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2015 (11) TMI 908 - CESTAT MUMBAI

2015 (11) TMI 908 - CESTAT MUMBAI - TMI - Demand of service tax - whether the activity undertaken by the appellant would get covered as taxable service provided under “tour operator service” - Held that:- Appellant is offering Jet Escapes Package to their various passengers who visit their website for booking air travel service offered by them. It is also undisputed that the appellant has entered into a contract with Hotels Chains for accommodating their passengers who have opted for “Jet Escape .....

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r scheduling of tours. We find that though not on the very same issue, this Bench in the case of Divisional Controller (2013 (12) TMI 915 - CESTAT MUMBAI) was considering the services rendered by the appellant therein as to whether this service would fall under the category of “tour operator services”. The appellant in that case was providing contract carriage and stage carriage to various individuals/customers and it was considered as the said service would fall under the category of “tour oper .....

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- CESTAT CHENNAI) will be applicable in the case in hand and we have to hold that the appellant is not covered under the category of tours operator service - impugned order is unsustainable and liable to be set aside - Decided in favour of assessee. - Appeal No. ST/375/11 - Dated:- 30-9-2015 - Mr. M.V. Ravindran, Member (Judicial) And Mr. C.J. Mathew, Member (Technical) For the Petitioner : Shri J.H. Motwani, Advocate with Ms. Divya Jaswant, Advocate For the Respondent : Shri S.R. Nair, E.O. (AR .....

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liable to discharge the service tax liability under the category of tours and Travels service as a tour operator services as defined under Section 65(105)(r) of the Finance Act, 1994 and Section 65 (19) of the said Act. Show-cause notice was issued for the demand of service tax with interest and for imposition of penalty. Appellant contested the show-cause notice on merits as well as on limitation. The adjudicating authority after following due process of law, rejected the contentions raised .....

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s submission that appellant is not conducting any tour operator service, in as much they are not in the business of planning, scheduling, organizing or arranging tours. It is his submission that they offer a particular package to their customers and the customers take the offer and decide when they would like to travel and accordingly book the tickets. He would submit that in order to get cover under tour operator services the service provider has to plan, organize, schedule and arrange the to .....

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ue had cropped up before the Bench in the case of Divisional Controller - 2014 (33) STR 168 (Tri. Mum), and T.N. State Trans. Corpn., Kumbakonam Ltd. 2009 (14) STR 760 (Tri. Chennai) wherein the definition and the requirement of the service provider to get cover under tour operator service has been explained by the Bench. It is his submission that by that explanation, the activity undertaken by the appellant would not fall under the category of package tours. He would also submit that during the .....

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od beyond one year as demanded in the show-cause notice is hit by limitation. 4. Learned D.R. on the other hand draws our attention to the findings recorded by the first appellate authority. It is his submission that the hotel bookings and accommodation for Jet Escapes package is provided through agents appointed by the appellant. It is his submission that the appellant through their office or through its agents help their customers to plan and schedule their holiday to a specific destination .....

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e appellant who was entered into contract with the Hotels Group for the arrangement of sight seeing or transport etc. for the passengers in terms of agreement. He would submit that the judgement of the Tribunal in the case of Cox and Kings 2014 (35) STR 817 (Tri. Del) clearly brings out the activity of the tour operator services and the current appellant s activities gets covered under the category of tour operator services. 5. We have considered the submissions made by both sides and perused th .....

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e. On the factual matrix as stated above we require to look into the definition of tour operator service as given under Section 65(115) of the Finance Act, 1994. We reproduce the Section cited above. Tour Operator means any person engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organising or arranging tours (which may include arrangements for accommodation, sightseeing or other similar services) by any mode of transport, and includes any person engaged in the business of operating tours in a to .....

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produced herein above, appellant is operating airlines which undertakes transportation of passengers by air. In order to enhance their business of selling airline tickets, appellant had offered Jet Escapes Packages to their passengers for a specified destination. On perusal of Jet Escapes Package details as downloaded from website, we find that the said advertisement specifically states that Return air travel in Economy class, inclusive of taxes, Airport transfers, Hotel accommodation with brea .....

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t though not on the very same issue, this Bench in the case of Divisional Controller (supra) was considering the services rendered by the appellant therein as to whether this service would fall under the category of tour operator services . The appellant in that case was providing contract carriage and stage carriage to various individuals/customers and it was considered as the said service would fall under the category of tour operator service . The Bench after considering the definition as was .....

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ards : persons who are engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organizing or arranging tours by any mode of transport and includes any person engaged in the business of operating tours in a tourist vehicle. 6.2 From the records we find that the assesses are only renting their vehicles. We also find that the department could not bring out on record that the assesses are engaged in the business of planning, scheduling, organizing or arranging tours. In these circumstances, the assesses ca .....

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cannot be considered as tour operator service and liable to be taxed. The same view is echoed by the Tribunal in the case of T.N. State Trans. Corpn. Kumbakonam Ltd. (supra) wherein the Bench held as under:- 4. I have carefully considered facts of the case and the rival submissions. The impugned demand was issued in the wake of amendment to the scope of the levy under the category tour operator vide Finance Act, 2004. Prior to the amendment introduced in the Finance Act, 2004, the levy covered .....

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or accommodation, sightseeing or other similar services) by any mode of transport. The clarification issued by the Board on budget changes relating to tour operator service reads as follows :- 20. Extension of tour operator service to package tour operators using different modes of transport : At present, tour operator service covers package tour operators also. However, under the present definition, such package tours attract service tax only if such tours involve modes of transport other tha .....

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