Circular No.96/7/2007-ST

New Delhi, the 23rd August, 2007

 

F.No.354/28/2007-TRU

Government of India

Ministry of Finance

Department of Revenue

Tax Research Unit

 

Sub: Clarification on technical issues relating to taxation of services under the Finance Act, 1994 – Regarding.

 

            Service Tax was introduced in the year 1994 with three taxable services.  At present, one hundred services are specified as taxable services.   Since the introduction of service tax, number of clarifications in the form of circulars / instructions / letters have been issued by the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC), Director General (Service Tax) and field formations.  

 

2.            Government decided to undertake a comprehensive review of all the clarifications issued since the introduction of service tax on matters relating to service tax in various forms by different authorities keeping in view the changes that had been made in the statutory provisions, the judicial pronouncements and other relevant factors, and appointed a Committee under Shri T.R.Rustagi, former Chief Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise and Director General of Inspection to undertake the review of the clarifications. 

 

3.            Comments, views and suggestions were also sought from the trade and industry associations, departmental officers and interested persons. 

 

4.         Shri T.R.Rustagi submitted his report to the Government. The report of Shri T.R.Rustagi was placed on the CBEC web site for comments and suggestions.

 

5.         Taking into consideration the report submitted by Shri T.R.Rustagi and the views and suggestions received from the trade and industry associations, departmental officers and other stakeholders, it is proposed to codify and issue a comprehensive circular on the technical issues.

 

6.         This circular supersedes all circulars, clarifications and communications, other than Orders issued under section 37B of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (as made applicable to service tax by section 83 of the Finance Act, 1994), issued from time to time by the CBEC, DG (Service Tax) and various field formations on all technical issues including the scope and classification of taxable services, valuation of taxable services, export of services, services received from outside India, scope of exemptions and all other matters on levy of service tax.  With the issue of this circular, all earlier clarifications issued on technical issues relating to service tax stand withdrawn.  

 

7.         At the time of introduction of the Finance Bills and after enactment of respective Finance Acts, letters are issued by TRU explaining the provisions contained in the Finance Bills / Finance Acts. Such letters explaining the provisions contained in the Finance Bill / Finance Act would be read in the relevant context.

 

8.         Views stated in the circular reflect the interpretation of the law and the current practice of the department. This circular is not to be treated as part of law and does not override the legal provisions. The relevant statutory provisions must be referred to and they will prevail.  

 

9.            CODING SYSTEM: 

 

For ease of reference, a coding system is followed. Views of CBEC are indicated separately for each individual issue. Individual reference code is given for each issue. Unique three-digit reference code followed by the date of issue is given for each issue-wise classification. Individual taxable service is identified by a three-digit code. First three digits of the reference code relates to a specific taxable service. In addition to three digit codes for individual taxable services, three-digit codes are also provided for issues other than individual taxable services:

 

            996 – Services provided from outside India and received in India.

            997 – Export of Services

            998 – Valuation of taxable services.

            999 – Miscellaneous purposes.

 

Three-digit code is followed by a dot and two digits. Two digits after the dot indicate the issue clarified under that particular three-digit code. Digit codes are followed by a slash and thereafter the date of issue of the clarification is indicated.

   

10.       List of three-digit codes and the corresponding subjects is given in Annexure.

 

11.       Trade and field formations may be informed accordingly.

 

12.       Hindi version will follow.

 

Reference Code

Issue

Clarification

(1)

(2)

(3)

002.01 / 23.08.07

Whether service tax is liable on the amount collected as surcharge for delayed payment of telephone bills?

 

An amount collected for delayed payment of a telephone bill is not to be treated as consideration charged for provision of telecom service and, therefore, does not form part of the value of taxable service under section 67 read with Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006.

 

004.01 / 23.08.07

Persons / agencies canvass advertisements for publishing, on commission basis. Such persons / agencies do not provide any other services like making, preparation, display or exhibition of advertisement.

 

Whether merely canvassing advertisement for publishing on a commission basis by persons / agencies is classifiable as Advertising Agency service [section 65(105)(e)] or not?

 

Merely canvassing advertisements for publishing, on commission basis, is not classifiable under the taxable service falling under section 65(105)(e).

 

Such services are liable to service tax under business auxiliary service [section 65(105)(zzb)].

005.01 / 23.08.07

Some transporters undertake door- to-door transportation of goods or articles and they have made special arrangements for speedy transportation and timely delivery of such goods or articles. Such services are known as ‘Express Cargo Service’ with assurance of timely delivery.

 

Whether such ‘Express cargo service’ is covered under courier agency service [section 65(105)(f)]?

 

The nature of service provided by ‘Express Cargo Service’ provider falls within the scope and definition of the courier agency. Hence, the said service is liable to service tax under courier agency service [section 65(105)(f)].

005.02 / 23.08.07

“Angadia” undertakes delivery of documents, goods or articles received from a customer to another person for a consideration.

 

Whether services provided by angadia is liable to service tax under courier agency service [section 65(105)(f)]?

 

Angadias are covered within the definition of ‘courier agency’ [section 65(33)]. Therefore, such services provided by angadia is liable to service tax under courier agency service [section 65(105)(f)].

006.01 / 23.08.07

Whether a self-employed professionally qualified engineer can be considered as ‘consulting engineer’ [section 65(31)] and service provided by such self-employed professionally qualified engineer to a client in relation to one or more discipline of engineering is liable to service tax under consulting engineer service [section 65(105)(g)]?

 

Consulting engineers include self-employed professionally qualified engineer, whether or not employing others for assistance.

 

Services provided by such self-employed professionally qualified engineer to a client in relation to one or more discipline of engineering is liable to service tax under consulting engineer service [section 65(105)(g)].

 

010.01 / 23.08.07

Educational institutes such as IITs, IIMs charge a fee from prospective employers like corporate houses / MNCs, who come to the institutes for recruiting candidates through campus interviews.  Whether services provided by such institutions in relation to recruitment of manpower are liable to service tax under ‘manpower recruitment or supply agency’ service [section 65(105)(k)]?

‘Manpower recruitment or supply agency’ is defined as “any person engaged in providing any service, directly or indirectly, in any manner for recruitment or supply of manpower, temporarily or otherwise, to a client” [section65(68)]. 

 

Educational institutes such as IITs and IIMs fall within the definition of ‘manpower recruitment or supply agency’, and service tax is liable on services provided by such institutions in relation to campus recruitment under section 65(105)(k).

 

010.02 / 23.08.07

Business or industrial organisations engage services of manpower recruitment or supply agencies for temporary supply of manpower which is engaged for a specified period or for completion of particular projects or tasks.

 

Whether service tax is liable on such services under manpower recruitment or supply agency’s service [section 65(105)(k)]

In the case of supply of manpower, individuals are contractually employed by the manpower recruitment or supply agency. The agency agrees for use of the services of an individual, employed by him, to another person for a consideration. Employer-employee relationship in such case exists between the agency and the individual and not between the individual and the person who uses the services of the individual.

 

Such cases are covered within the scope of the definition of the taxable service [section 65(105)(k)] and, since they act as supply agency, they fall within the definition of “manpower recruitment or supply agency” [section 65(68)] and are liable to service tax.

 

012.01 / 23.08.07

“Mandap” is defined as any immovable property as defined in section 3 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and includes any furniture, fixtures, light fittings and floor coverings therein let out for a consideration for organizing any official, social or business function. [section 65(66)]

 

“Mandap keeper” is defined as a person who allows temporary occupation of a mandap for a consideration for organising any official, social or business function [section 65(67)].

 

Whether hotels / restaurants letting out their halls, rooms etc. for social, official or business functions fall within the definition of “mandap” and allowing temporary occupation of halls, rooms etc by such hotels / restaurants for organizing any official, social or business function is liable to service tax under “mandap keeper service” [section 65(105)(m)]?

 

Halls, rooms etc. let out by hotels / restaurants for a consideration for organising social, official or business functions are covered within the scope of “mandap” [section 65(66)], and such hotels and restaurants are covered within the scope of “mandap keeper” [section 65(67)].

 

Accordingly, service tax is leviable on services provided by hotels and restaurants in relation to letting out of halls, rooms, etc. for organizing any official, social or business function under mandap keeper service [section 65(105)(m)].

012.02 / 23.08.07

Whether allowing temporary occupation of a hall for the purpose of holding dance, drama or music programme or competitions is liable to service tax under Mandap Keeper Service?

Dance, drama or music programme or competitions are social functions and allowing temporary occupation of a hall for a consideration for organizing such functions are liable to service tax under Mandap Keeper Service [section 65(105)(m)].

 

032.01 / 23.08.07

Whether Prasar Bharati Corporation (Doordarshan and All India Radio) are liable to pay service tax under Broadcasting Service [section 65(105) (zk)]?

Prior to 1.3.2003, Prasar Bharati Corporation did not pay service tax by virtue of erstwhile section 22 of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act, 1990. However, the said section 22 was omitted vide section 163 of the Finance Act, 2002 with effect from 1.4.2003.

 

In view of the above statutory changes, with effect from 1.4.2003 Prasar Bharati Corporation is liable to pay service tax for the broadcasting services provided like any other broadcasting agency or organization engaged in providing service in relation to broadcasting.

 

034.01 / 23.08.07

Moneychangers are persons authorized under section 7 of Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1973 to deal in foreign currency.  Explanation given under Section 7 of the said Act states that ‘dealing’ means purchasing foreign currency in the form of notes, coins or traveller’s cheques or selling foreign currency in the form of notes, coins or traveller’s cheques.

 

Whether services provided by a money changer in relation to dealing of foreign currency (buying or selling), at specified rates, without separately charging any amount as commission for such dealing, is liable to service tax as foreign exchange broking under ‘banking and other financial services’ [section 65(105) (zm)]?

 

Moneychangers are authorized by RBI to buy and sell foreign exchange at the prevalent market rates. Buying or selling of foreign exchange by such persons without separately charging any amount as commission or brokerage does not fall within the scope of foreign exchange broking and is not liable to service tax under section 65(105)(zm).

034.02 / 23.08.07

‘Asset management and all other forms of fund management’ are liable to service tax under ‘banking and other financial service’ [section 65(12)].

 

Whether the amount charged as ‘entry and exit load’ from the investor by a mutual fund is liable to service tax as asset / fund management services under banking and other financial services [section 65(105)(zm)]?

Entry load and exit load charged by a mutual fund are not for the purpose of management of assets. Thus, amount charged as “entry and exit load” are not to be treated as consideration received by an Asset Management Company for asset management and hence not liable to service tax under Banking and other Financial service [section 65(105)(zm)].

034.03 / 23.08.07

Whether depository services and Electronic Access to Securities Information (EASI) services provided by Central Depository Services (India) Ltd., (CDSL) is liable to service tax under Banking and other Financial Services[section 65(105)(zm)]?

Definition of “Banking and other Financial Services” specifically includes “provision and transfer of information and data processing [section 65(12)(a)(vii)]”.   Services provided by CDSL falls within the scope of “provision and transfer of information and data processing”.   These services are not in the nature of “on-line information and data base access or retrieval services”.  Therefore, the depository services provided by CDSL including Electronic Access to Securities Information (EASI) for a fee are liable to service tax under Banking and other Financial Services. [section 65(105)(zm)]

 

034.04 /     23.08.07

Services provided by banking company or a financial institution including a non-banking financial company or any other body corporate or commercial concern in relation to asset management including portfolio management, and all forms of fund management, is leviable to service tax under “banking and other financial services” [section 65(105)(zm) and section 65(12)]. The said taxable service also includes cash management services provided.

 

Services are provided in relation to chit funds. Chit Funds are of two types, namely:-

(a)        Simple Chit Funds: In this case, members agree to contribute to the fund a certain amount at regular interval. Lots are drawn periodically and the member, whose name appears, gets the periodical collection. No separate amount is charged from the members.

 

(b)        Business Chit Funds: In this case, there is a promoter known as foreman who draws up the terms and conditions of the scheme and enrolls subscribers. Every subscriber has to pay his subscription in regular installments. The foreman charges a separate amount for the services provided. Some States prescribe a ceiling limit for the amount to be charged by such promoter for the services provided. Commission amount is retained by the promoter as consideration for providing the services in relation to chit fund.

 

Whether services provided in relation to chit fund is leviable to service tax under “banking and other financial services” or not?

 

Reserve Bank of India has clarified that the business of a chit fund is to mobilize cash from the subscribers and effectively cause movement of such cash to keep it working and, therefore, the activity of chit funds is in the nature of cash management.

 

(a) In the case of Simple Chit Funds, no consideration is paid or received for the services provided and, therefore, the question of levy of service tax does not arise.

 

(b) In the case of Business Chit Funds, cash management service is provided for a consideration and, therefore, leviable to service tax  under “banking and other financial services”.

 

035.02 / 23.08.07

Management Committee of Paradeep Port was constituted as per the directions of Supreme Court of India.  The Committee operates under the “Paradeep Port, Clearing, Forwarding and Handling Workers (Regulation of Employment) Scheme, 1994”.  Officers of the Paradeep Port Trust are associated with the Committee.   The Committee is authorized by the Port Trust to provide a number of services within the port area for a consideration. 

 

Whether services provided by the Management Committee within the port area for a consideration is liable to service tax under Port Service?

 

As the Management Committee of Paradeep Port is authorized by the Port Trust to provide services within the port area at the prescribed rates, such services provided by the Committee are liable to service tax under Port Service. [section 65(105) (zn)]

036.01 / 23.08.07

Authorized dealers of motor vehicles provide to customers free servicing of motor vehicles without charging any amount as service charge from the customers. The vehicle manufacturer promises such a facility to attract customers and reimburses the service charges to the authorised dealers, who provide to customers free servicing of motor vehicles. However, as per agreement, consideration for the service provider is not directly paid by the customer but by the vehicle manufacturer.

 

Whether such ‘free services’ given to the customer free of cost by the authorized dealers (for which they are reimbursed by the vehicle manufacturers) are liable to service tax under authorised service station service [section 65(105) (zo)]?

 

In this case, service is provided by an authorised service station to a customer and the service provider receives the consideration for the services provided from the manufacturer.

 

Service tax is liable on the amount received from the vehicle manufacturer for the purpose of servicing of vehicles.

036.02 / 23.08.07

Whether servicing / repair of heavy vehicles like trucks by authorized service station is liable to service tax under section 65(105)(zo)?

Service tax is liable on services provided by an authorised service station to a customer in relation to service, repair, reconditioning or restoration of motorcars, light motor vehicles or two-wheeled motor vehicles [section 65(105)(zo)].

 

Thus, servicing of heavy vehicles like trucks, not being one of the specified categories of motor vehicles, is at present not covered within the scope of the said taxable service.

 

036.03 / 23.08.07

Whether spare parts sold by a service station during the servicing of vehicles is liable to payment of service tax?

 

Whether exemption can be claimed on the cost of consumables that get consumed during the course of providing service?

Service tax is not leviable on a transaction treated as sale of goods and subjected to levy of sales tax / VAT. Whether a given transaction between the service station and the customer is a sale or not, is to be determined taking into account the real nature and material facts of the transaction. Payment of VAT / sales tax on a transaction indicates that the said transaction is treated as sale of goods.

 

Any goods used in the course of providing service are to be treated as inputs used for providing the service and accordingly, cost of such inputs form integral part of the value of the taxable service.

 

Where spare parts are used by a service station for servicing of vehicles, service tax should be levied on the entire bill, including the value of the spare parts, raised by the service provider, namely, service stations. However, the service provider is entitled to take input credit of excise duty paid on such parts or any goods used in providing the service wherein value of such goods has been included in the bill. The service provider is also entitled to take input credit of service tax paid on any taxable services used as input services for servicing of vehicles.

 

041.01 / 23.08.07

Organizers of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions solicit participation from the trade and industry and provide space and other facilities, including furniture, cabins, security, electricity, etc., to display products and provision of services.

 

Whether services provided by the organizers of trade fairs / exhibitions are covered within the scope of event management service [section 65(015)(zu)]?

 

Trade fairs and exhibitions are organised by persons. Such organisers of trade fairs and exhibitions provide services to exhibitors in relation to business exhibition. Services provided by an organizer of trade fairs and exhibitions to an exhibitor in relation to business exhibition is liable to service tax under “Business Exhibition Service” [Section 65(105)(zzo)] w.e.f. 10.09.2004.

 

In addition, an organiser of the trade fair or business exhibition may engage an event manager to provide service to the organiser in relation to organising trade fairs and exhibitions.  In such cases, the event manager renders the service of “Event Management” to the organisers and is liable to pay service tax under “Event Management Service”.

 

The two services, namely “Business Exhibition Service” and “Event Management Service”, and the two service providers of the respective services are distinct.

 

047.01 / 23.08.07

Whether services provided in relation to handling / storage and warehousing of empty containers is liable to service tax under storage and warehousing service [section 65(105)(zza)]?

Empty containers are covered within the meaning of “goods” [section 65(50)]. Thus, services provided in relation to storage and warehousing of empty containers is liable to service tax under storage and warehousing service [section 65(105)(zza)].

 

 

048.01 / 23.08.07

Whether commission received by distributors for distribution of mutual fund units is liable to Service Tax under business auxiliary service?

Distributors receive commission from mutual fund for providing services relating to purchase and sale of Mutual fund units. Services provided by such distributors are in the nature of commission agent and are, thus, liable to service tax under business auxiliary service [section 65(105)(zzb)].

 

053.01 /

23.08.07

Services provided by any person to a customer in relation to management, maintenance or repair is liable to service tax [section 65(105)(zzg)]. “Management, maintenance or repair” includes maintenance or repair of any goods, excluding motor vehicle [section 65(64)].

 

Whether maintenance or repair of software is liable to service tax?

 

Explanation to section 65(64) provides that “goods” includes computer software.

 

Since, maintenance or repair of any goods is liable to service tax, services provided in relation to maintenance or repair or servicing of computer software is liable to service tax under “management, maintenance or repair” service [section 65(105)(zzg)].

 

 

076.01 / 23.08.07

“Club or association” is defined as any person or body of persons providing services, facilities or advantages, for a subscription or any other amount, to its members, but does not include such person or body of persons engaged in any activity having objectives which are of a charitable nature.

 

Whether a club or association enjoying exemption under the provisions of Income Tax Act as a public charitable institution gets automatically excluded from levy of service tax under section 65(105)(zzze) read with section 65(25a) of the Finance Act, 1994?

Exemption under the Income Tax Act on the ground of being a public charitable institution is of no consequence or relevance for service tax purposes.

 

Levy of service tax is entirely governed by the provisions contained in the Finance Act, 1994 and the rules made thereunder.

 

“Charity” is defined as “aid given to the poor, the suffering or the general community for religious, educational, economic, public safety, or medical purposes”, and “charitable” is defined as “dedicated to a general public purpose, usually for the benefit of needy people who cannot pay for the benefits received” [Black’s Law Dictionary].

 

Whether a club or association is engaged in activity having objectives which are of a charitable nature or not is to be determined purely on the basis of the facts and circumstances of the case.

 

076.02 /

23.08.07

Services provided by a resident welfare association to its members under club or association service [section 65(105) (zzze)] is exempted from service tax vide notification No.8/2007-Service Tax, dated 01.03.07, subject to the condition that the total consideration received from an individual member by the said association for providing the said services does not exceed three thousand rupees per month.

 

Whether a resident welfare association registered as a co-operative society with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies  is entitled for the benefit of service tax exemption under notification No.8/2007-Service Tax, dated 01.03.2007 or not?

A resident welfare association, even if it is registered as a co-operative society with the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, is eligible to avail of exemption from levy of service tax vide notification No.8/2007-Service Tax, dated 01.03.2007 provided the following conditions are satisfied, namely:-

 

(i)         The exemption is available for the services specified under section 65(105)(zzze) of the Finance Act, 1994 and provided or to be provided by the association to its members.

(ii)        The sole criterion for membership of the resident welfare association is the residential status of a person in a residential complex or locality i.e., membership of the association is restricted to the residents of the complex or locality.

(iii)       The value of total consideration received from an individual member by the association for providing the services does not exceed Rs.3,000/- per month.

 

079.01 /

23.08.07

Whether service tax is liable under construction of complex service [section 65(105)(zzzh)] on builder, promoter, developer or any such person,-

 

(a) who gets the complex built by engaging the services of a separate contractor, and

 

(b) who builds the residential complex on his own by employing direct labour?

(a) In a case where the builder, promoter, developer or any such person builds a residential complex, having more than 12 residential units, by engaging a contractor for construction of the said residential complex, the contractor in his capacity as a taxable service provider (to the builder / promoter / developer / any such person) shall be liable to pay service tax on the gross amount charged for the construction services under ‘construction of complex’ service [section 65(105)(zzzh)].

 

(b) If no other person is engaged for construction work and the builder / promoter / developer / any such person undertakes construction work on his own without engaging the services of any other person, then in such cases,-

(i) service provider and service recipient relationship does not exist,

(ii) services provided are in the nature of self-supply of services.

Hence, in the absence of service provider and service recipient relationship and the services provided are in the nature of self-supply of services, the question of providing taxable service to any person by any other person does not arise.

 

086.01 / 23.08.07

An international journey commencing from an Indian airport involves stopover / transfer at intermediate airports outside India before reaching the destination (say Mumbai-Dubai-London-New York).

 

Whether service tax would be liable in such case on the value indicated in the ticket for the entire journey or only on that part of the value attributable to the first sector (Mumbai-Dubai) of the journey?

Aim of the passenger is to travel from Mumbai to New York. Actual destination of the international journey is the criterion to decide the value of the service (in this case, New York). Stopover / transfer at intermediate airports, being merely incidental and part of the main journey, is of no relevance or consequence for levy of service tax under section 65(105)(zzzo) read with section 66.

 

Service tax in such cases is leviable on the total consideration of a single composite service relating to the entire journey. i.e., value indicated on the ticket for the entire journey.

 

086.02 / 23.08.07

An international journey (say Delhi-Mumbai-London) includes travel in a domestic sector (Delhi – Mumbai) as part of the international journey.

 

Whether service tax is liable on the value of whole journey or after excluding the value attributable to the domestic sector from the total value of the ticket?

In this case, the journey is a single composite journey. The aim of the passenger is to travel from India to a place outside India. Part of the travel in the domestic sector cannot be segregated from the single journey. Service tax is, therefore, leviable on the total value of the ticket treating the domestic sector as integral part of the international journey without excluding the value attributable, if any, to travel in the domestic sector.

 

086.03 / 23.08.07

An international journey commences from an airport outside India and completed at an airport outside India but including a sector wherein the passenger disembarks and subsequently embarks at an Indian airport as part of international journey (say Sydney-Mumbai-Dubai-Singapore-Sydney).

 

Whether service tax is liable for Mumbai-Dubai sector only or on the total value of the ticket?

 

In this case, the journey being a single one and the aim of the passenger is not to travel from India to a place outside India, service tax is not leviable under section 65(105)(zzzo).

086.04 / 23.08.07

Whether ticket issued outside India for an international journey commencing from India (say Delhi–London) is liable to service tax?

Service tax is payable by the service provider, namely aircraft operator, for the taxable service provided. Place of purchase/ issue of ticket is of no relevance or consequence to determine the levy of service tax under section 65(105)(zzzo) read with section 66. Service tax is leviable as long as the passenger embarks in India for an international journey, in any class other than economy class.

 

086.05 / 23.08.07

Whether service tax is liable on the total value of the ticket or only half the value of the ticket in the case of round trip / return ticket (say Delhi-London-Delhi)?

 

Service tax is leviable on the total value of the ticket.

097.01 / 23.08.07

Whether CENVAT credit of duty paid on capital goods and service tax paid on input services can be taken by a service provider who opts to pay an amount equivalent to two per cent. of the gross amount charged for the works contract instead of paying service tax at the rate specified in section 66, under the Works Contract (Composition Scheme for Payment of Service Tax) Rules, 2007, notified vide notification No.32/2007-Service Tax dated 22.05.07?

 

Rule 3(2) of the Works Contract (Composition Scheme for Payment of Service Tax) Rules, 2007 provides that the provider of taxable service opting to pay service tax under the composition scheme is not entitled to take CENVAT credit of duty on inputs, used in or in relation to the said works contract, under the provisions of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004.

 

There is no restriction under notification No.32/2007-Service Tax dated 22.05.07 to take CENVAT credit of duty paid on capital goods and service tax paid on input services.

 

999.01 / 23.08.07

Sovereign/public authorities perform functions assigned to them under the law in force, known as “statutory functions”. For example,

·        Regional Reference Standards Laboratories (RRSL) undertake verification, approval and calibration of weighing and measuring instruments;

·        Regional Transport Officers (RTO) issue fitness certificate to motor vehicles;

·        Directorate of Boilers inspects and issues certificates for boilers; or

·        Explosive Department inspects and issues certificate for petroleum storage tank, LPG/CNG tank in terms of provisions of the relevant laws.

Authorities providing such functions, required to be performed as per law, may collect specific amount or fee and the amount so collected is deposited into government account.

 

Whether such activities of a sovereign / public authority, performed under a statute, can be considered as ‘provision of service’ for the purpose of levy of service tax and the amount or fee collected, if any, for such purposes can be treated as consideration for the services provided?

Activities assigned to and performed by the sovereign / public authorities under the provisions of any law are statutory duties. The fee or amount collected as per the provisions of the relevant statute for performing such functions is in the nature of a compulsory levy and are deposited into the Government account.

 

Such activities are purely in public interest and are undertaken as mandatory and statutory functions. These are not to be treated as services provided for a consideration. Therefore, such activities assigned to and performed by a sovereign / public authority under the provisions of any law, do not constitute taxable services. Any amount / fee collected in such cases are not to be treated as consideration for the purpose of levy of service tax.

  

However, if a sovereign / public authority provides a service, which is not in the nature of statutory activity and the same is undertaken for a consideration (not a statutory fee), then in such cases, service tax would be leviable as long as the activity undertaken falls within the scope of a taxable service as defined.

 

999.02 / 23.08.07

Department of Posts provides a number of services.  What is the status of those services for the purpose of levy of service tax? 

(i) Following services provided by Department of Posts are not liable to service tax.  

·        Basic mail services known as postal services such as post card, inland letter, book post, registered post provided exclusively by the Department of Posts to meet the universal postal obligations.

·        Transfer of money through money orders, operation of savings accounts, issue of postal orders, pension payments and other such services.

 

(ii) In addition to the services mentioned in (i) above, Department of Posts also provides a number of services such as courier services (Speed Post), insurance services (Postal Life Insurance), agency or intermediary services on commission basis (distribution of mutual funds, bonds, passport applications, collection of telephone and electricity bills), which are also provided by other commercial organizations. Such services are liable to service tax under appropriate taxable services.

 

999.03 /

23.08.07

A taxable service provider outsources a part of the work by engaging another service provider, generally known as sub-contractor. Service tax is paid by the service provider for the total work. In such cases, whether service tax is liable to be paid by the service provider known as sub-contractor who undertakes only part of the whole work.

 

A sub-contractor is essentially a taxable service provider. The fact that services provided by such sub-contractors are used by the main service provider for completion of his work does not in any way alter the fact of provision of taxable service by the sub-contractor.

 

Services provided by sub-contractors are in the nature of input services. Service tax is, therefore, leviable on any taxable services provided, whether or not the services are provided by a person in his capacity as a sub-contractor and whether or not such services are used as input services. The fact that a given taxable service is intended for use as an input service by another service provider does not alter the taxability of the service provided.

ANNEXURE

 

 

Three digit Code

Taxable Service / Others

001

Stock broker [Section (105)(a)]

002

Telecommunication Service [Section (105)(zzzx)]

003

General insurance [Section (105)(d)]

004

Advertising agency [Section (105)(e)]

005

Courier agency [Section (105)(f)]

006

Consulting engineer [Section (105)(g)]

007

Custom house agent [Section (105)(h)]

008

Steamer agent [Section (105)(i)]

009

Clearing and forwarding agent [Section (105)(j)]

010

Manpower recruitment agent [Section (105)(k)]

011

Air travel agent [Section (105)(l)]

012

Mandap keeper [Section (105)(m)]

013

Tour operator [Section (105)(n)]

014

Rent-a-cab scheme operator [Section (105)(o)]

015

Architect [Section (105)(p)]

016

Interior decorator [Section (105)(q)]

017

Management or Business consultant [Section (105)(r)]

018

Chartered accountant [Section (105)(s)]

019

Cost accountant [Section (105)(t)]

020

Company secretary [Section (105)(u)]

021

Real estate agent [Section (105)(v)]

022

Security agency [Section (105)(w)]

023

Credit rating agency [Section (105)(x)]

024

Market research agency [Section (105)(y)]

025

Underwriter [Section (105)(z)]

026

Scientific or technical consultancy [Section (105)(za)]

027

Photography [Section (105)(zb)]

028

Convention [Section (105)(zc)]

029

On-line information and database access or retrieval [Section (105)(zh)]

030

Video tape production [Section (105)(zi)]

031

Sound recording [Section (105)(zj)]

032

Broadcasting agency or organization [Section (105)(zk)]

033

Insurance auxiliary services concerning general insurance business [Section (105)(zl)]

034

Banking and other financial services [Section (105)(zm)]

035

Port [Section (105)(zn)]

036

Authorized service station [Section (105)(zo)]

037

Beauty treatment [Section (105)(zq)]

038

Cargo handling [Section (105)(zr)]

039

Cable operator [Section (105)(zs)]

040

Dry cleaning [Section (105)(zt)]

041

Event management [Section (105)(zu)]

042

Fashion designing [Section (105)(zv)]

043

Health club and fitness [Section (105)(zw)]

044

Life insurance in relation to risk cover [Section (105)(zx)]

045

Insurance auxiliary services concerning life insurance business [Section (105)(zy)]

046

Rail travel agent [Section (105)(zz)]

047

Storage and warehousing [Section (105)(zza)]

048

Business auxiliary service [Section (105)(zzb)]

049

Commercial coaching or training [Section (105)(zzc)]

050

Erection, commissioning or installation [Section (105)(zzd)]

051

Franchise [Section (105)(zze)]

052

Internet café [Section (105)(zzf)]

053

Management, maintenance or repair [Section (105)(zzg)]

054

Technical testing and analysis [Section (105)(zzh)]

055

Technical inspection and certification [Section (105)(zzi)]

056

Foreign exchange broker [Section (105)(zzk)]

057

Other port [Section (105)(zzl)]

058

Airport [Section (105)(zzm)]

059

Transport of goods by aircraft [Section (105)(zzn)]

060

Business exhibition [Section (105)(zzo)]

061

Transport of goods by road [Section (105)(zzp)]

062

Commercial or industrial construction [Section (105)(zzq)]

063

Intellectual property [Section (105)(zzr)]

064

Opinion poll [Section (105)(zzs)]

065

Outdoor caterer [Section (105)(zzt)]

066

Programme producer [Section (105)(zzu)]

067

Survey and exploration of mineral [Section (105)(zzv)]

068

Pandal or shamiana [Section (105)(zzw)]

069

Travel agent [Section (105)(zzx)]

070

Forward contract [Section (105)(zzy)]

071

Transport of goods other than water through pipeline or other conduit [Section (105)(zzz)]

072

Site formation and clearance, excavation and earthmoving and demolition and such other activities [Section (105)(zzza)]

073

Dredging [Section (105)(zzzb)]

074

Survey and map-making [Section (105)(zzzc)]

075

Cleaning activity [Section (105)(zzzd)]

076

Club or association [Section (105)(zzze)]

077

Packaging activity [Section (105)(zzzf)]

078

Mailing list compilation and mailing [Section (105)(zzzg)]

079

Construction of complex [Section (105)(zzzh)]

080

Registrar to an issue [Section (105)(zzzi)]

081

Share transfer agent [Section (105)(zzzj)]

082

Automated teller machine operations, maintenance or management [Section (105)(zzzk)]

083

Recovery agent [Section (105)(zzzl)]

084

Sale of space or time for advertisement [Section (105)(zzzm)]

085

Sponsorship [Section (105)(zzzn)]

086

Transport of passenger embarking in India for international journey by air [Section (105)(zzzo)]

087

Transport of goods in containers by rail [Section (105)(zzzp)]

088

Support services of business or commerce [Section (105)(zzzq)]

089

Auctioneers [Section (105)(zzzr)]

090

Public relations [Section (105)(zzzs)]

091

Ship management [Section (105)(zzzt)]

092

Internet telephony [Section (105)(zzzu)]

093

Transport by cruise ship [Section (105)(zzzv)]

094

Credit card, debit card, charge card or other payment card [Section (105)(zzzw)]

095

Mining [Section (105)(zzzy)]

096

Renting of immovable property [Section (105)(zzzz  )]

097

Services involved in the execution of works contract [Section (105)(zzzza)]

098

Development and supply of content [Section (105)(zzzzb)]

099

Asset management service by individuals [Section (105)(zzzzc)]

100

Design services [Section (105)(zzzzd)]

996

Services provided from outside India and received in India

997

Export of Services

998

Valuation of taxable services

999

Miscellaneous

 

 

(G.G. Pai)

Under Secretary (Tax Research Unit)