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Budget 15-16 proposals: Amendments in sections 73, 76 and 78 (all related to penalty)Budget 15-16 proposals: Insertion of transition provision by way of section 78BBudget 15-16 proposals: Omitting section 80 (provided for waiver of penalty)Extending the scope of advance rulings to resident firms, with immediate effect (from 1.3.2015)Amendment in reverse charge mechanism, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015)To prescribe full reverse charge on manpower supply and security service provided by individual, HUF, partnership firm to a body corporate, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015)Prescribing reverse charge on service provided by a mutual fund agent, mutual fund distributor and agents of lottery distributor, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015)Amendments in section 86 (remedy against the order passed by commissioner (Appeals) in a matter involving rebate of service tax shall lie in terms of section 35 EE of the Central Excise Act)Amendments in the provisions relating to Settlement CommissionShifting the liability of payment of service tax on aggregator of a service where service is provided under the brand name of the aggregator, with immediate effect (from 1.3.2015)Amendments in rules 4 (prescribing documentation, time limit and procedure for registration)Registration for single premises shall be granted within two days of filing the applicationProvisions for issuing digitally signed invoices and maintaining of records in electronic form added in rules 4A and 5 of the Service Tax Rules, 1994, with immediate effect (from 1.3.2015)The period for taking Cenvat Credit is being extended from six months from the date of invoice to one year from the date of invoice.Cenvat Credit allowed on input and capital goods received directly by job workers. ‘Export goods’ and ‘Exempt goods’ defined. New exemptions for,- (a) Precondition, pre-cooling, ripening, waxing, retail packing, labeling of fruits and vegetables (b) Service by a Common Effluent Treatment Plant operator (c) Varistha Bima Yojana (d) Ambulance services (e) Admission to a museum, zoo, national park, wild life sanctuary, and a tiger reserve (f) Service provided by exhibitor of movie to a distributor or an AOP consisting of exhibitor as one of its member (g)Transport of export goods by road from the place of removal to a laChange in abatement rates and conditions thereof for transport of passengers and goods by train; transport of goods by road by a GTA; transport of goods by vessels; executive/business class travel by air; and withdrawal of abatement on services provided in relation to chit, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015) Amendment in reverse charge mechanism, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015) To prescribe full reverse charge on manpower supply and security service provided by individual, HUF, partnership firm to a body corporate, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015) Prescribing reverse charge on service provided by a mutual fund agent, mutual fund distributor and agents of lottery distributor, with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015)Amendment in rule 4(7) of the Cenvat Credit Rules to allow credit of service tax paid by recipient of service in partial reverse charge immediately on payment of tax ,with immediate effect (from 1.4.2015)Service Tax to be levied on service by way of access to amusement facility (amusement parks, water parks , theme parks etc)Service Tax rate is increased from 12.36% to 14%. New rate shall come into effect after the enactment of the Finance Bill, 2015. Notification No. 42/2012-ST is being rescindedSwachh Bharat Cess- Govt. to impose cess on all or any taxable service at the rate of 2% of the value of taxable serviceWe are committed to implementing a state of the art indirect tax system, the Goods and Services Tax, from April 1, 2016 - Finance MinisterNow issuing of Digital Invoices recognised in Service Tax.The term “government” defined Section 65B(26A)Section 80 providing waiver from penalty is proposed to be omitted.
Case Laws
STO 2014 CESTAT 654
[Date of Order: 2014-08-05]

Demand: Stay: Telecommunication Service: Appellants demanded service tax on BSNL Cellular Division on the Inter-connect usage charges for BSNL Landline Division. BSNL is a PSU entity who has taken separate registration for each Division/Zone for the purpose of discharging service tax liability. There is no dispute on the fact that BSNL has one single PAN number and one Profit and Loss/Balance Sheet. The definition "to any person" defined in the Section 105 (zzzx) of Finance Act, 1994 refers to a separate legal entity": Stay granted from recovery.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 857
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Demand: Stay: Exemption: Notfn.No.108/1995: Appellants supplied goods without payment of duty under said notification: Name of the assessee is specifically appearing on the certificate issued by Secretary to the Government, Finance Deptt., Govt. of Tamil Nadu,Chennai: Condition of pre deposit waived.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 832
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Transport of Goods by Road: Extended period: Neither there is any allegation of deliberate contravention of Act and Rules in the show-cause notice nor any finding for the same in the Order-in-Original: Appeal allowed on limitation ground.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 823
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Business Support Service: Services provided to postal department in marketing its products: There is no merit in the contention of the appellant that merely because the postal department pays service tax on the speed post service, the appellant need not discharge service tax liability in respect of the business support/auxiliary service rendered by him in canvassing business for the postal department: Directions issued for partial pre deposit.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 821
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Reimbusement of expenses: Demand: Stay: Appellants were eligible for reimbursement of the freight incurred for delivery to upcountry stockists on actual basis: Transporters were engaged by their principal and they are only acting as a pure agent in respect of the payment of freight charges: In respect of postage the charges are for small samples sent by courier and here also the transaction takes the nature of transportation of the goods and, therefore, would fall outside the purview of the service tax liability: Pre deposit waived.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 698
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Cenvat Credit: Demand: Stay: Credit taken on service tax paid on Outdoor Catering Service for providing canteen facility to 250 staff which is statutory obligation of appellants: On the basis of case laws credit found admissible: Condition of pre deposit waived.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 692
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Works Contract Service: Whether the contract appellants got is a turnkey project: Appellants were required to execute the work as per the directions given in the drawings and technical specifications which were given by the Electricity Board. In fact, the scope of work would show that the responsibility as regards design and drawing is limited to the pipeline work and it does not cover other areas: Appellants only got part of work out of the works contract: Requirement of pre deposit waived.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 653
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Management, Maintenance or Repair Service: Agreement entered into between the appellant and Lear, USA makes it clear that the agreement provides for usage of specified computer software for which the appellant pays consideration. It is not for maintenance or repair that the appellant is making payments but for the usage of the software: Service to fall under Intellectual Property Right.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 630
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]

Demand: Stay: Exemption under Notification No.108/95-CE: Exemption denied on the ground name of appellants does not appear in the certificate issued by designated authority: Held: Name of the assessee is specifically appearing on the certificate issued by Secretary to the Government, Finance Deptt., Govt. of Tamil Nadu Chennai: Conditions of Notification No.108/95-CE fulfilled: Pre deposit waived.

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STO 2014 Del 449
[Date of Order: 2014-08-04]
Service Tax Audit: Section 72A envisages an audit of an assessee’s records only in special circumstances, namely, when there is a failure to declare or compute the value of the taxable service, when the utilization of CENVAT credit in excessive of the limit permissible or by fraud etc., and when the business operations of the assessee are dispersed across multiple locations. Apart from Section 94, the Revenue could not show any other substantive provision which justifies a probe into the records of the assessee, under conditions akin to those contemplated by Rule 5A(2). The Revenue was also unable to show the compulsion of arming authorities with such sweeping powers, under the Rules.

Rules cannot be extended beyond what statute provides: The law is well settled that a rule acquires statutory force, so long as conforms to the provisions of the statute under which it is framed. The mere fact that a rule-making power is phrased in terms that indicates a general delegation of power,cannot lead to the inference that such power may be exercised to make rules that exceed the bounds of the statute. Rules may only give effect to the statute’s provisions and intent and cannot be used to create substantive rights, obligations or liabilities that are not within the contemplation of the statute.

Rule 5A(2): It is apparent that the only type of audit within the contemplation of the statute is that stipulated in Section, i.e. a special audit when only certain circumstances are fulfilled. The Parliament thus had a clear intention to provide for only a special audit. The fact that Section prescribes the conditions meriting such special audit compels the necessary inference that the Parliament did not intend to provide for a general audit that "every assessee" may be subjected to, "on demand". Any attempt to include provision for such a general audit through the back-door, such as through the impugned rule, is ultra-vires the rule making power conferred under Section 94(1). Rule 5A(2) must consequently be struck down. 

The Service Tax Audit Manual: The Service Tax Audit Manual, 2011 is merely an instrument of instructions for the service tax authorities; it is but obvious that it is not a statutory instrument and has no statutory force.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 824
[Date of Order: 2014-08-01]

Tour Operator Service: Demand: Both these respondents had been providing service in the form of providing buses/mini-buses to M/s. Indian Petrochemicals Ltd. (IPCL) for transportation of school children, Staff Members & Family from fixed point to other point and received payment therefor: Decisions covered in favour of Revenue.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 713
[Date of Order: 2014-08-01]

Refund: Services rendered from India and used outside India and consideration received in foreign convertible currency: All the conditions of Export of Services Rules fulfilled: Services to be considered Exported and appellants entitled for refund of service tax paid.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 705
[Date of Order: 2014-08-01]

Technical Consultancy Service: Transfer of Technical know how from abroad prior to 18.04.2006: Demand under reverse charge mechanism prior to 18.04.2006 not sustainable.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 695
[Date of Order: 2014-08-01]

Refund: Notification No. 41/2007-ST dated 06.10.2007: Only condition in the notification is that claimant should not have availed Drawback of service tax under the Drawback Rules: Appellants claim that they have availed drawback, hence, condition of notification is violated and appellants are not eligible for refund.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 767
[Date of Order: 2014-07-31]

Demand: Online information and data base access and / or retrieval services: Cenvat Credit: Credit taken for taxable and exempted services: Rule 6(3)(c): Appellants undisputedly entitled to use only 20% of cenvat credit for payment of service tax, whereas, they have used 100% of credit: Subsequently, liability made good by payment in cash: Entitled to take back cenvat credit of equivalent amount.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 764
[Date of Order: 2014-07-31]

Business Auxiliary Service: Demand: Larger period: It has been consistently held that a subsequent change of view by the authorities would not justify invoking the larger period of limitation.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 665
[Date of Order: 2014-07-31]

Storage & Warehousing Service: MIPL provided to MLOG space measuring 2100 sq.mtr. In warehouse Nos.4 and 2 for keeping, storing, stuffing and consolidation of export cargo and collected monthly rental of Rs.10 lakhs for warehouse No.4 and Rs.4.35 lakhs for warehouse No.2. For the period with effect from 1-2-2005, the space provided to MLOG was 3000 sq. mtrs. for the same purpose; however, no separate fixed monthly charges were specified in the contract: Appellants contention is that these services are excluded from levy of service tax under Cargo Handling Service as these are related to export cargo: Classification of service and demand confirmed under Storage & Warehousing service.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 766
[Date of Order: 2014-07-30]

Demand: Construction of residential complex service: Explanation inserted on 1.7.2010: Explanation is expansive of the legislative trajectory of the pre-existing provision and therefore requires to be construed as prospective; and prior to introduction of the Explanation, constructions on one's own properties by a builder /developer for the purpose of sale thereafter would not tantamount to rendition of this taxable and would therefore be beyond the reach of levy and collection of service tax.

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STO 2014 CESTAT 716
[Date of Order: 2014-07-30]

Advertising Agency Service: Demand: Commission: Incentives received by an advertising agency from the media without any contractual obligation to render any service cannot be levied to service tax under the category of BAS

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STO 2014 CESTAT 750
[Date of Order: 2014-07-29]

Supply of Tangible Goods Service: Business Auxiliary Service: Demand: Stay: Providing of trailer and cranes on hire basis: Hiring activity is deemed sale and Sales Tax/VAT Charges are payable on such hiring charges on such equipments/machineries for the period prior to 16.05.2008, whether it could be classified under the Clause (v) of Business Auxiliary Service i.e. "procurement of inputs for clients" is technical issue and debatable: Condition of pre deposit waived.

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