The Hon’ble AAR Gujarat in M/s. Shree Arbuda Transport (Advance Ruling No.: GUJ/GAAR/R/82/2020 decided on September 17, 2020) has held that the provisions for seeking advance ruling is limited to the activities conducted by M/s. Shree Arbuda Transport (Applicant) and cannot be sought for the agreement or matters which have not materialized till date. The provisions of the advance ruling in the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017, (CGST Act) cannot be sought for the ‘hypothetical questions’ raised on the agreement which has not been signed yet.
The Applicant is engaged in services like transportation and logistics services, clearing and forwarding services and other allied services for import and export of cargo and for coastal movements. The Applicant has submitted that they are in process of entering into an agreement with a client engaged in the business of export of rice to provide them various services like clearing and forwarding agency charge, providing labour for loading of cargo into containers, allied services for export and import cargo, transportation, customs clearances etc.
The Applicant wants to quote a single consolidated rate towards the above bundle of services provided by them to the client. Hence, seeking clarification on the classification of services, applicable HSN and the rate of GST to be charged.
Whether advance ruling can be sought on the questions based on an agreement that is yet to be signed by the parties.
The Hon’ble AAR, Gujarat in Advance Ruling No.: GUJ/GAAR/R/82/2020 decided on September 17, 2020 held as under:
It is to be noted that as per the definition of advance ruling under Section 95(a) of the CGST Act, advance ruling can be sought in relation to the supply of goods or services or both being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant. Therefore, in our view agreement advance ruling can be given on the agreement that is yet to be signed by the parties.
Section 95(a) of the CGST Act:
“95. In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires,––
(a) “advance ruling” means a decision provided by the Authority or the Appellate Authority or the National Appellate Authority to an applicant on matters or on questions specified in sub-section (2) of section 97 or sub-section (1) of section 100 or of section 101C, in relation to the supply of goods or services or both being undertaken or proposed to be undertaken by the applicant;”
Section 97 of the CGST Act:
“(1) An applicant desirous of obtaining an advance ruling under this Chapter may make an application in such form and manner and accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed, stating the question on which the advance ruling is sought.
(2) The question on which the advance ruling is sought under this Act, shall be in respect of,––
(a) classification of any goods or services or both;
(b) applicability of a notification issued under the provisions of this Act;
(c) determination of time and value of supply of goods or services or both;
(d) admissibility of input tax credit of tax paid or deemed to have been paid;
(e) determination of the liability to pay tax on any goods or services or both;
(f) whether applicant is required to be registered;
(g) whether any particular thing done by the applicant with respect to any goods or services or both amounts to or results in a supply of goods or services or both, within the meaning of that term.”
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