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Service Tax Registration

Registration FAQs (Procedure)

Landmark Service Tax Judgments: Service Tax Registration
Section 69 :

Every person liable to pay the service tax shall within 30 days from the date on which a service becomes taxable, or from the date of commencement of business for providing taxable service, apply for registration  in form ST - 1. [ Please Refer : Section 69(1) ]

Keep in mind that in case of new business venture such limit of 30 days is from the date of commencement of BUSINESS and not from date when such provider starts providing taxable service.

Illustration : If service provider commences business from 15th of July but, starts providing service from 1st of August, in such a case time limit of 30 days will be calculated from 15th of July and not from 1st August. Thus application of registration should be filed before 15th August.

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How to apply for Service Tax Registration.

New Assessee Service Tax Registration Process

1. The user needs to logon to the system, through internet at http://www.aces.qov.in

2. For Service Tax registration assessee has to choose the Service Tax button from the panel appearing on the top of the webpage.

3. Click the button “New Users Click here to  Register with ACES” in the Log-in screen that appears after clicking Service Tax button.

4. Fills in and submits the form “Registration with ACES”, by furnishing a self-chosen user ID and e-mail ID. User ID, once chosen is final and cannot be changed by the assessee in future.

5. The system will check for availability of the chosen User ID and then generate a password and send it by e-mail, mentioned by the assessee in the Form.

6. ACES also provides assistance of “Know your location code” for choosing correct jurisdictional office.

7. The user then have to re-log-in and proceeds with the registration with Service Tax, by filling-in the appropriate Form ST-1 by clicking the “Reg” link in the Menu bar that appears on the top of the screen. It is mandatory to use the PAN allotted to the business entity to be registered. If the assessee has applied for PAN, he can be issued a temporary registration number and after obtaining PAN, he should amend the registration form online and insert the PAN, after which a new PAN-based registration number will be issued to the assessee. For security reasons, the password should be changed immediately.

8. The system instantaneously generates an acknowledgement number after which the registration request goes to the jurisdictional Superintendent. If the department needs any clarification, the registration applications can be sent back by the department to the applicants. Similarly, before registration certificate is issued, the applicant can also withdraw his/her application.

9. The assessee is required to submit certain documents along with a signed copy of the registration application to the department for verification. After verification, the Superintendent of Service Tax issues the Registration Certificate. However, in case of request for centralized registration, the Commissioner of Service Tax approves the registration. In either case, if the requisite documents are not received within a period of 15 days, the registration application will be rejected by the department as incomplete. After the approval for issuance of a Registration Certificate is given by the competent authority, a message to this effect is sent to the assessees electronically. The assessee can view and take a print-out of this.

10. Depending on the option chosen by the assessee, the signed copy of the Registration Certificate can be sent by post or can be collected by assessee in person.

11. While submitting registration form, if the assessee makes a mistake in choosing a wrong jurisdiction (Commissionerate/Division/ Range), ACES provides a facility to the Superintendent (in case of Service Tax) to forward the application to the correct jurisdictional officer to issue registration and a message to this effect is sent to the assessee for information.

12. The registration number will be same as the current 15-digit format with minor change such as:

For-PAN based Assessees

1-10 digits - PAN of the Assessee

11-12 digits - SD (Service Tax)

13-15 - Systems generated alphanumeric serial number

For non-PAN based assessees

1-4 digits TEMP

5-10 Systems generated alpha numeric number

11-12 SD (Service Tax)

13-15 Systems generated alphanumeric serial number

Person liable for paying service tax

Generally, service providers are liable to pay the service tax but, apart from that some specified persons are also liable to pay service tax even if they are not providing service. Such specific persons who are required to pay tax :  [Please Refer : Rule 2(1)(d) of the Service Tax Rules 1994.]

(A) in relation to service provided or agreed to be provided by an insurance agent to any person carrying on the insurance business, the recipient of the service;

(B) in relation to service provided or agreed to be provided by a goods transport agency in respect of transportation of goods by road, where the person liable to pay freight is,—

(I) any factory registered under or governed by the Factories Act, 1948 (63 of 1948);

(II) any society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (21 of 1860) or under any other law for the time being in force in any part of India;

(III) any co-operative society established by or under any law;

(IV) any dealer of excisable goods, who is registered under the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) or the rules made thereunder;

(V) any body corporate established, by or under any law; or

(VI) any partnership firm whether registered or not under any law including association of persons;

any person who pays or is liable to pay freight either himself or through his agent for the transportation of such goods by road in a goods carriage :

Provided that when such person is located in a non-taxable territory, the provider of such service shall be liable to pay service tax.

(C) in relation to service provided or agreed to be provided by way of sponsorship to anybody corporate or partnership firm located in the taxable territory, the recipient of such service;

(D) in relation to service provided or agreed to be provided by,-

(I) an arbitral tribunal, or

(II) an individual advocate or a firm of advocates by way of legal services, to any business entity located in the taxable territory, the recipient of such service;

(E) in relation to support services provided or agreed to be provided by Government or local authority except,-

(a) renting of immovable property, and

(b) services specified sub-clauses (i), (ii) and (iii) of clause (a) of section 66D of the Finance Act, 1994,

to any business entity located in the taxable territory, the recipient of such service;

(EE) in relation to service provided or agreed to be provided by a director of a company to the said company, the recipient of such service;

(F) in relation to services provided or agreed to be provided by way of :-

(a) renting of a motor vehicle designed to carry passengers, to any person who is not engaged in a similar business; or

(b) supply of manpower for any purpose [or security services]; or

(c) service portion in execution of a works contract -

by any individual, Hindu Undivided Family or partnership firm, whether registered or not, including association of persons, located in the taxable territory to a business entity registered as a body corporate, located in the taxable territory, both the service provider and the service recipient to the extent notified under sub-section (2) of section 68 of the Act, for each respectively 

Persons Required to Apply for Registration :

(1) The input service distributor shall make an application to Jurisdictional Superintendent within 30 days from 16-06-2005 or commencement of business whichever is earlier in form ST – 1.

(2) Any provider of taxable service whose aggregate value of taxable service in a financial year exceeds Rs. 9 Lakhs shall make an application to the jurisdictional Superintendent of Central Excise in form ST – 1 for registration within a period of 30 days of exceedingthe aggregate value of taxable service of Rs. 9 Lakhs. [ Please Refer : Service Tax Notification no. 10/2008 dated 01-03-2008 ]

  Documents Required for Service Tax Registration

Following are the list of documents which are required to be submitted to the department after online application for Service Registration with acees.gov.in

(i)         PAN of the applicant,

(ii)        Address proof of the business premises

(iii)       PAN of the Directors/Partners/Authorised Persons

(iv)       Proof of the residence of the Directors/Partners/Authorised Persons

(v)      Constitution of applicant other than individuals at the time of filing an application for registration. For e.g. Partnership deed, Memorandum of Association, Trust Deed etc.

(vi)       Power of Attorney would be required in respect of authorized person(s).

[ Please Refer : Service Tax Circular No. 82/3/2005 ST dated 21-10-2005 ]


When an assessee is providing more than one taxable services he may make single application. However, he has to mention all the services being provided by him in the application for registration.Such assessee will be granted single registration. [ Please Refer : Rule 4 (4),  Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]


When a person, liable for paying service tax is providing or receiving taxable services from more than one premises or offices, making such person liable for paying service tax, and has centralised billing system or centralised accounting system in respect of such service, and such centralised billing or centralised accounting systems are located in one or more premises, he may, at his option, register such premises or offices from where centralised billing or centralised accounting systems are located. [ Please Refer : Rule 4(2), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]

Registration in above mentioned scenario i.e. Rule 4(2) of Service Tax Rules, 1994. shall be granted by Commissioner of Central Excise in whose jurisdiction such premises or offices located which has centralised billing or accounting system. However this provision shall not have any effect on registration granted before 2nd November 2006. [ Please Refer : Rule 4(3), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]  

When a person liable for paying service tax is providing or receiving one or more than one taxable services from different premises, but he is not having centralised billing or centralised accounting system he shall make separate applications for registration in respect of each of such premises or offices to the jurisdictional Superintendent of Central Excise. [ Please Refer : Rule 4(3A), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]


The Superintendent of CDL practice test Central Excise after verification of application of registration shall grant a Certificate of Registration in form no. ST-2 within 7 days from the date of receipt of application  along with the prescribed documents. The aces system e-mails the ST-2 to the registered e-mail address of the assessee. If the registration certificate is not granted within the said period, the registration applied for shall be deemed to have been granted. [ Please Refer : Rule 4(5) of Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]

Registration No. is also known as ‘Service Tax Code’ it is 15 digit PAN

Changes in Certificate of Registration :

It is obligatory on the part of the assessee to intimate in writing any changes in the information submitted at the time of applying for registration within 30 days of such change. Assessee needs to amend his ST-2 certificate online. [ Please Refer : Rule 4(5A), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ]

In case assessee is Commercial driver's license providing more than one taxable services under single registration and he ceases to provide any of the services mentioned therein the registration certificate, he should bring such change to the notice of the Superintendent of Central Excise. His registration certificates shall be amended to have the necessary effect, but will not be cancelled.
Surrender or Cancellation of Registration Certificate :

If assessee transfers his business to another person then the person to whom the business is transferred shall apply for a fresh registration certificate [ Please Refer : Rule 4(6), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ] 

Every registered assessee who ceases to provide taxable service for which he is registered shall immediately surrender his registration certificate to the Superintendent of Central Excise. The Superintendent of Central Excise shall ensure that the assessee has paid all monies due to the Central Government, Commercial driver's license thereupon cancel the registration certificate. If assessee does not surrender the certificate there is no penalty charged for that, but till the time assessee is registered with the department he is compulsorily required to file Half-Yearly Returns, failure of which may attract penalty. So it is in the interest of the assessee to surrender the certificate if he ceases to provide taxable service.

[ Please Refer : Rule 4(7), 4(8), Service Tax Rules, 1994. ] 

Penalty for Non- Registration :

Any person, who is required to take registration, he fails to register in accordance with the Section 69. shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to ten thousand rupees. [ Please Refer : Section 77, Finance Act 1994. ]


Case Laws Related

  • STO 2012 CESTAT 952
  • Cenvat Credit: Invoices issued prior to appellants obtained registration: credit cannot be denied on the ground that the assessee was not registered during the relevant time.

  • STO 2010 CESTAT 609
  • Service Tax: Interest liability under Section 75 of the Finance Act, 1994: Scope: As per Section 75 of the Finance Act, 1994, every person, liable to pay tax who fails to credit the tax or any part thereof to the account of the Central Government within the prescribed period, shall pay simple interest at a rate not less than 10% and not in excess of 36% p.a. The assessee paid service tax by way of debit in CENVAT credit amount and later on made good the error by making payment in cash. Therefore, Commissioner (Appeals) has correctly held that this is not a case of failure to make payment but only an adoption of an incorrect method for payment, and therefore, the provisions of Section 75 are not attracted against the assessees.(Para 2).

    Revenue appeal rejected.

  • STO 2010 CESTAT 626
  • Service Tax: Refund of service tax paid on input service used for providing export of output service: Registration: It is clear that only a person who is liable for paying the service tax is required to apply for registration. Since the appellants in this case have exported their entire output service, they were not required to pay the service tax and to take registration compulsorily. In such a circumstance, the appellants cannot be denied the refund of tax paid on input service on the ground of not taking a registration earlier, if the refund is otherwise admissible. Hence, the impugned orders passed by the authorities below are set aside and the matter is remanded to the original authority for considering the refund claim. The appeal is allowed by way of remand.(Para 3). 

  • STO 2009 CESTAT 1614
  • Service Tax: Port Service: Limitation: The appellants got registered under 'port service' with effect from 18.8.2003. We cannot hold that the department was not aware of the nature of activity undertaken by the appellants when it was issued a registration certificate in August 2002. Therefore, as rightly argued by the appellants, the show cause notice basic to the proceedings issued in July 2006 is barred by limitation. We also find that the lower authorities have not given a reliable finding of fraud, suppression of facts, willful misstatement or contravention of any provisions of the Act with intent to evade payment of duty on the part of the appellants to justify invocation of larger period. (para 4)

    Service Tax- Port Services: In Konkan Marine Agencies (supra) case, the Tribunal held that stevedoring works carried out on the basis of a licence issued by a port cannot be interpreted as rendering of any service on behalf of the port and the licence issued is only a permission to undertake such services within the port premises. The decision of the Tribunal in Konkan Marine Agencies case has been upheld by the Hon'ble High Court of Karnataka in its judgment in the case of Commissioner of Central Excise, Mangalore Vs. Konkan Marine Agencies [2009 (13) S.T.R. 7 (Kar.)]. As the demand of service tax is not sustainable, the demand for interest and penalties imposed are also not sustainable. (para 4)

  • STO 2009 CESTAT 1469
  • Service Tax: Advertisement services: Availed Cenvat credit during the period 1.4.2005 to 31.5.2005 on the documents which are not addressed to the appellants: Admissibility: There is no dispute that the appellants' office at Manipal is the centralized billing and accounting systems office and if that be so, registration taken by the, appellant is in accordance with the rules. If a person is discharging service tax liability from his registered premises, the benefit of cenvat credit on the service tax paid by the service providers cannot be denied to the appellant, only on the ground that the said invoices are in the name of branch offices. The branch offices are not registered with the service tax authorities and they are not discharging the service tax liability, as the appellant is discharging service tax liability on the services provided by branches. The document on which the appellant has taken the service tax credit, though in the name of branch office are actually being paid from the premises wherein the service tax registration has been taken. The ratio of the decision of the Tribunal in the case of Stadmed Pvt Ltd., CEO 1987 CESTAT 25 and Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd., CEO 2005 CESTAT 66  though being delivered in respect of cenvat/modvat credit on the central excise duty is squarely applies to the case in hand.(Para 6,7,8).

    Appeal allowed.

  • STO 2009 CESTAT 1131
  • Service Tax: Port Services: Registration under the category of "Cargo Handling Services" and "Custom House Agent" services - Issue in these cases is squarely covered by the decision of this Bench in the case of Konkan Marine Agencies Vs. CCE, Mangalore STO 2007 CESTAT 168 Waiver of pre -deposit of the entire dues demanded in the impugned orders.

  • STO 2009 CESTAT 514
  • Input Service Distributor: The only ground on the basis of which the credit has been denied is that the registration number was not available and this has been explained subsequently.

  • STO 2008 CESTAT 330
  • Business Auxiliary Service: Credit denied since the duty paying documents did not contain the address mentioned in the registration certificate: The duty paying documents were in the name of the appellant, only objection of revenue is that the address mentioned in the Invoices is not registered with the Revenue Authorities. We find the registration certificate was subsequently amended included the address mentioned in the invoices with retrospective effect. Order set aside and appeal allowed. In respect of credit denied on other grounds, the impugned order is upheld. Appeals are disposed off, as indicated above. (para 6)

  • STO 2008 CESTAT 622
  • Service Tax: Security Agency Service -  Waiver of Penalty Under Section 80: Section 80 lays down that notwithstanding anything contained in Section 76, 77 or 78, penalty shall not be imposable for any failure referred to in the said provisions if the assessee proves that there was reasonable cause for such failure. In the facts and circumstances, the belief of the appellant that it was liable to pay Service Tax only on receipt of the amount from the recipient which is M/s. B.S.N.L., could be a bona fide belief. It may be recalled that the appellant had filed Writ Petition seeking direction from the Allahabad High Court to pay the dues and pursuant to the orders of the High Court, the dues were paid by B.S.N.L. directly to the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise  (Para 4,11)

    Service Tax: Security Agency Service: Penalty under Section 77: Imposition of penalty under Sections 77 and 78 is different from the one under Section 76. In the instant case, penalty under Section 77 has been imposed on the appellant for its failure to obtain registration. It is a common ground that no penalty is separately provided for failure to obtain registration and in the absence of any dispute that the appellant was rendering taxable service, there is no difficulty in holding that the penalty under Section 77 requires no modification. Appellant is further held liable to pay penalty of Rs. 1,000/- under Section 77 of the Act. (para 8,13)

    Service Tax: Security Agency Service: Penalty under Section 78: Non-submission of the return was the result and concomitant of non-registration for which penalty has already been imposed under Section 77 of the Act. The clause “suppression of facts” can be applied where return is filed or some statement or declaration (which the person is required to submit) concealing material facts having bearing on the tax liability of the person. Non-submission of the return per se may not attract penalty under Section 78. (para 9)

    Service Tax: Security Agency Service: Penalty under Section 76: Penalty, no doubt, can be quantified and imposed in that manner in terms of Section 76 of the Act, but it does not mean that penalty must necessarily be worked out at the rate and in the manner provided in Section 76.  It should be kept in mind that under Section 80, where the person/assessee succeeds in proving reasonable cause for failure to pay tax, penalty may be waived altogether.In the facts and circumstances, I am of the view that penalty of Rs. 50,000/- each for the periods in question totalling Rs. 1 lac in all would be sufficient to discharge the penal obligations under Section 76 of the Act. (para 10,12)

  • STO 2007 CESTAT 1304
  • Stay: Penalty : Central Registration obtained at Delhi, Banglore authority had no jurisdiction to confirm. The original authority dropped penalty proceedings, in Revision penalty u/s 78 has been imposed. Similar matter earlier stay has been granted. Following the same stay granted in this case also.

  • STO 2007 CESTAT 258
  • Port Service: Ship breaking activities and ship manufacturing activities may also be done in the port area, for which purposes facility may be provided by the port, but that will not make the same as "port services".

    Maintenance or Repair Service: The appellant had taken registration for the said services and had started paying duty thereafter. Revenue has not raised any objection to the said registration of the appellant and payment of duty by them under the category of maintenance and repair services. If the services being rendered by them were already covered by the above services, there was no justification on the part of Revenue to accept their registration under the category of maintenance and repair of services. The said category having been created w.e.f. 1-7-03, the said activity for the past period cannot be held to be covered under the category of port services.

    Limitation: The period involved is 16-7-01 to 30-9-03, whereas the SCN has been issued on 23-1-04. There are no positive allegation of suppression or any mis-statement on the part of appellant with an intention to evade the duty. The issue involved is bona fide interpretation of provisions of law. Extended period cannot be invoked.

  • STO 2006 CESTAT 69
  • Stay: Management Consultant Service: Mere facts of non-registration by itself will not be a ground to come to a conclusion that there was suppression of facts.Waiver granted.

  • STO 2005 AP 123
  • Banking Services : Suffice to state that the petitioner cannot be held to be a "non-banking financial company" solely on the basis of the certificate of registration issued by the Reserve Bank of India. It is only if, on the basis of material on record, it is established that in addition to the Certificate of Registration, the principal business of the petitioner, during the relevant period, was receipt of deposits or lending of money, that it would come within the definition of a "non-banking financial company", rendering it liable for payment of service tax.

  • STO 2004 CESTAT 96
  • Penalty : Under Section 76 of the Finance Act, 1994, the minimum penalty prescribed under the said Section 76 of F.A. 94 is Rs. 100/- only and not Rs. 100/- per day of delay. The adjudicating authorities have discretion not to impose any penalty for delay in paying service tax and for delay in furnishing return in terms of Section 80 of F.A. 94, but they have no such discretion for not imposing penalty for failure to apply for registration.





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