CBEC has issued a Notification No. 12/2013-ST dated 01.07.2013 with a view to simplify the procedure of exemption of  service tax, by way of refund, paid on the specified services received by the SEZ unit or the Developer, used for the  authorised operation.
In case the specified services received by the SEZ Unit or the Developer are used exclusively for the authorised operations, the person liable to pay service tax has the option not to pay the service tax ab initio, subject to the conditions and procedure mentioned in the notification.

In the previous Notification No.40/2012 ST dated 20.06.2012, the ab-initio exemption was admissible only to the specified services which were “wholly consumed” within the SEZ. However, the exemption would be allowed if the specified services are ‘used exclusively’ for the authorised operations, whether or not they are wholly consumed within the SEZ.
The notification also provides a refund mechanism in cases where specified services are used for authorised operations as well as for other operations. It also mentions that in case the specified services are common to the authorised operations in an SEZ and domestic tariff area [DTA], then service tax paid shall be distributed amongst the SEZ Unit and the DTA Unit in the manner prescribed in Rule 7 of CCR, 2004 i.e, on pro rata basis.
It further mentions that in case SEZ unit / developer is not a registered assessee under Central Excise / Service Tax, then unit should get itself registered, before filing of refund claim. The claim for refund is to be filed within one year from the end of month in which actual service tax payment is made by SEZ Unit / Developer. Only one refund claim can be filed in each quarter.
Forms A-1 to A-4 have been prescribed to claim the exemption benefit under this Notification. The detailed procedures and conditions have been mentioned in the Notification.

Notification No. 12/2013-Service Tax

New Delhi, the 1st July, 2013

G.S.R 448(E).–In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act) read with sub-section 3 of section 95 of Finance (No.2), Act, 2004 (23 of 2004) and sub-section 3 of section 140 of the Finance Act, 2007 (22 of 2007) and in supersession of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue), No. 40/2012-Service Tax, dated the 20th June, 2012, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide number G.S.R. 482 (E), dated the 20th June, 2012, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts the services on which service tax is leviable under section 66B of the said Act, received by a unit located in a Special Economic Zone (hereinafter referred to as SEZ Unit) or  Developer of SEZ ( hereinafter referred to as the Developer) and used for the authorised operation from the whole of the service tax, education cess, and secondary and higher education cess leviable thereon.

2.   The exemption shall be provided by way of refund of service tax paid on the specified services received by the SEZ Unit or the Developer and used for the authorised operations:

Provided that where the specified services received by the SEZ Unit or the Developer are used exclusively for the authorised operations, the person liable to pay service tax has the option not to pay the service tax ab initio, subject to the conditions and procedure as stated below.

3.  This exemption shall be given effect to in the following manner:

(I)  The SEZ Unit or the Developer shall get an approval by the Approval Committee of the list of the services as are required for the authorised operations (referred to as the ‘specified services’ elsewhere in the notification) on which the SEZ Unit or Developer wish to claim exemption from service tax.

(II)  The ab-initio exemption on the specified services received by the SEZ Unit or the Developer and used exclusively for the authorised operation shall be allowed subject to the following procedure and conditions, namely:-

(a)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall furnish a declaration in Form A-1, verified by the Specified Officer of the SEZ, along with the list of specified services in terms of condition (I);

(b)  on the basis of declaration made in Form A-1, an authorisation shall be issued by the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise or Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be to the SEZ Unit or the Developer, in Form A-2;

(c)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall provide a copy of said authorisation to the provider of specified services. On the basis of the said authorisation, the service provider shall provide the specified services to the SEZ Unit or the Developer without payment of service tax;

(d)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall furnish to the jurisdictional Superintendent of Central Excise a quarterly statement, in Form A-3, furnishing the details of specified services received by it without payment of service tax;

Online GST Certification Course by TaxGuru & MSME- Click here to Join

(e)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall furnish an undertaking, in Form A-1, that in case the specified services on which exemption has been claimed are not exclusively used for authorised operation or were found not to have been used exclusively for authorised operation, it shall pay to the government an amount that is claimed by way of exemption from service tax and cesses along with interest as applicable on delayed payment of service tax under the provisions of the said Act read with the rules made  thereunder.

(III)  The refund of service tax on (i) the specified services that are not exclusively used for authorised operation, or (ii) the specified services on which ab-initio exemption is admissible but  not claimed, shall be allowed subject to the following procedure and conditions, namely:-

(a) the service tax paid on the specified services that are common to the authorised operation in an SEZ and the operation in domestic tariff area [DTA unit(s)] shall be distributed amongst the SEZ Unit or the Developer and the DTA unit (s) in the manner as prescribed in rule 7 of the Cenvat Credit Rules. For the purpose of distribution, the turnover of the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall be taken as the turnover of authorised operation during the relevant period.

(b) the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall be entitled to refund of the service tax paid on (i) the specified services on which ab-initio exemption is admissible but  not claimed, and (ii) the amount distributed to it in terms of clause (a).

(c)  the SEZ Unit or Developer who is registered as an assessee under the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) or the rules made thereunder, or the said Act or the rules made thereunder, shall file the claim for refund to the jurisdictional Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise or Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise, the as the case may be, in Form A-4;

(d) the amount indicated in the invoice, bill or, as the case may be, challan, on the basis of which this refund is being claimed, including the service tax payable thereon shall have been paid to the person liable to pay the service tax thereon, or as the case may be, the amount of service tax payable under reverse charge shall have been paid under the provisions of the said Act;

(e)  the claim for refund shall be filed within one year from the end of the month in which actual payment of service tax was made by such Developer or SEZ Unit  to the registered service provider or such extended period as the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be, shall permit;

(f)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer shall submit only one claim of refund under this notification for every quarter:

       Explanation.- For the purposes of this notification “quarter” means a period of three consecutive months with the first quarter beginning from 1st April of every year, second quarter from 1st July, third quarter from 1st October and fourth quarter from 1st January of every year.

(g)  the SEZ Unit or the Developer who is not so registered under the provisions referred to in clause (c), shall, before filing a claim for refund under this notification, make an application for registration under rule 4 of the Service Tax Rules, 1994.

(h)  if there are more than one SEZ Unit registered under a common service tax registration, a common refund may be filed at the option of the assessee.

 (IV)  The SEZ Unit or Developer, who intends to avail exemption or refund under this notification, shall maintain proper account of receipt and use of the specified services, on which exemption or refund is claimed, for authorised operations in the SEZ.

4.         Where any sum  of service tax paid on specified services is erroneously refunded for any reason whatsoever, such service tax refunded shall be recoverable under the provisions of the said Act and the rules made there under, as if it is recovery of service tax erroneously refunded;

5.         Notwithstanding anything contained in this notification, SEZ Unit or the Developer shall have the option not to avail of this exemption and instead take CENVAT credit on the specified services in accordance with the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004.

6.         Words and expressions used in this notification and defined in the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 (28 of 2005) or the rules made thereunder, or the said Act, or the rules made there under shall apply, so far as may be, in relation to refund of service tax under this notification as they apply in relation to a SEZ.

7.         This notification shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Gazette of India

Click here for >> Form – A1   |   Form – A2   |   Form – A3   |   Form – A4

[F.No. B1/6/ 2013-TRU]

(Akshay Joshi)

Under Secretary to the Government of India

More Under Service Tax

Posted Under

Category : Service Tax (3286)
Type : Notifications (15282) Notifications/Circulars (30310)

4 responses to “Service Tax Exemption to SEZ Unit & Developer for authorised operations”

  1. UMA says:

    we aLREADY RAISED THE BILL OF SERVICE CHARGES AND WITH SERVICE TAX, WE PAID THE TAX AMOUnT TO DEPARTMENT, AFTER SUBMITTING OUR PAYMENT TO DEPARTMENT , PARTY REFUSED TO GIVE TAX AMOUNT AND HE SENT FORM A-1 FORM A 2 and telling he had taken tax exemption.
    PLEASE GUDE ME TO WHERE WE HAVE TO DEDUCTED THE AMOUNT OR ADJUST THE PAID AMOUNT IN RETURNS

  2. Anirudh Mansabdar says:

    We are contractors working for SEZ project. As contractors we are exempted from paying service tax for works related to this project. However there is no clarity with regard to service tax applicability for works sub contracted by us. Request you to clarify whether we need to collect service tax for sub contract works or even these jobs are exempted from Service tax ambit.

  3. DNV Satish says:

    There is a huge difference – The previous notification 40/2012 says about only about authorized transactions done within SEZ. I the organization had a DTA. They cant claim exemption abinitio the company has to go through refund basis only.

  4. jay says:

    the exemption already exists, what is the difference in this new notofication as against the existing exemption

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *