CESTAT, MUMBAI BENCH
Sure Prep (I)(P.) Ltd.
Commissioner of Service Tax, Mumbai
APPEAL NO. ST/284 of 2012
OCTOBER 19, 2012
1. The appeal is directed against order-in-appeal No.YDB/06/2012 dated 30/01/2012 passed by the Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals), Mumbai Zone-I.
2. The appellant, M/s. Sure Prep (India) Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, is a BPO organization registered with the department under “Business Auxiliary Service”. They filed a refund claim for an amount of Rs. 4,24,726/- being the service tax paid on various input services during the period from July to September, 2008. The lower appellate authority sanctioned the refund of Rs. 3,67,630/-. However, he rejected the refund claim amounting to Rs. 57,113/-being the service tax paid on Chartered Accountant’s service, business support services and air travel services on the ground that there is no nexus between the input services and the output service rendered by the appellant. The appellant preferred an appeal before the lower appellate authority, who vide the impugned order rejected their appeal and hence the appellant is before me.
3. The ld. Counsel for the appellant submits that the Chartered Accountant’s service has been used for auditing of accounts of the assessee and is integrally connected with the output service of Business Auxiliary service rendered by them. Similarly, the service tax paid on catering service, that is , food coupons is an eligible input service as it is an employee welfare measure which is also integrally connected with their activities. So is the case with air travel agent’s services which have been used for the air travel of the employees for official purposes. Thus all the services have an integral nexus with the out put services rendered and hence they are rightly entitled to take cenvat credit of the service tax paid on these services. He further submits that for the subsequent period, the department has allowed the cenvat credit in respect of the very same services. He also relies on the decision of this Tribunal in the case of Semco Electric (P.) Ltd., v. CCE [Order Nos. A/196-197/2011, dated 1-6-2011] wherein the definition of inputs service was considered by this Tribunal and it was held the definition of the input service is quite wide and any service which has a nexus with the business of rendering output service will be eligible for duty credit.
3.1 The ld. Counsel also pleads that while filing the refund claim, they had made an error. As against the correct claim of Rs. 4,58,674/-, they made the claim for only Rs.4,24,726/-. During the adjudication proceedings, they had sought to rectify this error; however, the same was rejected on the ground that the assessee’s request cannot be accepted as the same has been made beyond the period of one year. She further mentions that in the appellate authority’s order there is no finding with respect to this part of the claim of the appellant.
4. The ld. Dy. Commissioner (AR) appearing for the revenue reiterates the findings of the lower authorities.
5. I have carefully considered the rival submissions.
5.1 As per the definition of input service under rule 2 (1) of the Cenvat Credit Rules, 2004, it includes services used in relation to modernization, renovation or repairs of a factory, premises of provider of output service or an office relating to such factory or premises, advertisement or sales promotion, market research, storage up to the place of removal, procurement of inputs, accounting, auditing, financing, recruitment and quality control, coaching and training, computer networking, credit rating, share registry, security, business exhibition, legal services, inward transportation of inputs or capital goods and outward transportation up to the place of removal, but excludes services specified in (A) (B) (BA) & C of the said definition. In the instant case, it is not the case of the department that the input services which have been received falls under any of the exclusion clause specified under Rule 2 (I). Therefore, so long as there is an integral connection between the input service availed and the output service provided, Cenvat credit is available. The decision of this Tribunal in the case of Semco Electric (P.) Ltd. (supra) also supports this view. Thus I hold that the appellant is rightly entitled for the refund of the service tax paid on input services which have been used in the rendering of output service exported.
5.2 As regards the claim of the appellant regarding rectification of the error in the refund claim, the appellant can file a supplementary refund claim for the differential amount which was not included in the original claim. If such a claim is filed by the appellant, the jurisdictional Asst./Dy. Commissioner of Central Excise is directed to consider the claim in accordance with law taking into consideration the clarification given in para 3.3 pertaining to Quarterly refund claims of the CBE&C Circular No. l20/01/2010-ST dated l9-l-2010 wherein the board has clarified that in the case of an assessee, who continuously exports the services, cenvat credit can be availed at any point of time and also claim refund of the same.
6. In view of the foregoing, I allow the appeal on the above terms.