, 7th October, 2013

To

Chief Commissioners of Central Excise and Customs (All),

Director General (Service Tax), Director General (Central Excise Intelligence), Director General (Audit),

Commissioners of Service Tax (All)

Commissioners of Central Excise (All),

Commissioners of Central Excise and Customs (All).

Madam/Sir,

 Subject: Restaurant Service- clarification -regarding

As part of the Budget exercise 2013, the exemption for services provided by specified restaurants extended vide serial number 19 of Notification 25/2012-ST was modified vide para 1 (iii) of Notification 3/2013-ST.  This has become operational on the 1st of April, 2013.

2.    In this context, representations have been received. On the doubts and questions raised therein clarifications are as follows:

Doubts

Clarifications

1.In a complex where air conditioned as well as non-air conditioned restaurants are operational but food is sourced from the common kitchen, will service tax arise in the non-air conditioned restaurant?Services provided in relation to serving of food or beverages by a restaurant, eating joint or mess, having the facility of air conditioning or central air heating in any part of the establishment, at any time during the year (hereinafter referred as ‘specified restaurant’) attracts service tax. In a complex, if there is more than one restaurant, which are clearly demarcated and separately named but food is sourced from a common kitchen, only the service provided in the specified restaurant is liable to service tax and service provided in a non air-conditioned or non centrally air- heated restaurant will not be liable to service tax. In such cases, service provided in the non air-conditioned / non-centrally air-heated restaurant will be treated as exempted service and credit entitlement will be as per the Cenvat Credit Rules.
2.In a hotel, if services are provided by a specified restaurant in other areas e.g. swimming pool or an open area attached to the restaurant, will service tax arise?Yes. Services provided by specified restaurant in other areas of the hotel are liable to service tax.
3.Whether service tax is leviable on goods sold on MRP basis across the counter as part of the Bill/invoice.If goods are sold on MRP basis (fixed under the Legal Metrology Act) they have to be excluded from total amount for the determination of value of service portion.

 3.    Trade Notice/Public Notice may be issued to the field formations and taxpayers. Please acknowledge receipt of this Circular. Hindi version follows.

Service Tax Exemption to Educational Institution and Auxiliary Educational Services Circular No.172/7/2013 – ST

Services provided to an educational institution in respect of education exempted from service tax, by way of,-

(a) auxiliary educational services; or

(b) renting of immovable property;”.

 As defined in the said notification, “auxiliary educational services” means any services relating to imparting any skill, knowledge, education or development of course content or any other knowledge–enhancement activity, whether for the students or the faculty, or any other services which educational institutions ordinarily carry out themselves but may obtain as outsourced services from any other person, including services relating to admission to such institution, conduct of examination, catering for the students under any mid-day meals scheme sponsored by Government, or transportation of students, faculty or staff of such institution.

By virtue of the entry in the negative list and by virtue of the portion of the exemption notification, it will be clear that all services relating to education are exempt from service tax. There are many services provided to an educational institution. These have been described as “auxiliary educational services” and they have been defined in the exemption notification. Such services provided to an educational institution are exempt from service tax. For example, if a school hires a bus from a transport operator in order to ferry students to and from school, the transport services provided by the transport operator to the school are exempt by virtue of the exemption notification.

In addition to the services mentioned in the definition of “auxiliary educational services”, other examples would be hostels, housekeeping, security services, canteen, etc.

Circular No.172/7/2013 – ST

 F. No.B1/14/2013-TRU

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise& Customs

Tax Research Unit

146-F, North Block

New Delhi, 19th September, 2013

To

Chief Commissioners of Central Excise and Service Tax (All),

Director General (Service Tax), Director General (Central Excise Intelligence),

Director General (Audit),

Commissioners of Service Tax (All),

Commissioners of Central Excise and Service Tax (All).

 Madam/Sir,

 Subject: Education services – clarification — reg.

 The following representations have been received seeking clarifications regarding the levy of service tax on certain services relating to the education sector:

 Private Schools Correspondents Confederation, Madurai.

  1. Tamil Nadu Nursery, Primary, matriculation and Higher Secondary Schools Association, Chennai.
  2. Punjab Association, Chennai.
  3. Association of Self financing Universities of Rajasthan
  4. Unaided Schools’ Forum, Mumbai.
  5. Vedavalli Vidyalaya, Wallajapet.
  6. Independent Schools Associations, Chandigarh.
  7. Mother Teresa Public School, New Delhi.
  8. BVM Global, Chennai.
  9. Sastra University, Tanjavur.
  10. HLC International, Chennai.
  11. Sodexo Food Solutions, Mumbai.
  12. Federation of Associations of Maharastra, Mumbai.

2.         The matter is covered by two provisions of the Finance Act, 1994. Section 66D of the Finance Act contains a negative list of services and clause (l) thereof reads as under:

“services by way of –

(i) pre-school education and education upto higher secondary school or equivalent;

(ii) education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognized by any law for the time being in force;

(iii) education as a part of an approved vocational education course;”.

 Further section 93(1) of the Finance Act, 1994, enables the Government to exempt generally or subject to such conditions taxable service of specified description. By virtue of the said power, Government has issued a notification No.25/2012-ST dated 20th June,2012, exempting certain services. Sl.no.9 thereof reads as follows:

 “Services provided to an educational institution in respect of education exempted from service tax, by way of,-

(a) auxiliary educational services; or

(b) renting of immovable property;”.

 As defined in the said notification, “auxiliary educational services” means any services relating to imparting any skill, knowledge, education or development of course content or any other knowledge–enhancement activity, whether for the students or the faculty, or any other services which educational institutions ordinarily carry out themselves but may obtain as outsourced services from any other person, including services relating to admission to such institution, conduct of examination, catering for the students under any mid-day meals scheme sponsored by Government, or transportation of students, faculty or staff of such institution.

 3.         By virtue of the entry in the negative list and by virtue of the portion of the exemption notification, it will be clear that all services relating to education are exempt from service tax. There are many services provided to an educational institution. These have been described as “auxiliary educational services” and they have been defined in the exemption notification. Such services provided to an educational institution are exempt from service tax. For example, if a school hires a bus from a transport operator in order to ferry students to and from school, the transport services provided by the transport operator to the school are exempt by virtue of the exemption notification.

 4.         In addition to the services mentioned in the definition of “auxiliary educational services”, other examples would be hostels, housekeeping, security services, canteen, etc.

 5.         Thus the apprehensions conveyed in the representations submitted by certain educational institutions and organizations have no basis whatsoever. These institutions and organizations are requested not to give credence to rumours or mischievous suggestions. If there is any doubt they are requested to approach the Chief Commissioner concerned.

 6.         All concerned are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this circular

Service Tax Officer: Power to Arrest Defaulter of Service Tax, Circular 171/6/2013-Service Tax

An officer of Central Excise not below the rank of  Superintendent of Central Excise can carry out an arrest on being authorized by the Commissioner of Central Excise. To authorize the arrest the Commissioner should have reason to believe that the person proposed to be arrested has committed an offence specified in clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 89. The reason to believe must be based on credible material which will stand judicial scrutiny. Also Circular 171/6/2013-Service Tax deals with the procedure of arrest also arrest pre and post conditions.

Section 89 of the Finance Act, 1994. Offences and Penalties. – (1) Whoever commits any of the following offences, namely,—”(a) knowingly evades the payment of service tax under this Chapter; or”;

 (b) avails and utilises credit of taxes or duty without actual receipt of taxable service or excisable goods either fully or partially in violation of the rules made under the provisions of this Chapter; or

(c) maintains false books of account or fails to supply any information which he is required to supply under this Chapter or the rules made thereunder or (unless with a reasonable belief, the burden of proving which shall be upon him, that the information supplied by him is true) supplies false information; or

(d) collects any amount as service tax but fails to pay the amount so collected to the credit of the Central Government beyond a period of six months from the date on which such payment becomes due, shall be punishable,—
(i) in the case of an offence where the amount exceeds fifty lakh rupees, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years:
Provided that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the court, such imprisonment shall not be for a term of less than six months;
(ii) in any other case, with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to one year.

(2) If any person convicted of an offence under this section is again convicted of an offence under this section, then, he shall be punishable for the second and for every subsequent offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years:

Provided that in the absence of special and adequate reasons to the contrary to be recorded in the judgment of the court, such imprisonment shall not be for a term less than six months.
(3) For the purposes of sub-sections (1) and (2), the following shall not be considered as special and adequate reasons for awarding a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months, namely:—
(i) the fact that the accused has been convicted for the first time for an offence under this Chapter;
(ii) the fact that in any proceeding under this Act, other than prosecution, the accused has been ordered to pay a penalty or any other action has been taken against him for the same act which constitutes the offence;
(iii) the fact that the accused was not the principal offender and was acting merely as a secondary party in the commission of offence;
(iv) the age of the accused.

(4) A person shall not be prosecuted for any offence under this section except with the previous sanction of the Chief Commissioner of Central Excise.

Circular 171/6/2013-Service Tax

F.No. 137/47/2013-Service Tax

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Central Board of Excise & Customs

Service Tax Wing

***

New Delhi, the 17th September, 2013

To,

All Chief Commissioners of Central Excise

All Chief Commissioners of Customs and Central Excise

All Directors General

All Commissioners of Service Tax

All Commissioners of Central Excise

 Subject:  Guidelines for arrest and bail in relation to offences punishable under the Finance Act, 1994

 Section 103 (K) of the Finance Act, 2013 has introduced Sections 90 & 91 in the Finance Act, 1994, with effect from  10th May, 2013.  In terms of section 90 of the Finance Act , 1994, as amended, offences under section 89(1) (ii) shall be cognizable and all other offences shall be non-cognizable and bailable. In terms of section 91(1) read with section 89(1) (i) and (ii) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended, the power to arrest has been introduced in cases involving evasion of service tax covered under section 89(1) (i) and (ii) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended and the amount of service tax evaded  exceeds rupees fifty lakh. In this context, the following points may be noted for strict compliance:-

 1.2       The following cases are covered under section 89(1) (i):

1.2.1     where a person knowingly evades the payment of service tax, or

1.2.2   avails and utilizes  credit of taxes or duty without actual receipt of taxable service or excisable goods either fully or partially in violation of the rules, or

1.2.3    maintains false books of accounts or fails to supply any information which he is required to supply or supplies false information, and the amount of service tax involved is more than fifty lakh rupees.

In such cases, the Assistant Commissioner or  the Deputy Commissioner shall, for the purpose of releasing an arrested person on bail or otherwise,  have the same powers and be subject to the same provisions as an officer in-charge of a police station has, and  is subject to, under Section 436 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973( 2 of 1974). This is in terms of section 91(3) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended.

 1.3       The following cases are covered under section 89(1) (ii):

1.3.1    where  a person has collected any amount exceeding fifty lakh rupees as service tax but fails to pay the amount as collected to the credit of the Central Government beyond a period of six months from the date on which such payment becomes due.

In such cases,   after following the due procedure of arrest, the arrested person must be produced before the magistrate without unnecessary delay, and definitely within 24 hours. This is in terms of section 91(2) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended. The magistrate will decide on whether or not to grant bail.

 2.0        Conditions precedent

 2.1        Since arrest impinges on the personal liberty of an individual, this power must be exercised carefully.  The Finance Act 1994, as amended,  has  specified categories of offences in respect of which only powers of arrest may be exercised and these offences are covered under clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 89 of the Finance Act, 1994.  Further, the Finance Act 1994 has also prescribed value limits of evasion of service tax exceeding  Rs 50 lakh, for exercising the powers of arrest.

 2.2        The legal stipulations in the Finance Act 1994 , as amended, contained in section 91 read with section 89 must be strictly adhered to. An officer of Central Excise not below the rank of  Superintendentof Central Excise can carry out an arrest on being authorized by the Commissioner of Central Excise. To authorize the arrest the Commissioner should have reason to believe that the person proposed to be arrested has committed an offence specified in clause (i) or clause (ii) of sub-section (1) of section 89. The reason to believe must be based on credible material which will stand judicial scrutiny.

 2.3     Apart from fulfilling the legal requirements, the need to ensure proper investigation, prevention of the possibility of tampering with evidence or intimidating or influencing witnesses and large amounts of service tax evaded are relevant factors before deciding to arrest a person.

  3.0      Procedure for arrest

 3.1        The provisions of   the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974) relating to arrest and the procedure thereof must be adhered to .  It is therefore advised that the Commissioner should ensure that allofficers  are fully familiar with the provisions of the  Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974).

 3.2        There is no prescribed format for arrest memo but an arrest memo must be in compliance with the directions in D.K Basu vs State of West Bengal reported in 1997(1) SCC 416 ( see paragraph 35). The arrest memo should include:

3.2.1     brief facts of the case;

3.2.2     details of the person arrested;

3.2.3     gist of evidence against the person;

3.2.4    relevant section (s) of the Finance Act, 1994 or other laws attracted to the case and to the arrested person;

3.2.5    the grounds of arrest must be explained to the arrested person and this fact noted in the arrest memo;

3.2.6   a nominated person (as per the details provided by arrested person) of the arrested person should be informed immediately and this fact also may  be mentioned in the arrest memo;

3.2.7   the date and time of arrest may be mentioned in the arrest memo and the arrest memo should be given to the person arrested under proper acknowledgment;

3.2.8    a separate arrest memo has to be made and provided to each individual/arrested person. This should particularly be kept in mind in the event that there are several arrests in a single case.

 3.3        Further there are certain modalities that should be complied with at the time of arrest and pursuant to an arrest, which include the following:

3.3.1    A female  should be arrested by or in the presence of a woman  officer;

3.3.2   Medical examination of an arrested person should be conducted by a medical officer in the service of Central or State Governments and in case the  medical officer is not available , by a registered medical practitioner, soon after the arrest is made. If an arrested person is a female then such an examination shall be made only  by, or under supervision of a female medical officer , and in case the female medical officer is not available, by  a female registered medical practitioner.

 3.3.3   It shall be the duty of the person having the custody of an arrested person to take reasonable care of the health and safety of the arrested person.

  4.0   Post arrest formalities

 4.1        The procedure is separately outlined for the different categories as listed in section 89(1) (i) and (ii) of the Finance Act, 1994, as amended:

 4.1.1     In cases covered under section 89(1) (i), the Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner is bound to release a person on bail against a bail bond. The bail conditions should be informed   in writing to the arrested person and also informed on telephone to the nominated person of the person (s) arrested .The arrested person should be also allowed to talk to a nominated person. The conditions will relate to, inter alia, execution of a personal bail bond and one surety of like amount given by a local person of repute, appearance before the investigating officer when required and not leaving the country without informing the officer. The amount to be indicated in the personal bail bond and security will depend, inter alia, on the amount of tax involved.

4.1.2       If the conditions of the bail are fulfilled by the arrested person, he shall be released by the officer concerned on bail forthwith.   However, only in cases where the conditions for granting bail are not fulfilled, the arrested person shall be produced before the appropriate Magistrate without unnecessary delay and within twenty-four (24) hours of arrest.  The arrested person may be handed over to the nearest police station for his safe custody, within 24 hours, during the night under a challan, before he is produced before the Court.

 4.2         In cases covered under section 89(1) (ii) and only in the event of circumstances preventing the production of the arrested person before a Magistrate without unnecessary delay, the arrested person may be handed over to nearest Police Station for his safe custody, within 24 hours, under a proper challan, and produced before the Magistrate on the next day, and the nominated person of the arrested person may be also informed accordingly.

 4.3     Formats of the relevant documentation i.e. the Bail Offer Letter, the Bail Bond and the Challan for handing over to the police, in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. ( 2 of 1974) may be followed.

 4.4       Every Commissionerate should maintain a Bail Register which will have the details of the case, arrested person, bail amount, surety amount. The money/instruments/documents received as surety should be kept in safe custody. The money should be deposited in the treasury. The other instruments/documents should be kept in the custody of a single nominated officer. It should be ensured that the instruments/documents received as surety are kept valid till the bail is discharged.

 5.0     Reporting System

 5.1     A report on every person arrested should be sent to the jurisdictional Chief Commissioner with a copy to DGCEI (Headquarters) the same day or on the next day.

 5.2         Chief Commissioners shall send a report on every arrest to the Zonal Member within 24 hours of the arrest giving such details as prescribed in the monthly report . To maintain an all India record of arrests made in service tax, a monthly report of all persons arrested in the Zone shall be sent by the Chief Commissioner to DGCEI (Headquarters), New Delhi, by the 5th of the succeeding month,  in the following format:

Monthly Report on Persons Arrested in a Zone

 

S.NoName, designation

and age of

arrested person

Date of

arrest

CommissionerateName and

Registration

Number of

Company

Amount of

duty evaded

Role in

evasion

and

nature of

evidence

collected

       
       
       
Total      

Yours faithfully

(Rajeev Yadav)

Director (Service Tax)

Download Service Tax Return (ST-3) for the period April -September 2013: Last Date 25th Oct

Service Tax Return (ST-3)  for the period April -September’ 13 has been made available for e-filing by the assesses in both offline and  online version in ACES w.e.f 1st October, 2013. The last date of filing the ST-3 return for the said period is 25th October, 2013.

Service Provider can download the latest ST 3 Service Tax Half Yearly return for online filing of Service Tax return.

In case of any difficulty in accessing the ACES Application or in filing ST 3 returns, the assesses can seek help of the ACES Service Desk by sending e-mail to aces.servicedesk@icegate.gov.in or calling up national toll-free number 1800 425 4251. In general, the Service Desk functions on any working day from Monday to Friday between 9 AM and 7 PM and on Saturdays between 9 AM to 2.30 PM. But to help the assessees file their returns, it will remain open from 9 AM and 7 PM on all Saturdays till 25th October’13. But to help the assesses file their returns, it will remain open from 9 AM and 7 PM on all Saturdays till 25th October’13 and from 9AM to 7PM on last Sunday  i. e 20-10-2013.
Assessees are requested to file their returns in ACES well in advance to avoid rush and inconvenience at the last moment.

Download (ZIP)

Download Half Yearly Service Tax Return from Oct to March 2013: Due Date 10th Sept 2013

Download Half Yearly Service Tax Return from Oct to March 2013. CBEC has declared the due date for filing half service tax return for period ending 31st March 2013. Due date for half yearly service tax return has been extended from 25th April to 31st August 2013 and again extended to 10th Sept 2013. Service Tax ST-3 Form for half yearly service tax return is released on 31st July 2013.

Download Half Yearly Service Tax Return from Oct to March 2013

Download (ZIP)