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More services to attract 10 per cent tax
July, 02nd 2010

Services such as promotion of brands, marketing of lottery tickets and certain health services will henceforth attract 10 per cent service tax.

Domestic and international airfares, sponsorship of sports, construction of residential properties, among other services, will also attract the levy. This is part of the government's initiative to expand the existing items under service tax.

Issuing a clarification, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday that when a payment is made in advance for air service or house construction which is to start after July 1, they will be exempted from the tax.

While legally, tax is payable on such amounts received, it has been decided to specifically exempt service tax on that partial or full amount which is received by service providers/persons liable to pay the tax before July 1, 2010, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

A service tax has also been exempted on air travel to and from north-eastern States. Air travel to and from Bagdogra airport will be exempted from service tax, though it is located in West Bengal, as it is a gateway airport to Sikkim.

The government has imposed service tax on domestic air fares up to a maximum of Rs 100 and on international air fares with a cap of Rs 500.

The Ministry clarified that if a ticket covers more than one domestic journey, tax will have to be paid separately for each journey.

In the 2010-11 Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee brought development of real estate complexes under the ambit of service tax, unless the entire consideration for the property was paid after completion of construction.

Finance Ministry officials later clarified that service tax would be imposed on 33 per cent of the total selling price, as there is an abatement of 67 per cent for input costs.

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