Service Tax on Legal Services: Orissa High Court quashes Notices issued to Lawyers [Read Order]

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Orissa High Court - levy of Service Tax - Lawyers - lawyer - Taxscan

The Orissa High Court quashed the notices in respect of levy of Service Tax issued to Lawyers.

The Principal Commissioner, GST & Central Excise Commissionerate, Bhubaneswar issued the compliance affidavit enclosing the copies of instructions issued on 9th April, 2021 and 15th April, 2021 reiterating, inter alia, that the services provided by an advocate or a partnership firm of advocates providing legal services to any person other than a business entity and to a business entity with a turnover up to rupees ten lakhs in the preceding financial year are exempted from levy of service tax.

 During the hearing, certain other advocates present in the Court stated that they too have received such notices. It appears that despite knowing fully well that advocates are not –liable to pay service tax or GST, notices continue to be issued to them by the GST Commissionerate.

The division bench headed by the Chief Justice Dr. S. Muralidhar and Justice B.P. Routray while  expressing its concern that practising advocates should not have to face harassment on account of the Department issuing notices calling upon them to pay service tax/GST when they are exempted from doing so, and in the process also having to prove they are practising advocates, quashed the notices.

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