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Property rented to industrial units outside SEZ not exempt from service tax
August, 21st 2012

We have let out one of our industrial properties on rent to a unit registered under the Software Technology Park (STP) scheme. The tenant claims that they are exempt from paying service tax, as they are working in a customs bonded premises. Is it so? If yes, what documents should we obtain from them in order to satisfy our tax authorities?
There is no exemption from service tax on renting of immovable property to any industrial unit located outside Special Economic Zone (SEZ), whether the unit is under STP or otherwise and whether in a customs bonded premises or otherwise. However, exemption on property tax component can be claimed as per notification no. 29/2012-ST dated June 20, 2012. For units located in a SEZ, the exemption is available under notification no. 40/2012-ST dated June 20, 2012.

On food catering services, what is the service tax and VAT to be paid?
The service tax rate is 12 per cent. You also have to pay 0.36 per cent towards cesses. As per Rule 2C of the Service Tax (Determination of Value) Rules, 2006, the value of service portion in an activity wherein goods, being food or any other article of human consumption, or any drink (whether or not intoxicating), is supplied in any manner as a part of the activity, at a restaurant is 40 per cent of the total amount charged and as a part of such outdoor catering is 60 per cent of the total amount charged. Please do refer to that Rule for explanation of total amount. The VAT rate defers from state to state. In most states, there is no abatement.

My son wants send a gift to me from abroad. Will I have to pay customs duty on it?
As per notification no. 171/93-Cus dated 16.9.1993, you need not pay any duty on bona fide gifts that are not prohibited for import if you import by post, courier or air for personal use and the value does not exceed Rs 10,000. For determining the value limit, the postal charges or air-freight need not be taken into account.

Has the CBEC issued any instructions for certification of invoices for goods supplied to EOU on duty payment? We want to claim deemed export benefits.
You may refer to CBEC Circular no. 10/2009-Cus dated 25.02.2009.

Can we send export documents directly to our customer instead of routing them through a bank?
If you are a status holder (e.g., export house), you can send but you must submit the GR/SDF form to the bank. If you are not a status holder, your bank can regularise the cases where you send the documents up to a value of $1 million to the consignee or his agent in the country of final destination of goods provided you realise full export proceeds and the bank is satisfied that the transaction is genuine. For this facility, you must be a customer of the bank for at least six months and your account must be fully compliant with RBI guidelines.

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