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If Indian firm reimburses parent entity abroad, no service tax due'
May, 31st 2016

We have availed the services of a real estate agent in connection with an immovable property located in India. What is the service tax implication, if the agent raises an invoice on our parent company abroad and our parent company debits the same amount to us? Will we be required to pay any service tax for services received from our parent company?

As per Rule 5 of the Place of Provision of Services Rules, 2012, 'the place of provision of services provided directly in relation to an immovable property, including services provided in this regard by experts and estate agents,…shall be the place where the immovable property is located...' Since the service is in relation to the immovable property located in the taxable territory, service tax is payable by the service provider. Since you reimburse the parent company for the same amount billed by the real estate agent, there is no consideration for that part of the transaction and hence, no tax.

On our exports to Bangladesh, we have to pay commission to our agent abroad. We have not declared the commission in the shipping bill or EDF form. How to proceed further?

As per Para C.25 of RBI Master Circular on Export of Goods and Services, 'In cases where the commission has not been declared on EDF/SOFTEX form, remittance may be allowed after satisfying the reasons adduced by the exporter for not declaring commission on Export Declaration Form, provided a valid agreement/written understanding between the exporters and/or beneficiary for payment of commission exists.' So, you may give the necessary documents to your bank and ask them to make the remittances.

We refer to your Q&A of May 9, 2016 that in case of website designing service provided to clients abroad no service tax is payable. Is it necessary to receive the amount in foreign currency to be exempt from service tax? Will we be exempted from service tax even we receive rupees by a payment gateway? Will Rule 6A of Service Tax Rules, 1994 come into play?

When the service is not taxable, the question of how you receive payment for that service does not arise. If place of provision of service is outside taxable territory, service tax will not be payable even if payment is not received in foreign exchange, or any other condition of the said Rule 6A is not fulfilled.

The goods we imported on duty payment are defective. The supplier does not want them sent back because of high costs. He is willing to send a replacement, but we have to pay duty on it. Is there any way to get refund of duty paid on the rejected goods?

You can claim refund of the duty paid, if the rejected goods are destroyed or rendered commercially valueless in the presence of the proper officer, or you relinquish your title to the goods and abandon them to customs within the time limit stipulated in Section 26A of the Customs Act, 1962.

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