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Service tax is a tax levied on specified services provided by the service provider (including private businesses). This tax is normally charged by the service provider from the person to whom service is provided and is then deposited in government’s account.
Around 106 services are covered under the service tax net including Information technology/ software related services, telephone services, Advertising, market research, online information & database access services, health clubs, beauty parlours, training & coaching centers, internet cafes, maintenance & repair services, Intellectual property services, travel agents etc.
Hence, if you are engaged in providing a service which fall under the scope of specified taxable services, you are liable for service tax, unless specifically exempted (like aggregate value of services rendered in the entire financial year do not exceed Rs 10 Lakhs).
Registration is necessary to deposit service tax, file returns and to comply with laws relating to service tax. Failure to obtain registration attract penalty under the Finance Act’ 1994 & rules made thereunder.
The Service Tax is being administered by various Central Excise Commissionerates, working under the Central Board of Excise & Customs. Service provider of a taxable service is required to get registered with the concerned central excise office/service tax commissionerate.
Application for registration is made in form ST-1 in duplicate alongwith copy of PAN card & proof of address. Now, only PAN based service tax code/registration number is granted by the department. The application is required to be made within 30 days of commencement of service or the date on which service becomes taxable service.
Service tax registration certificate (in form ST-2) is generally granted within 7 days of receipt of application.
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