Small service provider exemption under Not. No. 6/2005-ST is a statutory benefit & cannot be disregarded
Commissioner of Service Tax
ORDER NO. A/306/WZB/AHD OF 2012
APPEAL NO. ST/323 OF 2010
MARCH 13, 2012
1. This appeal is directed against the order in appeal No. OIA No. 83/2010(STC)/HKJ/Commr(A)/Ahd dated 17.03.2010.
2. The issue involved in this appeal is regarding service tax liability on the appellant under the category of Travel Agent Services.
3. Learned Chartered Accountant submits that they are not disputing that there services are covered under the category of Travel Agent Services. It is his submission that for the Financial Year April 2004 to March 2005, the gross amount received for the services was less than Rs. Four lakhs and they are eligible for the benefit of Small Scale Service providers, as per the Notification No. 6/2005-ST, for the first four lakhs rupees for the Financial Year April 2005 to March 2006. It is his submission that both the lower authorities should have given them the benefit, albeit he fairly submits that this point was not raised before the lower authorities.
4. Learned SDR submits that appellant has not raised this point before/the lower authorities in order to consider the issue from that perspective.
5. After careful consideration of the submissions made by both sides, I find that there being no dispute to the services rendered by the appellant under the category of Travel Agent Services, the benefit of notification which are there in the statute, should have been automatically be given to the assessee. Even in the absence of any such claim the benefit should have been granted to them. Be that as it may, the specific plea of the assessee that they are eligible for the benefit of Notification No. 6/2005-ST, cannot be disregarded for the services rendered up to the first four lakhs, during the period April 2005 to March 2006, for which the appellant is eligible for the benefit of notification, provided he has not crossed the limit of Rs. Four lakhs during the preceding Financial Year. Since the issue was not taken up by the appellant before the lower authorities, in the interest of justice, this issue needs to be considered by the adjudicating authority in its correct perspective. In view of this, without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, I set-aside the impugned order and remand the matter back to the adjudicating, authority to reconsider the issue afresh after following the principles of natural justice.
6. Appeal is allowed by way of remand.