No Denial of Input Tax Credit for Clerical Errors in Invoices: CESTAT [Read Order]

Voluntary Compliance encouragement Scheme - Clerical Errors in Invoices - Input Tax Credit - GST Invoices - GST - Budget 2020 - Taxscan

The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Mumbai held that Input Tax Credit cannot be denied for clerical errors in invoices.

The appellant who is registered under the Software Technology Park of India Scheme provides services in relation to business processes/ support services to its clients mostly located outside India and only a few i.e. to say only 3% of their clients are located within India.

They filed a refund claim of Rs.11,62,00,568/- for the period April 2016 to June 2016 of Cenvat Credit of Service Tax paid on input services as per Rule 5 ibid read with notification on the ground that the output services provided during the said period have been exported and that they were not in a position to utilize the Cenvat Credit of duty/Service Tax taken on the input services used for providing such services for export.

The Adjudicating Authority vide Order-in-Original dated 21.6.2017 sanctioned the refund claim of Rs 11,39,25,548/- and rejected the amount of Rs18,25,856/- on the ground that some of the services have not been actually gone into consumption for provision of output services and Rs 4,49,164/- on the ground that the documents/invoices submitted did not mention the description properly or no nexus.

Therefore a total of Rs. 22,75,020/- was rejected. On appeal filed by the appellant, the Commissioner (Appeals-II) vide impugned order dated 13.8.2018 partly allowed the appeal filed by the appellant and allowed the refund of the total amount of Rs 18,53,371/- but maintained the rejection of Rs.4,49,164/- on the ground of no nexus or description not mentioned properly on the invoices.

The coram comprising of Judicial Member, Ajay Sharma pronounced the order based on an appeal filed by M/s DBOI Global Services P Ltd.

The Tribunal observed that the Event Management Service which is procured for the purpose of business development meetings and events to plan a strategy for the future development etc. qualifies as input service and therefore eligible for credit.

The Tribunal also observed that the short term accommodation was required by the Appellants for its employees’ official visits to other locations for business operations/ meetings and therefore this service is also eligible for credit.

The coram said that the documents/invoices are concerned it is settled law that any beneficial provision should be interpreted liberally and for a mere procedural lapse, a substantive benefit cannot be denied to the Assessee.

While allowing the appeal Judicial Member further said that the incomplete name or description of services appearing in invoices is a clerical errors and that does not mean that the appellant has not received and used the services and for this reason Cenvat credit/refund cannot be denied.

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