Luxury Tax leviable on Rent charged on Furniture and Utensils in Marriage Hall: Kerala HC [Read Judgment]

Luxury Tax - Kerala High Court - Taxscan

A division bench of the Kerala High Court has held that the rent charged on furniture and utensils in a Marriage Hall is subject to Luxury Tax under the provisions of the Kerala Tax on Luxuries Act, 1976.

The appellant, NSS Karayogam was aggrieved by the order of the Revenue that the assessee is liable to include the rent charged on furniture and utensils in the total turn over for determination of the luxury tax payable under the Kerala Tax on Luxuries Act.

Though the appellant approached the High Court through a writ petition, the Single bench rejected their contention and held that the levy is justified.

Before the High Court, the assessee contended that there can be no inclusion of the rent received for utensils and furniture in the turn over for determination of the amounts on which the tax can be levied. According to them, there are many instances when the person who rents out the hall does not rent out the furniture and utensils and resorts to outside suppliers. Hence, the inclusion can only be of the rent received for the hall, they argued.

Concurring with the observations of the Single Judge, the division bench comprising Justices K Vinod Chandran and Ashok Menon held that as per Section 4(2)(c), the charge is on the “accommodation, amenities and services provided excluding food and beverage”.

“The utensils and furniture supplied by the assessee to the person who takes on rent, for the purpose of accommodation, is an amenity or service which component also has to be included in the total turnover for the purpose of deciding the levy. When, as submitted by the learned counsel, utensils and furniture are supplied by outsiders even on rent, then necessarily, such component cannot be included in the turnover of the assessee. However, the assessee has not been able to show us, even in one instance, when such an amenity or service was provided from outside and included in the turnover. The contention taken is a mere speculation without any backing on facts. We are hence in perfect agreement with the findings of the learned Single Judge and we do not find any reason to interfere with the judgment to that extent.”

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