The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) has held that the cenvat credit cannot be denied to the assessee merely because the Service Tax registration number was not mentioned in the invoice. The Tribunal clarified that such omissions would only amount to procedural lapses for which the benefit cannot be denied to the assessee.
In the instant case, the department denied the claim for cenvat credit to the assessee by finding that the same would amount to contravention of the provisions of Rule 11(2) of Central Excise Rules, 2002 and Rules 9(2) of CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 by availing CENVAT credit on the input invoices which did not bear service tax registration of the vendor.
The Tribunal noted that the vendor applied for service tax registration number on 17.10.2001 and the same was allowed to the vendor on 29.04.2005 i.e. much before the vendor issued invoices to the Appellant for the period in question. It is not the case of Revenue that the vendor has not paid the Service Tax which was collected by him from the Appellant, who have utilised their services.
“CENVAT credit is being denied to the Appellant only on the ground that the invoices were not having the registration number of the service provider. There is no allegation or finding to the effect that the input services were not received by the Appellant or that the said services were not covered under the scope of eligible input services in terms of CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004. It is not disputed that after pointing out by the Audit about non-mentioning of service tax registration number, the Appellant immediately provided the same to them. There is no dispute that the Appellant had made substantial compliance for availing the CENVAT credit, whatever error or discrepancy has occurred that too was rectified by the Appellant without any delay. Non-mentioning of registration number is merely a procedural lapse. It is settled legal position that CENVAT credit should not be denied on mere technicalities or procedural lapses,” the Tribunal said.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE