Education Services – clarification
The Board vide Circular No. 172/7/2013-ST, Dated: September 19, 2013 has provided clarifications regarding the levy of service tax on certain services relating to the education sector in view of recent changes effective from 1st April, 2013 in clause 9 of the Mega Exemption Notification no. 25/2012-ST dated. 20-6-2012.
1.Various representations have been received seeking clarifications regarding the levy of service tax on certain services relating to the education sector.
2. The matter is covered by two provisions of the Finance Act, 1994. Section 66D of the Finance Act contains a negative list of services and clause (l) thereof reads as under:
“services by way of –(i) pre-school education and education upto higher secondary school or equivalent;(ii) education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognized by any law for the time being in force;(iii) education as a part of an approved vocational education course;”.
Further section 93(1) of the Finance Act, 1994, enables the Government to exempt generally or subject to such conditions taxable service of specified description. By virtue of the said power, Government has issued a notification No.25/2012-ST dated 20th June, 2012 (exemption notification), exempting certain services. Sl.no.9 thereof reads as follows:
“Services provided to("and" by was deleted by Finance act 2013) an educational institution in respect of education exempted from
service tax, by way of,-
(a) auxiliary educational services; or
(b) renting of immovable property;”.
As defined in the said notification,
"auxiliary educational services" means any services relating to imparting any skill, knowledge, education or development of course content or any other knowledge–enhancement activity, whether for the students or the faculty, or any other services which educational institutions ordinarily carry out themselves but may obtain as outsourced services from any other person, including services relating to admission to such institution, conduct of examination, catering for the students under any mid-day meals scheme sponsored by Government, or transportation of students, faculty or staff of such institution.
3. By virtue of the entry in the negative list and by virtue of the portion of the exemption notification, it will be clear that all services relating to education are exempt from service tax. There are many services provided to an educational institution. These have been described as “auxiliary educational services” and they have been defined in the exemption notification. Such services provided to an educational institution are exempt from service tax.
For example, if a school hires a bus from a transport operator in order to ferry students to and from school, the transport services provided by the transport operator to the school are exempt by virtue of the exemption notification.
4. In addition to the services mentioned in the definition of “auxiliary educational services”, other examples would be hostels, housekeeping, security services, canteen, etc.
5. Thus the apprehensions conveyed in the representations submitted by certain educational institutions and organizations have no basis whatsoever. These institutions and organizations are requested not to give credence to rumours or mischievous suggestions. If there is any doubt they are requested to approach the Chief Commissioner concerned.
6. All concerned are requested to acknowledge the receipt of this circular.
Arrest and Bail under the Service Tax
The Board vide Circular No.171/6/2013-Service Tax, Dated: September 17, 2013 has released the guidelines for arrest and bail in relation to offences punishable under the Finance Act, 1994 (Service Tax) similar on line as issued under the Central Excise Provisions vide Circular No.974/08/2013-CX, Dated: September 17, 2013 and under the Customs vide Circular No.38/2013-Customs, Dated: September 17, 2013, wherein certain issues are clarified on Bail, Arrest Memo, Precautions to be taken by the departmental officers and Certain modalities, etc.
Service Tax Exemption for Uttarakhand
The Govt. vide Ad-hoc Exemption Order No. 1/1/2013, Dated: September 17, 2013 has exempted the taxable services of renting of a rooms in a hotel, inn, guest house, club, campsite or other commercial place meant for residential or lodging purposes and Services provided in relation to serving of food or beverages by a restaurant, eating joint or mess provided to any person in the State of Uttarakhand during the period 17th September, 2013 to 31st March, 2014.
Important to note: This exemption is specified only for two services as mentioned above.
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Update : In Budget 2014 concept of „auxiliary educational services‟ has been omitted and list of services exempted has been specified in the notification