The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), Ahmedabad Bench consisting of Ramesh Nair, Judicial Member and Raju, Technical Member held that Chartered Financial Analysis of India (ICFAI) is not liable to pay Service Tax under Commercial Training or Coaching Service. With effect from 01.10.2007, all the of Appellant transferred to the ICFAI Academy. Thus, the present appeals have been filed by ICFAI Academy against the order issued by Commissioner (Appeals). The Appellant used to accept the application from interested candidates for various courses and forward the same to their centralized office at Hyderabad for all accounting purposes.

An investigation was conducted upon ICFAI and its associates all over India, which resulted into issuance of multiple show cause notices proposing the demand of service tax along with applicable cess, interest and penalty, for the period of October 2007 to September 2009. It was expressed that the Appellant has provided taxable services under the category of Commercial Training or Coaching Service and had collected fee as consideration towards the aforesaid service from the interested candidate. Consequently, the demand of service tax for the period between October 2007 to September 2008 and for the between October to September 2009 along with applicable interest and penalty was proposed to be recovered from the appellant.

The Tribunal of Ahmadabad Bench in the appellant’s own branch of Vadodara, reported in 2018 (8) TMI 556 – CESTAT observed that “The provision authorises no grant retrospective exemption or to alter the scope of an extant exemption retrospectively. Vocational Training Institute as defined by Notification No. 24/2004-S.T., dated 10-9-2004 contains no such restrictive definition which requires affiliation to National Council for Vocational Training or the requirement of offering courses in designated trades as notified under the Apprentices Act, 1961, by an Industrial Training Institute or an Industrial Training Centre.”

The Bench relied on the above-said decision and concluded that the issue is no longer res-integra.

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