Swachh Bharat Cess - All about it

Now the government has come up with introduction of SBC immediate post festive season. Notification no. 21/2015 has been issued appointing 15th November, 2015 as the date from which the provision of section 119 would become effective. This means, the cess has been introduced on all taxable services w.e.f. 15.11.2015. Simultaneous to this, another notification no. 22/2015-ST has been issued whereby exemption has been granted in excess of SBC calculated at the rate of 0.5 percent of the value of taxable services. Effectively, rate of cess would be 0.5% and new rate of service tax would be 14.5%. There would be consequential impact on many other aspects under services tax law which the author has attempted to discuss in FAQ form.

1. What would be effective rate of service tax post introduction of SBC?
Effective rate of service tax post introduction of SBC would be 14.5%.

2. In case of services covered by abatement, what would be effective rate of tax? Say GTA service where presently tax is payable at 4.2% (14%*30%)?
Section 119 provides that SBC would be levied and collected as service tax. Further, sub section 5 provides that provision of chapter V of the Finance Act would apply to SBC as they apply to service tax. The abatement notification is issued under section 93 (chapter V) of the Act. So, this notification would apply for SBC also in the same manner as apply for service tax. Hence, the effective rate of tax on all abatement services would be 14.5% * effective rate under Notification 26/2012-ST. For GTA, it would be 14.5%*30%= 4.35% (not 4.70%)

3. In case of works contract, how would the tax be calculated?
The value of services would be calculated as per Rule 2A of Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006. Tax needs to be applied on the value so arrived at the rate of 14.5%. Effective rate of tax in case of original works and other than original works would be 5.8% (14.5%*40%) and 10.15% (14.5%*70%) respectively. Similar, would be for restaurant and outdoor catering services.

4. Whether SBC would be applicable on services covered by Rule 6 of Service Tax Rules (i.e. air travel agent, insurance premium, purchase and sale of foreign currency)
There is no specific exemption for such services. Therefore technically speaking one has to compute taxable value for the purpose of computing SBC though for computing service tax the special rates are applied. However paper writer feels that there may be consequential amendment to deal with it.

5. I am paying service tax on few services under reverse charge mechanism. How would SBC have impact on my tax liability?
SBC would be applicable on all taxable services. Hence, you need to pay SBC along with service tax on the services availed by you.

6. Whether SBC needs to be collected and paid separately from service tax or subsumed in existing service tax rate?
SBC would be levied, charged, collected and paid to government independent of service tax. This needs to be charged separately on the invoice, needs to be accounted separately in the books of account and needs to be paid separately under separate accounting code which should be notified separately.

7. Services presently provided by me are covered by mega exemption notification i.e. 25/2012-ST. Do I need to charge SBC on services provided by me?
No, it has been specifically provided in the NotificationNo. 22/2015 that SBC would not be applicable on services exempted from levy of service tax. Hence, you need not to charge SBC on the services covered by mega exemption notification. Similar would be treatment of negative list services.

8. If services have been provided prior to 15th November but invoiced on or after 15th November, whether SBC would be applicable? (no advance received)
There is anomaly between section 67A of the Finance Act, 1994 and Rule 4 of Point of Taxation Rules, 2011. As per section 67A, the rate of tax would be applicable as on the date on which service is provided. On the other hand, Rule 4 of Point of Taxation Rules provides that rate of tax would be applicable based on 2 out of 3 events.
If one follows section 67A, SBC would not be applicable in the given example. On the other hand, if one follows Point of Taxation Rules, 2011SBC would be applicable as two (raising of invoice and receipt of consideration) out of three events are occurring post 15.11.2015.

9. What would be rate of tax where services are provided before and after imposition of SBC?
The impact of introduction of SBC on different situations is summarized below. (assuming that applicable rate is determined as per Rule 4 of Point of Taxation Rules, 2011)

10. How would liability be determined in case of reverse charge services where services have been received prior to 15.11.2015 but consideration paid post 15.11.2015?
In case of reverse charge services, point of taxation as per Rule 7 of Point of Taxation Rules, would be the date on which consideration is paid to service provider. Hence, SBC would also be required to be paid in such cases.

11. Whether SBC paid on input service would be eligible as credit?
There is no amendment in the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 regarding availment and utilisation of SBC. In the absence of the same, credit would not be admissible. (Are we really moving toward GST regime where it is claimed that there would be no cascading effect of taxes and full credit would be allowed) One can expect suitable amendment is brought in Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004 to provide for availment and utilisation of SBC. If not brought, this would be very trade regressive measure.

12. What would be impact of imposition of SBC on cost of goods and services?
In the absence of any notification providing for availment of credit of SBC, it would directly add to the cost of product and services. If you are manufacturing excisable goods, you will have to factor in additional cost of 0.5% on all services received by you in the course of manufacturing. Similarly, if you are providing taxable service, SBC paid on all your input service become cost. If you are exporter of goods or service, you will not be entitled for refund of SBC.
13. I am providing both exempted and taxable service and reversing credit @ 7% of value of exempted service under Rule 6 of Cenvat Credit Rules? Do I need to reverse the SBC also?
SBC would be levied and collected as service tax. Reversal under Rule 6 is not payment of “service tax” but it is payment of “amount”. Hence, reversal of SBC is not required under Rule 6 of Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004.
14. I am manufacturing excisable goods. Do I also need to charge SBC in addition to excise duty?
No, SBC is levied under chapter VI of the Finance Act, 1994 and is applicable only on provision of service. There is no imposition of SBC on the goods manufactured hence, you are not liable to pay SBC on manufacturing of excisable goods.

Though the objective of the collection of specific cess for a Swachh Bharat Mission is appreciable, the psychological impact on common man would be high with increased burden of taxes. This is especially with the fact that there is no provision for credit (unless it is provided for) and also additional burden on the business man to keep track of the one more tax, as to invoicing, record keeping, payment and returns filing more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
Why does govt. not give weightage to number of dependent while computing Tax as done in many countries. An Indian male is always stressed as he has to take care of dependent parents, sisters, brothers beside his wife and children. When govt. adopt tax practices of west, govt. intentially ignores this aspect of giving weightage to number of dependants. more  
The introduction of this cess is regrettable. The sources of income for common middle class people has literally come down to zero. In the middle of the last century the earning of a man would support a whole family including elders and servants. Then it got reduced to a nucleus family of father, mother and children and then further reduced so that husband and wife had to be earning members. Now it may become that any living creature has to make an earning on its own in order to live and pay taxes. Any tax is finally passed on to these category of people. The affluent and very low income group are fully supported by Govt and politicians, by means of various tax exemptions. The Govt should try to genearte money through other sources or reduce the expenses instead of adding more taxes that would eventually raise the living cost. more  
Mr.Grover has missed to suggest levy of hair tax or head tax. Y.Prabhakara Rao > On Nov 15, 2015, at 8:12 AM, Y R Grover wrote: > > > Find this email inappropriate - Unsubscribe > LocalCircles is now available on iOS and Android. > > Y R Grover > Y R Grover commented on the Post > Y R wrote: "Please Add Income Tax, Road Tax, Toll Tax, Electricity Tax, Fire Tax, Entertainment Tax, VAT, Service Tax, Surcharge........SBC To The List And Virtually We Are Left With Zero Balance For Survival On Day Next !" > View/Comment Reply to this email to post a comment. > This email was sent to yprao03@yahoo.co.in. If you don't want to receive emails from LocalCircles in future, please Unsubscribe. > LocalCircles, Inc., 1556 Halford Ave., Suite 290, Santa Clara, CA USA 95051. > 107 Urbtech Matrix Tower, Plot No. B-4, Sector - 132, Noida, India, 201304.Privacy Policy. more  
Please Add Income Tax, Road Tax, Toll Tax, Electricity Tax, Fire Tax, Entertainment Tax, VAT, Service Tax, Surcharge........SBC To The List And Virtually We Are Left With Zero Balance For Survival On Day Next ! more  
There are direct and indirect taxes in different names. The new avatar cess - education cess, SB cess any more suggestions/left overs. Why don,t the govt, keep the public been informed regularly of these cess cause the public(tax payers) memory is poor. more  
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