CA Shivani Agarwal

The Person who is liable to pay Service Tax has to submit half yearly return i.e. 1st April to 30th September and 1st October to 31st March of Financial Year in Form-ST-3 within 25 days of the end of the Half Year.

Note: Input Service Distributor is also required to file half yearly returns, even if he is not liable to pay service tax.

Assessee providing more than one services

If assessee is providing more than one taxable service, he should file only one return. However, details of each taxable shall be shown separately.

Nil return essential even if no turnover

Even if there was no business during the period, assessee will have to file ‘Nil’ return as long as registration certificate is valid.

Last date for filing return is a Bank Holiday

If last date of payment and filing return is a public holiday, tax can be paid and return can be submitted on next working day.

Revised Return

Rule 7B allows an assessee to rectify mistakes and file revised return within 90 days from the date of filing of the original return.

No requirement of filing return for period prior to registration

Assessees applying late for registration are liable to pay service tax for the period prior to registration with interest. He should then inform the department giving details of such payment as per provisions of Section 73(3) of Finance Act, 1994.

It is neither necessary not possible to file return for the period prior to registration. Intimation is sufficient.

Mandatory Electronic Filing of Service Tax Return

E- Filing of return has been made mandatory w.e.f. 1-10-2011 vide Notification No.43/2011-ST dated 25th August 2011 for all assessees whereas e-payment of taxes has been made mandatory w.e.f. 1-10-2014 for all assessees.

Late Fee and Penalty for filing Late Return

Section 70(1) of Finance Act, 1994 provides that in case where returns are filed after due date, late fee not exceeding Rs.20000.00 is payable for delayed filing of return , as may be prescribed.

The late fee payable is as follows:-

a) Delay up to 15 days: Rs.500.00

b) Beyond 15 days but up to 30 days: Rs.1000.00

c) Delay beyond 30 days: Rs.1000.00 plus Rs.100 per day of delay beyond 30 days, from 31st day onwards. This Rs.100.00 per day continues till limit of Rs.20000.00 is reached.

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  1. Raveesh says:

    I have done the LATE return of serivice tax for Oct-Mar 2017,
    Can i do the revised return for the same ? (since i have found some mistakes).

  2. sourabh says:

    i am registered in service it compulsary for me to fill itr before 31st march .
    is it compulsary to also fill service tax return.?
    Sir my total income in less than 2.5 lac..please guide me.

  3. Rajiv sinha says:


    I have filed a ST-3 for the period from Oct-15 to Mar-16 as a service receiver under Section 68(2) for five services. By mistake we could not incorporate another one service in the same return but there is no transaction against the particular service during the period. Is it require to file a revise return showing ‘NIL’ transaction against the particular service or not necessary in this situation?

  4. Rajashri says:


    I am providing online consultancy services to organizations outside India.
    It is kind of export. My consultancy income is above 10 lakhs.

    COuld you please help me to understand if service tax is applicable?
    If yes, how to file and how much need to pay? Also Mar-2015 half return has not been filed.

  5. Anshul says:

    Further, the period of your SCN is 2013-14 during which mandatory E payment was for taxes above Rs 10 lakh (including CENVAT).

    So if your total tax exposure for 2013-14 was above 10 lakhs then it has to be paid electronically. So if there is a default 77(d) can be invoked.

  6. Anshul says:

    Dear Mr Pathak,

    service tax has to be paid electronically w.e.f. 01.01.2014 (payments above 1 lakh) and without any limit from 01.10.2014. (this provision is contained in budget 2014 amendments)

    Please check the period of your SCN and relevant dates of limits of payments for E payments.In case there is a default, then ofcourse penalty of Rs 10,000/- can be imposed under section 77(d).

  7. P.K.Pathak says:

    Dear Sir,
    You mentioned in the above article that E-payment is mandatory w.e.f. 1.10.2014, but notification no. has not been mentioned. Kindly provide notification no. A show cauuse notice from S.Tax deptt. has been received for not making E-payment during 2013-14, and penalty has been proposed in the SCN. Whether the deptt. can impose penalty in case the assessee has not made payment of S.Tax through E-Banking and made payment through GAR-7

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January 2021