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IOAA issues advisory on Service Tax compliance

By VJ Media Bureau - July 13, 2015

The IOAA advisory states that under the Service Tax rules, firms must raise bills within 14 days of completion of service. Delays in this regard will attract penal provisions

Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) has brought to the attention of OOH firms certain matters underlying the provisions and application of Service Tax rules. The IOAA advisory states that every person providing taxable service is required to issue -- within 14 days of completion of service or receipt of payment towards value of service, whichever is earlier -- an invoice, a bill or challan signed by him or a person authorised by him. Such invoice, bill or challan should be serially numbered and should contain following information:

  • Name, address and registration number of such person
  • Name and address of the person receiving services
  • Description, classification and value of taxable service provided, and
  • Service Tax payable thereon.

The advisory notes that "practically every company engaged in both media and agency businesses in OOH Advertising is in violation of the above provision - to raise bills within 14 days of completion of service. All delays attract penal provisions and that Government will actually gain considerable revenue by simply enforcing this rule and collecting the interests and penalties.”

The IOAA advisory suggests that the only recourse for the OOH firms would be to urgently undertake to regularise all pending POs so that bills can be raised for past campaigns done by media companies as well as by agencies to their clients. "And - going forward - to insist on POs to be taken on record before the end of the campaign definitely, or before end of the month - if campaign is extending beyond month-end.  The other recourse of course is to pay Service Tax in advance without even raising invoice - which is perhaps the very last option - given the liquidity conditions of all here,” the advisory states.

"We have all heard and discussed various reasons for not being able to issue POs on time - it's time we all realise that this not only affects media companies, it also affects agencies. And now it's time for both of us to insist with clients that campaigns will not be displayed without signing off on POs. Disputes - if any - can always be resolved - as it has always been happening historically. Anticipated disputes must not be a reason any longer for clients to release POs late, agencies to follow suit and for media companies then to raise invoices - in many cases, as late as 3 months after campaign is over,” the advisory asserts.

IOAA concludes the advisory note by urging all concerned firms to adhere to the provisions of the Service Tax rules, to be on the right side of the Service Tax stipulations.


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