The Government of India proposes to issue Point of Taxation (for Services Provided or Received in India) Rules, 2010 in exercise of the powers conferred on it under Sec. 94 (2) (hhh) of the Finance Act, 1994.
The purpose of these rules is to introduce clarity and certainty in the matter of levy and collection of Service Tax particularly in situations of change of rate of service tax or imposition of service tax on new services. At present there is lack of clarity as to the date from which the changed rate or a new levy of service tax become payable and tax payers as well as tax officials face uncertainty in this regard as the provisions are not explicit. Similar uncertainty prevails in regard to cases of continuous supply of services. So far these issues have been addressed by CBEC through clarificatory circulars that accompany such changes. A need has been felt to put the regulatory frame work on a transparent, clear and durable basis and hence these rules.
The other major change proposed to be brought about through these rules is to link the payment of tax to provision of service, raising of the invoice or payment for service provided or to be provided, whichever is the earliest. Currently the payment of service tax is linked to receipt of payment for the service, which is at odds with regime in force in Central Excise and VAT laws implemented by the states. In both Central Excise and VAT, tax payment is required on accrual basis upon manufacture and clearance of goods in the former and issue of invoice in the latter. In neither case is the tax payment linked actual receipt of payment for the goods. The GST regime is likely to follow this practice and it is necessary to align the service tax regime with it so that transition to GST will be smooth. The change in the point of payment of tax will also simplify accounting for the taxpayers.
The proposed changes are broadly on lines of best international practices.
Consistent with the CBEC™s practice of wide consultation with all stakeholders, the draft of these rules is being published on the web site for public scrutiny, comments and suggestions. The draft is also accompanied by explanatory notes for each of the clauses. The Central Board of Excise and Customs welcomes responses from all who wish to comment on the proposals and will give careful consideration to all suggestions and comments while finalizing the rule. Kindly send your response at firstname.lastname@example.org
For being considered, the responses must reach us latest by 01.09.2010.
Draft Point of Taxation (for Services Provided or Received in India) Rules, 2010
1) These Rules shall be called the Point of Taxation (for services provided or received in India) Rules, 2010. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.
2) In these Rules, unless the context otherwise requires,-
a) Act means the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994);
b) associated enterprises shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 92 A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961) ;
c) continuous supply of service means any service which is provided, or to be provided, under a contract, for a period exceeding six months ,or where the Central Government, by a notification, prescribes provision of a particular service to be a continuous supply of service, whether or not subject to any condition;
d) Invoice shall have the meaning assigned to it in Rule 4A of the Service Tax Rules, 1994 and shall include any bill or challan as prescribed therein;
e) Point of taxation means the point of time when the tax becomes payable to the Government;
f) taxable service means a service which is subjected to service tax, whether or not the same is fully exempt by the Central Government vide powers conferred under Section 93 of the Act;
g) ˜taxable event means an event which causes the tax liability to arise, namely, the provision of service, issuance of invoice or the receipt of payment.
3) For the purposes of these rules, –
a) A provision of service shall be treated as having taken place at the time when service is provided, or is to be provided.
b) If, before the time prescribed in sub-rule (a), the person providing the service issues an invoice or receives a payment in respect of service to be provided, the supply shall be, to the extent covered by the invoice or the payment made thereof, deemed to be have taken place at the time the invoice was issued or the payment is received, as the case may be, whichever is earlier.
4) Treatment of advances: Wherever any advance, by whatever name it is known, is received by the service provider towards the provision of taxable service, the tax becomes payable on the date of receipt of each such advance.
Provided that no tax shall be payable on an interest free refundable deposit.
5) For the purposes of these Rules, if there is a difference in date and time between the raising of invoice, date of payment and providing of taxable service, and the tax rate changes during such period, the point of taxation shall be determined in the following manner
a) Where a taxable service has been provided before the change of rate*, but the invoice for the same has been raised and the payment received after the change of rate, the point of taxation shall be the date of payment or issuance of invoice, whichever is earlier.
b) Where the invoice has been raised and service provided prior to a change in tax rate*, the point of taxation shall be the date of raising of invoice, provided the payment for the invoice is made within 30 days of raising of invoice. In other cases, it would be the date of payment.
c) Where the invoice has been raised prior to the change of tax rate*, but the service has been provided and the payment for the invoice made after the change in tax rate, the point of taxation shall be the date of payment.
d) Where the invoice has been raised and the payment for the invoice received before the change of tax rate*, but the service provided after the change of rate, point of taxation shall be the date of receipt of payment or date of issuance of invoice, whichever is earlier.
*(Note:- change in tax rate includes withdrawal of exemption)
6) Where a service, not being a service covered by rule 7 of these rules, is taxed for the first time –
a) no tax shall be payable to the extent the invoice has been issued and payment received before such service becomes taxable, even if the service is provided at a time when it is taxable;
b) no tax shall be payable if the payment has been received and invoice has been issued within the period prescribed under rule 4A of the Service Tax Rules, 1994.
Provided that no tax shall be payable on any service which has been provided before the service becomes taxable.
7) Continuous Supply of service:
a) Continuous supply of service, the whole or part of which is determined or payable periodically or from time to time, shall be treated as separately supplied at the following times;
i) If the date of payment is prescribed in the contract, the date on which the payment is liable to be made by the service receiver, irrespective of whether or not any invoice has been raised or any payment received by the service provider;
ii) If the payment is linked to the completion of an event, the time of completion of that event;
If the date of payment is not prescribed in the contract, each time when the service provider receives the payment, or issues an invoice, whichever is earlier.
Provided that, for the provision of services covered by this Rule, no tax shall be payable on the payment received before any service becomes taxable, provided that such payment is covered by clause (i) or (iii) above.
Provide further that the clauses (i) to (iii) shall be read sequentially for the purposes of this rule.
8) The point of taxation in respect of associated enterprises shall be the date on which the payment has been made, or the date of debit or credit in books of accounts, or issuance of debit or credit notes, whichever is earlier.
9) In respect of royalties and similar payments, where the whole amount of the consideration for the provision of service was not ascertainable at the time when the service was performed, and subsequently the use or the benefit of these service by a person other than the supplier gives rise to any payment of consideration, the service shall be treated as having been provided each time that a payment in respect of such use or the benefit is received by the provider, or an invoice is issued by the provider, whichever is earlier.