1) Whom & where should one approach for registration?
Ans. Generally, all Commissionerates of Central Excise, have a Service Tax Cell, headed by Assistant Commissioner. However, in certain Commissionerates, separate Service Tax Divisions have been constituted with Assistant Commissioners charge. The work has now been delegated to all Central Excise Divisions. A prospective assessee of Service Tax can approach to the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Service Tax cell of the Commissionerates or Central Excise Division for registration depending the arrangement made for the same in the Commissionerate.
2. What is the procedure for registration?
Ans. A prospective Service Tax assessee seeking registration shall file an application in Form ST-I (in duplicate ) before the jurisdictional Central Excise officer/Service Tax Cell officer within thirty days from the date of notification of the taxable service. Department will issue the registration certificate to the assessee within 7 days of the receipt of application. In case of failure to issue registration certificate within 7 days, the registration applied for shall be deemed to have been granted and the assessee can carry on with his activity.
3. Who shall apply for registration under Service Tax law? Is there any provisions for Centralized Registration?
Ans. All persons providing taxable services shall be required to register with the Central Excise department. They would have to take only one registration even if they operate from more than one premises but have centralized billing at one place. However, if they do not have Centralized billing at one place, then they will have to register at each place separately. Besides only one registration is required to be taken even if an individual provides more than one service but from the same premises.
4. What is to be done with the registration when
(a) a registered assessee transfers his business to another person, or
(b) when a registered assessee ceases to carry on the service activity for which he is registered,
Ans. (a) When a registered assessee transfers his business to another person, the transferee should obtain a fresh certificate of registration.
(b) When a registered assessee ceases to carry on the service activity for which he is registered, he should surrender his registration certificate immediately to the Central Excise authorities.
5. What is the time limit with in which the service provider shall register with the Central Excise department for the service Excise department for the service tax purpose once the service is notified or once assessee commences the business of rendering the taxable service?
Ans. Every person liable for paying the service tax shall make an application to the concerned Central Excise Officer for registration within a period of 30 days of the Service Tax having come into force. In cases where a person commences the business of providing a taxable service after such service has been notified, he is required to make an application for registration within a period of 30 days from the date of such commencement.
6. What is to be done if an assessee is providing services from more than one places besides providing more than one services, done he have to obtain registration service-wise or otherwise?
When the assessee is providing the service from more than one premises and have centralized billing system When an assessee is providing a taxable service from more than one premises or offices and has a centralized billing system in respect of services rendered to clients from all such premises or offices at any one premises or office, he may opt for registering only the premises or office from where such centralized billing is done. Similarly if the assessee does billing from his regional office in respect of branch office falling within that region he may be permitted to register his regional office(s) only if he opts for the same.
When the assessee is providing a taxable service from more than one premises or offices, and does not have any centralized billing system, When an assessee is providing a taxable service from more than one premises or offices, and does not have any centralized billing system, he shall be required to make separate applications for registration in respect of each such premises or offices to the concerned Central Excise Officer.
Where an assessee is providing more than one taxable service, he may make a single application for registration mentioning therein all the taxable services provided by him, to the concerned Central Excise Officer.
7. Is registration under Service Tax required to be taken in respect of all premises where from service is provided or is Centralized Registration and levy permitted?
Ans. The law on the subject directs that an assessee under the Service Tax have to obtain registrationin respect of all the premises where from the taxable service is provided. However, in respect of Courier Service, an exception was provided in 1997 permitting Centralized Registration. This facility has been extended in respect of other services also. The service provider can opt for Centralized Registration in respect of services provided by him, even if from different premises, if he maintains Centralized Billing pattern. Therefore, it is incumbent on the assessee to show to the Department that their accounting pattern is centralized so as to avail themselves of benefit of Centralized Registration and payment of Service Tax.