Online information and database access or retrieval services under service tax

By | November 25, 2013

Online information and database access or retrieval services under service tax

“On-line information and database access or retrieval” means providing data or information, retrievable or otherwise, to any person, in electric form through a computer network.

“Taxable service” means any service provided or to be provided to any  person, by any person, in relation to on-line information and database access  or retrieval or both in electronic form through computer network, in any  manner. Thus, these services are essentially delivered over the internet or electric network which relies on the internet or similar network for there provision. The other important feature of this service is that they are completely automated and require minimum human intervention.

Examples of such services are:-

i) Online information generated automatically by software from specific data input by the customer, such as web-based services providing trade statistics, legal and financial data, matrimonial services, social networking sites;

ii) Digitized content of books and other electronic publications, subscription of online newspapers and journals, online news, flight information and weather reports;

iii) Web-based services providing access or download of digital content.

The following services will not be treated as “online information and database access or retrieval services”:-

i) Sale or purchase of goods, articles etc over the internet;

ii) Telecommunication services provided over the internet, including fax, telephony, audio conferencing, and videoconferencing;

iii) A service which is rendered over the internet, such as an architectural drawing, or management consultancy through e-mail;

iv) Repair of software, or of hardware, through the internet, from a remote location;

v) Internet backbone services and internet access services.




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