The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) is planning to go for appeal before the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court struck down the imposition of service tax on commercial property rent. The CBEC claims that the process of letting out a property for commercial purposes counts as a service rendered and there should be a levy of service tax on the rent. We have decided to appeal to the Supreme Court as the department maintains that letting out of property for commercial purposes entails a service, CBEC chairman PC Jha told The Indian Express. Last month, the Delhi High Court had ordered the withdrawal of service tax on commercial property rent with retrospective effect from the day the tax was levied all across the country. The Court had ruled that mere renting of commercial space does not constitute a service.
The levy of Service Tax on rent with respect to an immovable commercial property has correctly been held by the Delhi High Court as unconstitutional. A tax on rent is akin to a tax on property which is impermissible, tax lawyer, Partner ZEUS Law Associates, Vivek Kohli said. Service tax, including Education Cess computed to about 12.35 per cent, was levied on commercial property rentals from June 1, 2007 till February 23, 2009. But the government cut the tax from 12 to 10 per cent in the interim budget.