Procedures in service tax

September 6th, 2012

1 Hierarchy of Administration of service tax

¨     Ministry of Finance and CBE&C

¨     Principal Chief Commissioner/Chief Commissioner,

¨     Principal Commissioner/Commissioner,

¨     Additional Commissioner

¨     Deputy/Assistant Commissioner

¨     Superintendent

¨     Inspector

2 Basic Procedures under service tax

¨     Registration within 30 days or on crossing 9 lakhs whichever later

¨     Invoice within 30 days from completion of taxable service (45 days in case of banking and FI services)

¨     Invoice also when advance received

¨     Periodic Payment of Service Tax

¨     Filing of returns

3 Registration

¨     Application for registration within 30 days or on crossing turnover of Rs 9 lakhs

¨     File application in form ST-1 electronically and obtain registration number online

¨     Submit documents e.g. PAN, address proof, constitution of applicant, list of directors/partners, Power of Attorney (if required)

¨     Registration deemed to be granted within 7 days but payment of tax cannot be made and return cannot be filed till actually registration certificate  in ST-2 form given – hence provision of deemed registration within 7 days is practically meaningless. However, assessee can start issuing invoice based on that registration number.

¨     Normally some ‘payment’ required to obtain registration certificate (depending on assessee’s need and officer’s greed) – (Forget Anna Hazare)

¨     Centralised Registration by Commissioner if centralised accounts or centralised invoicing

¨     Submission of list of records maintained in first return.

4 Assessees who are already registered on 1-7-2012

¨     All 117 service heads are gone w.e.f. 1-7-2012. However, adding any service head in existing registration certificate still required for statistical purposes

¨     Assessee can file application electronically for amendment to existing registration certificate. If his service is not covered in any specified head, he can cover it under ‘Other Taxable Services’.  Add that and then get print out of your amended registration certificate. Send its copy to your Range Superintendent.

5 Invoice for services

¨     Invoice within 30 days (45 days in case of Bank) on completion of service – refer Point of Taxation Rules particularly for continuous services.

¨     Serial No and date name and address of service provider and service receiver, registration number of service provider, description and value of taxable service provided or agreed to be provided and service tax payable [Rule 4A(1)]

¨     Rounding up off each invoice not required. Rounding up required only at the time of monthly/quarterly payment of service tax.

¨     Invoice is required to be issued when advance is received from service receiver.

¨     Point of Taxation Rules which were made w.e.f. 1-4-2011 mainly provide that service tax will be payable on accrual basis (Till 28-5-2012, the Rules were relevant to determine rate of serviced tax also). The exception is that where value of taxable services in previous year were less than Rs 50 lakhs, service tax can be paid on receipt basis (i.e. cash basis) instead of accrual basis.


6 Payment of tax

¨     As per Point of Taxation Rules were made w.e.f. 1-4-2011 mainly to provide that service tax will be payable on accrual basis. The exception is that where value of taxable services in previous year were less than Rs 50 lakhs, service tax can be paid on receipt basis (i.e. cash basis) instead of accrual basis.

¨     Quarterly payment by individual or firm – monthly by company, HUF, society etc.

¨     Payment of tax by 5th by end of month/quarter (6th in case of e-payment) (except March)

¨     Tax payable by 31 March in last quarter/month.

¨     Cenvat credit available upto end of month or quarter can be taken though tax is payable by 5th/6th.

7 Payment of service tax

¨     E-payment mandatory if service tax paid in previous year was more than 10 lakhs (whether by cash or through Cenvat credit).

¨     Others can pay through GAR-7 challan..

¨     Interest @ 18% mandatory for late payment for first six months, 24% for next 6 months and 30% after one year (15%/21%/27%  if small service providers who had previous financial year’s turnover upto 60 lakhs)

8 Excess payment of Tax

¨     If actual calculations not possible, pay excess amount to avoid interest liability and adjust subsequently – rule 6(4B)

¨     Show it in return – no intimation to Superintendent is required

¨     While filing return, use Cenvat credit first and balance show as payment by cash.

¨     Service provider can refund the payment or issue credit note when – (a) if service is not provided partly or fully or (b) amount of invoice is re-negotiated due to deficient provision of service or any terms contained in the contract.

¨     After such refund or credit note, assessee can take self-credit of excess service tax paid by him when he had issued the invoice/Bill/Challan [Rule 6(3) of Service Tax Rules]

9 Returns

¨     ST-3 returns on half yearly basis by 25th of end of half year [25 Oct and 25 April]

¨     E-filing of return mandatory to all assessees.

¨     Only one return even if multiple services.

¨     Advisable to file return in time even if all details not available, to avoid penalty.

¨     Even if there is no taxable turnover, filing Nil return is mandatory.


10 Revised Return

¨     Revised return can be filed within 90 days from original return.

¨     After 90 days, revised return cannot be filed, but if tax paid was less, pay with interest and inform department – if paid more, file refund claim or adjust in future return if otherwise allowable

¨     Hence, no great harm if revised return could not be filed in 90 days.

11 Late filing of return

¨     The late fee payable is as follows – (a) Delay Upto 15 days – ` 500 (b) Beyond 15 days and upto 30 days – ` 1,000 (c) Delay beyond 30 days – ` 1,000 plus ` 100 per day of delay beyond 30 days, from 31st day onwards – rule 7C. This ` 100 per day continues till limit of ` 20,000 is reached. This limit is reached after total delay of 220 days [section 70]

¨     There is no specific provision in law to reduce the late fee, except in cases where Nil Return was not filed in time.

¨     However, really, it is penalty though termed as ‘late fee’. Hence, it can be argued that late fee (in nature of penalty) can be waived or reduced for sufficient reasons.

12 No assessment of return filed

¨     There is no provision of assessment of return.

¨     Department carries out audit of assessees and demand can be raised if service tax was short paid or short levied.

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