All about Service Tax Exemption to Small Service Providers – Upto Rs. 10 Lacs

Service Tax act/Rules has provided exemption to small scale service provider from service tax up to aggregate value of taxable services provided of 10 lakh in a Financial Year . This exemption was available before 01.07.2012 and continued even after 01.07.2012 in negative list regime with few changes wef 01.04.2012.

If in the previous financial year the aggregate value of taxable services provided by you was less than Rs.10 lakh and in the present financial year the aggregate value of taxable services provided by you is also less than Rs.10 lakh. Then no need to pay service tax .

If in the previous financial year aggregate value of taxable services provided was less than 10 lakh but this year aggregate value of taxable services provided is more than 10 lakh them you start paying service tax after crossing the threshold of Rs 10 lakh.

If in the previous financial year aggregate value of taxable services provided was more than 10 lakh but this year aggregate value of taxable services provided is less than 10 lakh them you start paying service tax from rupee one.

Aggregate value of Taxable Services provided
Service Tax applicable
Preceding Financial  Year
Current Financial year
Less than 10 lakh
Less than 10 lakh
No service tax
Less than 10 lakh
More than 10 lakh
Service tax applicable after 10 lakh
More than 10 lakh
Less than 10 lakh
service tax applicable from Rs one ,No exemption available

The Finance Act 2012, has amended the provision relating to small scale exemption recognizing that theaggregate value up to Rs 10 Lakhs will be in terms of invoices issued/to be issued for taxable services and not payments received.(Notification no.33/2012-ST dated 20.6.2012). This is w .e .f 1.7.2012. 

1.Meaning of aggregate value :The small service provider exemption of ` 10 Lakh is available towards “aggregate value not exceeding ` 10 Lakhs”, means the sum total of value of taxable services charged in the first consecutive invoices issued during a financial year but does not include value charged in invoices issued towards such services which are exempt from whole of service tax leviable thereon under section 66B of the said Finance Act under any other notification.

The definition of the ‘aggregate value’ has been amended w.e.f. 01.04.2012 whereby the sum total of the value of taxable services charged in the first consecutive invoices issued/required to be issued during the financial year shall be considered instead of payments received.

The exemption as to small service provider is provided for the keeping the small service provider outside the tax net.

2Single Limit for all services By same person : where a taxable service provider provides one or more taxable services , the exemption under this notification shall apply to the aggregate value of all such taxable services and not separately for each  services; 

Suppose A person is providing service XXX and YYY . To avail this exemption aggregate service provided for service XXX and YYY should be less than 10 Lakh

the aggregate value of taxable services rendered by a provider of taxable service from one or more premises, does not exceed ten lakh rupees in the preceding financial year. 

3Single Limit for all offices /Location : where a taxable service provider provides taxable services from one or more premises, the exemption under this notification shall apply to the aggregate value of all such taxable services and from all such premises and not separately for each premises; 

Example:In service Tax person can get separate registration for deferential location .To calculate 10 lakh Limit ,Aggregate value of taxable services at all location ,even having different registration number , is to be considered.

In brief this exemption is available person wise not location or service wise.

4.Cenvat Credit not available if Exemption of 10 lakh  has been availed. 

5. Exemption is optional not mandatory : This exemption  is optional so that even such small service providers can opt to pay tax instead of availing the benefit of exemption. In case of such opting to pay service tax, the service provider would get the benefit of CENVAT Credit of duties and taxes paid on capital goods, inputs and input services. By this mechanism the CENVAT credit can get passed on whereby the basic cost of output service would get reduced if the service receiver can avail CENVAT credit.  

6.Once exercised Can not be reversed : The option as to non-availment of such small scale exemption and opting to pay tax once exercised, cannot be withdrawn during the remaining part of such financial year. 

Option is granted to service provider to avail benefit of threshold exemption to the tune of ` 10/- lakhs. In case option is exercised by service provider, service tax would be applicable only if the aggregate value of taxable service ( provided during the previous financial year exceed ` 10 Lakhs )

7.No exemption where service tax is payable under Reverse Charge: However the above exemption shall not be available to the person made liable to pay service tax under sec (68)(2) [Reverse Charge and Joint Charge liabilities]  

The liability of the service provider and service recipient are different and independent of each other. Thus in case the service provider is availing exemption owing to turnover being less than Rs 10 lakhs, he shall not be obliged to pay any tax. However, the service recipient shall have to pay service tax which he is obliged to pay under the partial reverse charge mechanism.

8. No Exemption If Service are provided under brand name or trade name of others :The person providing service under the brand name or trade name of others. Some persons are providing the services under name of brand name owner. These service providers would not be eligible to the exemption which is available to the small service providers.

If service provided under own brand name or trade name then eligible : If a person is providing a service under his own brand name, he would be entitled to the exemption.

9. The Basic Exemption subject to above condition is available to all type of Person :The basic exemption is not restricted only to individual or partnership firm but it is available to all assessees.

‘Person’ is not restricted to natural person. ‘Person’ has been defined Section 65 B of the Act.  The following shall be considered as persons for the purposes of the Act:

  1. an individual
  2. a Hindu undivided family
  3. a company
  4. a  society
  5. a  limited liability partnership
  6. a firm
  7. an association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not
  8. Government
  9. a  local authority,  or
  10. every artificial juridical person, not falling within any of the preceding sub-clauses.

10. Abatement and exempted services is not to be counted for calculation of 10 Lakh: Various services has been exempted from service tax vide notification 25/2012 .If service provider is providing both exempted and taxable services than turnover of exempted services is not be added for calculation of 10 lakh .
Similarly abatement from gross amount charged by service provider  has been defined in notification 26/2012  .To calculate 10 lakh part only taxable part after abatement is to be considered.

Example: Person is providing services of renting motor vehicle designed to carry passengers. In a given financial year he has charged gross Rs 20 lakh for services . In notification 26/2012 only 40% part i.e 8 Lakh is taxable for renting of motor vehicle designed to carry passengers  (40% of 20 Lakh) . So he can can avail 10 lakh exemption available to small service provider ,as taxable part of services provided by him is less than 10 lakh Limit.


Relevant notification is given here under 

SECTION 66B OF THE FINANCE ACT, 1994 – CHARGE OF SERVICE TAX ON AND AFTER FINANCE ACT, 2012 – EXEMPTION TO SMALL SERVICE PROVIDERS

NOTIFICATION NO. 33/2012-ST, DATED 20-6-2012

[SUPERSESSION OF NOTIFICATION NO. 6/2005-ST, DATED 1-3-2005]

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994) (hereinafter referred to as the said Finance Act), and in supersession of the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) notification No. 6/2005-Service Tax, dated the 1st March, 2005, published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i), vide G.S.R. number 140(E), dated the 1st March, 2005, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts taxable services of aggregate value not exceeding ten lakh rupees in any financial year from the whole of the service tax leviable thereon under section 66B of the said Finance Act:

Provided that nothing contained in this notification shall apply to,-

 (i)  taxable services provided by a person under a brand name or trade name, whether registered or not, of another person; or

(ii)  such value of taxable services in respect of which service tax shall be paid by such person and in such manner as specified under sub-section (2) of section 68 of the said Finance Act read with Service Tax Rules,1994.

2. The exemption contained in this notification shall apply subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(i)  the provider of taxable service has the option not to avail the exemption contained in this notification and pay service tax on the taxable services provided by him and such option, once exercised in a financial year, shall not be withdrawn during the remaining part of such financial year;

(ii)  the provider of taxable service shall not avail the CENVAT credit of service tax paid on any input services, under rule 3 or rule 13 of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 (herein after referred to as the said rules), used for providing the said taxable service, for which exemption from payment of service tax under this notification is availed of;

(iii)  the provider of taxable service shall not avail the CENVAT credit under rule 3 of the said rules, on capital goods received, during the period in which the service provider avails exemption from payment of service tax under this notification;

(iv)  the provider of taxable service shall avail the CENVAT credit only on such inputs or input services received, on or after the date on which the service provider starts paying service tax, and used for the provision of taxable services for which service tax is payable;

(v)  the provider of taxable service who starts availing exemption under this notification shall be required to pay an amount equivalent to the CENVAT credit taken by him, if any, in respect of such inputs lying in stock or in process on the date on which the provider of taxable service starts availing exemption under this notification;

(vi)  the balance of CENVAT credit lying unutilised in the account of the taxable service provider after deducting the amount referred to in sub-paragraph (v), if any, shall not be utilised in terms of provision under sub-rule (4) of rule 3 of the said rules and shall lapse on the day such service provider starts availing the exemption under this notification;

(vii)  where a taxable service provider provides one or more taxable services from one or more premises, the exemption under this notification shall apply to the aggregate value of all such taxable services and from all such premises and not separately for each premises or each services; and

(viii)  the aggregate value of taxable services rendered by a provider of taxable service from one or more premises, does not exceed ten lakh rupees in the preceding financial year.

3. For the purposes of determining aggregate value not exceeding ten lakh rupees, to avail exemption under this notification, in relation to taxable service provided by a goods transport agency, the payment received towards the gross amount charged by such goods transport agency under section 67 of the said Finance Act for which the person liable for paying service tax is as specified under sub-section (2) of section 68 of the said Finance Act read with Service Tax Rules, 1994, shall not be taken into account.

Explanation. - For the purposes of this notification,-

(A)  "brand name" or "trade name" means a brand name or a trade name, whether registered or not, that is to say, a name or a mark, such as symbol, monogram, logo, label, signature, or invented word or writing which is used in relation to such specified services for the purpose of indicating, or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between such specified services and some person using such name or mark with or without any indication of the identity of that person;

(B)  "aggregate value" means the sum total of value of taxable services charged in the first consecutive invoices issued during a financial year but does not include value charged in invoices issued towards such services which are exempt from whole of service tax leviable thereon under section 66B of the said Finance Act under any other notification."

4. This notification shall come into force on the 1st day of July, 2012.

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