Service tax was a tax levied by Central Government of India on services provided or agreed to be provided excluding services covered under negative list and considering the Place of Provision of Services Rules, 2012 and collected as per Point of Taxation Rules, 2011 from the person liable to pay service tax. Person liable to pay service tax is governed by Service Tax Rules, 1994 he may be service provider or service receiver or any other person made so liable. It is an indirect tax wherein the service provider collects the tax on services from service receiver and pays the same to government of India. Few services are presently exempt in public interest via Mega Exemption Notification 25/2012-ST as amended up to date and few services are charged service tax at abated rate as per Notification No. 26/2012-ST as amended up to date. Presently from 1 June 2016, service tax rate has been increased to consolidated rate at 14% +0.5%+0.5%= 15% of value of services provided or to be provided. The service tax rate now is consolidated rate as education cess and secondary higher education cess are subsumed with 2% of “Swach Bharat Cess(0.50%)” has been notified by the Government.
From 15 November 2015, the effective rate of service tax plus Swachh Bharat Cess, post introduction of Swachh Bharat Cess, was 14.5%. Currently, Swachh Bharat Cess and Krishi Kalyan Cess would also be levied on all services on which Service Tax is being levied and therefore, the Service Tax (including Swachh Bharat Cess and Krishi Kalyan Cess) applicable from 1 June 2016 has become 15%.
During the 2015 budget, the Finance Minister had incremented the service tax rate from 12.36% to 14%, which had been applicable from June 1, 2015. Further, from November 15th, 2015, an additional Swachh Bharat Cess got added at the rate of 0.5%, which left the service tax at 14.5%. After the new proposal brought in during the 2016 Union Budget, the applicable service tax from June 1, 2016 will be “15%”