Q.1 What is Export of Services? Whether export of services is exempted from Service Tax?
Ans: What constitute export of service is defined in the Export of Service Rules, 2005. The export of taxable services is exempted from Service Tax.
Q. 2 What constitutes export of services?
Ans: The Export of Services, Rules, 2005 specifies 3 categories of cross border transaction of services and conditions that will be construed as export of services in cases of:
i. Specified services which are provided in relation to immovable properties situated outside India – [See list of services in Appendix-4] (Refer Rule 3(1)(i) of Export of Service Rules,2005).
ii. Specified services which are partly performed outside India – [See list of services in Appendix – 4] (Ref. Rule 3(1 )(ii) of Export of Service Rules,2005).
iii. the remaining taxable services, barring a few exceptions, when provided in relation to business or commerce, to a recipient located outside India, and when such services are provided not in relation to business or commerce, it should be provided to a recipient located outside India at the time of provision of such service.
However, where such recipient has commercial establishment or any office relating thereto, in India, such taxable services provided shall be treated as export of service only when order for provision of such service is made from any of his commercial establishment or office located outside India. (Ref. Rule 3(I)(iii) of Export of Service Rules,2005).
Further condition to be met for treating the provision of any taxable service as export of service –
payment for such service is received by the service provider in convertible foreign exchange.
[Ref. Rule 3(2) of the Export of Service Rules, 2005].
Thus, each transaction has to be seen individually to ascertain if it constitutes export of services, fulfilling the requisite parameters.
Q. 3 If export proceeds are received in Indian currency, will it be denied export benefit?
Ans: If export proceeds are received in Indian currency, no export benefits shall be available. [Ref. Rule 3(2)(b) of Export of Service Rules, 2005].
Q. 4 If a foreign national pays in convertible foreign currency for service received by him in India, and he returns to foreign country, will it be treated as export?
Ans: If services are rendered in India, it shall not be treated as export, even if it is rendered to any foreign national and he pays in convertible foreign currency.
[Ref. Rule 3(2)(a) of Export of Service Rules, 2005].
Q. 5 What are the incentives for export of services?
Ans: 5.1 Taxable service may be exported without payment of service tax, provided the conditions specified in Export of Service Rules, 2005 are fulfilled.
5.2 Where service tax has already been paid on export of services to countries (other than Nepal and Bhutan), rebate/refund of such service tax, can be availed under notification no 11/2005-ST dated 19.4.2005;
5.3 Where excise duty / service tax has already been paid on the inputs and input services used in export of services to countries (other than Nepal and Bhutan), rebate/refund of such excise duty on inputs and service tax paid on input services can be availed under notification no. 12/2005- ST dated 19.4.2005;
5.4 Where taxable services are exported without payment of tax, but CENVAT Credit was availed, the refund of accumulated CENVAT Credit (if cannot be fully used for payment of service tax), may be claimed as refund under rule 5 of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 read with notification no. 11/2002-CE (N.T.) dated the 1st March, 2002, as amended.
Q. 6 Whether service tax paid on taxable services used in relation to export of goods, Refundable?
(a) input or input service used in the manufacture of final product which is cleared for export under bond or letter of undertaking;
(b) input or input service used in providing output service which has been exported without payment of service tax, subject to safeguards, conditions and limitations, as set out in the said notifications.
Q. 7. Where can one file the rebate claims or refund of unutilized CENVAT Credit?
Ans: The rebate claims or refund of utilized CENVAT Credit application has to be filed in the Central Excise or Service Tax Division/Group where the assessee is registered.
Q. 8. Where can one file claims for refund of service tax paid on taxable services used by the exporter of goods, allowed under Notification No 17/2009 ST dated 7.7.2009?
Ans: The manufacturer-exporter / exporter has to file the claim for refund to the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be, having jurisdiction over the factory of manufacture / the registered office or the head office, as the case may be, of such exporter.
Under Notification No.18/2009-ST dated 07.07.2009, the following two services have been exempted, if they are used for export of goods and where the liability to pay the tax on such services is on the exporter himself, on reverse charge basis,-
(i) Transport of goods by road, from the place of removal to any ICD, CFS, port or airport; or from any CFS or ICD to the port or airport; and
(ii) Services provided by a foreign commission agent for procuring orders.
Subject to fulfillment of conditions as set out in the said notifications.