The Delhi bench of the Customs, Excise, Service Tax Appellate Tribunal ( CESTAT ) has recently confirmed the service tax demand against the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd ( BSNL ).
The appellant-Company was aggrieved with the order of the lower authorities confirming the demand of Rs.4,88,898/- on the value received by them on account of “sale of postpaid SIM”, “registration of post-paid SIM”, “access registration of pre-paid SIM” and sale of “Anant plan (Lifetime prepaid SIM)”, which has been held as includable in the taxable value for the purpose of imposing Service Tax.
Before the Tribunal, the appellants contended that they have paid sales tax on these items. It was further contended that the amount paid by the customers towards the above-mentioned services is either refunded if SIM is not issued or adjusted by them when the SIM is activated towards Service Tax plus service charges.
Rejecting the contentions, the Tribunal noted that as per the chart annexed with the Show Cause Notice, the difference between the Service Tax actually paid and payable still remains equal to the service tax demanded and confirmed.
“Therefore, we feel that the appellant has not been able to substantiate his claim and therefore, we do not find any lacuna in the Order-in-Appeal regarding confirmation of service tax against the appellant,” the Tribunal said.
The Tribunal further observed that the appellant has not put forward any evidence to show that the fact of “sale of SIM card” etc. and its value not being included in the taxable value, was in the knowledge of the department.
“Since the appellant have been working under self-assessment mechanism and if they are having any doubt in their mind, they should have sought clarification from the department regarding the includability of the sale value of SIM and other plans in the taxable value for levy of Service Tax. However, they have failed to do that and therefore the plea that the demand is hit by the period of limitation is not acceptable and we do not find any short-coming in the order-in-appeal, so far as the confirmation of Service Tax demand for the extended period is concerned,” the Tribunal said.To Read the full text of the Order CLICK HERE