Companies supplying transport to local authorities have to prove that the activities for which the vehicles are used are exempt services such as public health, if they want to avoid paying goods and services tax (GST), ruled the Gujarat-based authority for advance ruling (AAR).
Otherwise, GST of 5, 12 and 18 per cent will be imposed depending on usage, say experts on the basis of the ruling.
Providing details of the case, Harpreet Singh, Indirect Tax Partner at KPMG in India, said Ahmedabad-based Varun Travel wanted to know from AAR if GST would be imposed on the transporting health department team of the city municipal corporation during the probable third wave of Covid-19.
The company also wanted to know if input tax credit could be availed and the documentary proof it must present to prove that transport would be used for health services. It produced a work order from the municipal corporation to this effect.
The work order submitted by the company said the services will be used for transporting the municipality’s health department team during the probable third wave of Covid-l9 or for “other emergency and important matter related services”.
The authority wanted to know from the municipality the nature of works covered under “other emergency and important matter related services”.
However, the municipal corporation did not submit any clarification on the issue. The civic body also deducted GST at source on the company’s transport services. AAR therefore ruled that the services are not exempt from GST, but allowed the company to claim input tax credit.
The authority also held that it is not their remit to say what documents are to be provided by the company to prove its claims.
Singh said, “It is becoming a norm where exemptions are allowed by adjudicating authorities only after fulfilment of all conditions in letter and in spirit.”