Dr. Sanjiv Agarwal
(i) Construction services provided to Government etc (Entry No. 12)
Clauses (a), (c) and (f) shall stand omitted
Construction, repair etc of the following services provided to the Government, a local authority, or a governmental authority are now taxable:
Thus, exemption presently available on specified services of construction, repair, maintenance, renovation or alteration service provided to the Government, a local authority, or a governmental authority (vide S. No. 12 of the Notification No. 25/12-ST) shall be limited only to,-
(a) a historical monument, archaeological site or remains of national importance, archeological excavation or antiquity;
(b) canal, dam or other irrigation work; and
(c) pipeline, conduit or plant for (i) water supply (ii) water treatment, or (iii) sewerage treatment or disposal.
(ii) Construction etc of airport or port.
In entry 14(a), the services relating to airport or port will no longer be exempt. Thus original work of construction, erection, commissioning or installation pertaining to an airport or port shall now be taxable. The other exemptions in the entry would continue.
(iii) Distribution / selling services under Entry No. 29
Exemption under clauses (c), (d) and (e) of Entry No. 29 have been omitted. These pertain to –
(a) services provided by a mutual fund agent to a mutual fund or assets management company,
(b) distributor to a mutual fund or AMC,
(c) selling or marketing agent of lottery ticket to a distributor.
In all aforementioned exemptions, Service Tax shall be payable under 100 percent reverse charge basis by the recipient of service.
(iv) Telecommunication services (Entry No. 32)
Exemptions have been withdrawn on the following services –
(a) Departmentally run public telephone;
(b) Guaranteed public telephone operating only local calls;
(c) Service by way of making telephone calls from free telephone at airport and hospital where no bill is issued.
(i) Exemption to artists (Entry No. 16)
Exemption to services provided by a performing artist in folk or classical art form of (i) music, or (ii) dance, or (iii) theater, will be limited only to such cases where amount charged is upto Rs 1,00,000 for a performance.
Only if the amount charged by such artist is more than rupees one lakh, the tax liability would arise. It may be noted that such exemption limit of rupees one lakh is based on per performance. It an artist performs at three places and only at one places he or she charges more than rupees one lakh, only such performance shall be liable to Service Tax. This exemption to artists shall not apply to services provided by artists as a brand ambassador.
(ii) Exemption to transportation of goods (Entry No. 20 and 21)
Exemption to transportation of certain essential goods and commodities by rail, road and vessel are exempt. This exemption shall be restricted only to items-milk, salt and food grains including flours, pulses and rice.
Exemption to transportation of food stuff by rail, or vessels or road is now limited to the transportation of food grains, rice and pulses, flour, milk and salt. Therefore, transportation by rail or vessels or road of items such as tea, coffee, jaggery, sugar, milk products, edible oil will now taxable.
Transportation of agricultural produce is separately exempt and shall continue to be exempt. With this change, exemption in relation to transportation of goods has been curtailed and limited to aforementioned items only.
(iii) Rescission of exemption Notification No. 42/2012-ST dated 29.06.2012
Existing exemption, vide Notification No. 42/2012-ST dated 29.06.2012, to the service provided by a commission agent located outside India to an exporter located in India shall stand rescinded with effect from March 1, 2015. This exemption had become redundant in view of the amendments made in law in the previous budget, in the definition of “intermediary” in the Place of Provision of Services Rules, making the place of provision of a service provided by such agents as outside the taxable territory. (Vide Notification No. 3/2012-ST dated 1.3.2015).