Valuation of taxable service as per valuation rules of service tax law
Expenditure or cost that are to be included in the value of taxable services as per rule 5 of the valuation rules :
Where any expenditure or costs are incurred by the service provider in the course of providing taxable service, all such expenditure or costs shall be treated as consideration for the taxable service provided or to be provided and shall be included in the value for the purpose of charging service tax on the said service.
Cost or expenditure which are to be excluded from the value of taxable services as per rule 5 :-
As per sub rule (2) of rule 5 the expenditure or costs incurred by the service provider as a pure agent of the recipient of service, shall be excluded from the value of the taxable service if all the following conditions are satisfied, namely:-
(i) the service provider acts as a pure agent of the recipient of service when he makes payment to third party for the goods or services procured;
(ii) the recipient of service receives and uses the goods or services so procured by the service provider in his capacity as pure agent of the recipient of service;
(iii) the recipient of service is liable to make payment to the third party;
(iv) the recipient of service authorises the service provider to make payment on his behalf;
(v) the recipient of service knows that the goods and services for which payment has been made by the service provider shall be provided by the third party;
(vi) the payment made by the service provider on behalf of the recipient of service has been separately indicated in the invoice issued by the service provider to the recipient of service;
(vii) the service provider recovers from the recipient of service only such amount as has been paid by him to the third party; and
(viii) the goods or services procured by the service provider from the third party as a pure agent of the recipient of service are in addition to the services he provides on his own account.
Meaning of pure agent : pure agent has been defined in explanation to sub rule (2) of rule 5 of the valuation rules as a person who-
- enters into a contractual agreement with the recipient of service to act as his pure agent to incur expenditure or costs in the course of providing taxable service
- neither intends to hold nor holds any title to the goods or services so procured or provided as pure agent of the recipient of service;
- does not use such goods or services so procured; and
- receives only the actual amount incurred to procure such goods or services.
Explanation 1 – For the removal of doubts it is clarified that the value of the taxable service is the total amount of consideration consisting of all components of the taxable service and it is immaterial that the details of individual components of the total consideration is indicated separately in the invoice.
Illustration 1.– X contracts with Y, a real estate agent to sell his house and thereupon Y gives an advertisement in television. Y billed X including charges for Television advertisement and paid service tax on the total consideration billed. In such a case, consideration for the service provided is what X pays to Y. Y does not act as an agent behalf of X when obtaining the television advertisement even if the cost of television advertisement is mentioned separately in the invoice issued by X. Advertising service is an input service for the estate agent in order to enable or facilitate him to perform his services as an estate agent
Illustration 2.– In the course of providing a taxable service, a service provider incurs costs such as traveling expenses, postage, telephone, etc., and may indicate these items separately on the invoice issued to the recipient of service. In such a case, the service provider is not acting as an agent of the recipient of service but procures such inputs or input service on his own account for providing the taxable service. Such expenses do not become reimbursable expenditure merely because they are indicated separately in the invoice issued by the service provider to the recipient of service.
Illustration 3.– A contracts with B, an architect for building a house. During the course of providing the taxable service, B incurs expenses such as telephone charges, air travel tickets, hotel accommodation, etc., to enable him to effectively perform the provision of services to A. In such a case, in whatever form B recovers such expenditure from A, whether as a separately itemised expense or as part of an inclusive overall fee, service tax is payable on the total amount charged by B. Value of the taxable service for charging service tax is what A pays to B.
Illustration 4.– Company X provides a taxable service of rent-a-cab by providing chauffeur-driven cars for overseas visitors. The chauffeur is given a lump sum amount to cover his food and overnight accommodation and any other incidental expenses such as parking fees by the Company X during the tour. At the end of the tour, the chauffeur returns the balance of the amount with a statement of his expenses and the relevant bills. Company X charges these amounts from the recipients of service. The cost incurred by the chauffeur and billed to the recipient of service constitutes part of gross amount charged for the provision of services by the company X.