Service Tax – Cestat Chennai: ‘Relevant date’ under Section 11B with respect to refund claims for unutilized CENVAT Credit in case of export of services is the date of receipt of consideration in convertible foreign currency i.e., the date of FIRCs and not the invoice date – Appeal allowed [Order attached]
Order Date – 30 May 2023
Parties: M/s. Ad2Pro Global Creative Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Vs The Commissioner of Service Tax
- The Appellant, M/s. Ad2Pro Global Creative Solutions Pvt. Ltd., have been exporting services under the category of ‘advertising agency service’ and ‘business auxiliary service’ to various clients located outside India and so, have been claiming refund of unutilized input service tax credit under Rule 5 of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004.
- The appellant filed refund claims for quarter April 2012 to June 2012 on 27.03.2013 and for the period from July 2013 to September 2013, April 2014 to June 2014, July 2014 to September 2014, January 2015 to March 2015, April 2015 to June 2015 and July 2015 to September 2015, and the refund was partly rejected being time barred.
- Whether relevant date to file refund is to be considered from the date of export invoice or from the date of Foreign Inward Remittance Certificates (FIRCs)?
- The Tribunal observed that since the Notification No. 27/2012-C.E.(N.T.) dated 18.06.2012 required the claim to be made before the expiry of a period specified under Section 11B and this Section does not specify what is the relevant date in case of export of services, the Tribunal has, in a series of decisions, held that relevant date in case of export of services is the date of realization of the foreign exchange.
- There is no ground that Section 11B mandates that the date of invoice must be considered as the relevant date. The residual category under Section 11B is the date of payment of duty. Therefore, harmoniously reading the Export of Service Rules and Section 11B of Central Excise Act, 1944, the Tribunal has taken a view that in case of export of services, the relevant date must be the date of realization of foreign exchange.
- The appeals are allowed.