Q.1 The facts are that the dealer is registered under CST Act in Andhra Pradesh as well as in Maharashtra. Order is placed by AP branch on Tamil Nadu dealer for supply of goods against H form. The supplier prepares invoice mentioning Maharashtra address. The goods are delivered by TN party in AP from where dealer exports the goods. The dealer accounts the said invoice of TN party in its books in Maharashtra and shows the same in the Maharashtra Sales Tax returns. The H form issued by Maharashtra authorities is issued to TN party. Whether the above course of action as per law?
The matter is about issue of ‘H’ form to the TN vendor. The goods are ordered from AP. The TN vendor also supplies the goods to AP place. The goods are exported from there. Therefore, the movement of goods for all the purposes is to and from AP. The general scheme of sales tax law is that the State from which physical movement of goods takes place has control over such transaction. This position is also clear from section 4 of the CST Act, 1956. The said section, which determines
situs of sale for sales tax purpose, is reproduced below.
“4. When is a sale or purchase of goods said to take place outside a State
(1) Subject to the provisions contained in section 3, when a sale or purchase of goods is determined in accordance with sub-section (2) to take place inside a State, such sale or purchase shall be deemed to have taken place outside all other States.
(2) A sale or purchase of goods shall be deemed to take place inside a State, if the goods are within the State –
(a) in the case of specific or ascertained goods, at the time of the contract of sale is made; and
(b) in the case of unascertained or future goods, at the time of their appropriation to the contract of sale by the seller or by the buyer, whether assent of the other party is prior or subsequent to such appropriation.
Explanation:– Where there is a single contract of sale or purchase of goods situated at more places than one, the provisions of this sub-section shall apply as if there were separate contracts in respect of the goods at each of such places”
In above case, the goods are received at AP. They are exported from there. Therefore, as per above section 4 of the CST Act, 1956, the situs of such export sale is in AP. Therefore, it is State of AP, which has jurisdiction over such transaction. The form facility is created to have control over the purchasing dealer. When the dealer approaches sales tax department for obtaining the blank forms, the sales tax department is in position to identify such dealer and can exercise its control over the said dealer, like they can watch the disposal of the goods purchased against said form. Therefore, impliedly it means that the purchasing dealer should obtain the forms from the jurisdictional state. In above case, even if, the vendor’s invoice is at Maharashtra office, the transaction for the purpose of sales tax laws is taking place at AP. Therefore, the dealer should use the ‘H’ form of the AP state.
This position can also be seen from another angle. The issuing of ‘H’ form to the vendor is provided in Rule 12(10) of the CST (Registration & Turnover) Rules, 1957. The said Rule is reproduced below for ready reference.
[(10)(a) A dealer may, in support of his claim that he is not liable to pay tax under this Act in respect of any goods on the ground that the sale of such goods is a sale in the course of export of those out of the territory of India within the meaning of sub-section (3) of section 5, furnish to the prescribed authority a certificate in Form “H” duly filled and signed by the exporter along with the evidence of export of such goods. 3[***]
(b) The provisions of the rules framed by the respective State Governments under sub-sections (3), (4) and (5) of section 13 relating to the authority from whom and the conditions subject to which any form of certificate in Form “H” may be obtained, the manner in which such form shall be kept in custody and records relating thereto maintained and the manner in which any such form may be used and any such certificate may be furnished in so far they apply to declaration in Form C prescribed under these rules shall mutatis mutandis apply to certificate in Form H.]
It can be seen that as per Rule 12(10)(b), the provisions made by State Government in respect of issue and receipt of ‘C’ form are applicable to ‘H’ form. In the CST (Bombay) Rules, 1957, Rule 4AA provides for obtaining or giving declarations in Form ‘C’. The said rule is reproduced below for ready reference.
4AA. Declaration forms to be obtained and given from delivery State. —
(1) Where a registered dealer claims to have made a sale in the course of interstate trade or commerce to another registered dealer and under instructions has delivered the goods to the purchasing dealer in another State, the declaration by the purchasing dealer to be produced by the selling dealer before the assessing authority shall be in a form obtained by the purchasing dealer from the authority in that State:
Provided that, if the purchasing dealer is not registered in the State in which the goods have been delivered, then the declaration shall be in a form obtained by him from the authority in that State in which he is registered.
(2) Where any goods are sold by a registered dealer to another registered dealer in the course of inter-State trade or commerce as a result of which the goods are delivered to the purchasing dealer in the State of Maharashtra, the declaration to be given by the purchasing dealer if he is registered in this State, shall be in a form obtained under sub-rule (1) of rule 4.]
As per sub-rule (2) of above rule 4AA, the ‘C’ form of Maharashtra is to be issued, if the goods are delivered in Maharashtra and the purchasing dealer is registered in Maharashtra. Thus, the rule does not contemplate to issue ‘C’ forms from Maharashtra, if the delivery of the said goods is not in Maharashtra. If at all, the dealer is not registered in the actual state of delivery then he can issue ‘C’ form of Maharashtra. The same position will also apply to ‘H’ form.
In above case, the goods are delivered in AP, as well as the dealer is also registered in AP under CST Act, 1956. Looking to the above legal position, the dealer should issue ‘H’ form from AP. The export turnover in relation to above purchases against ‘H’ form should also be shown in AP returns and not in VAT returns of Maharashtra.
Replied By: C. B. Thakar, Advocate