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Do you pay service tax and now GST on Adsense payment in India?

11:12 pm on Jul 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I would like to know if anyone here is paying service tax (now GST) on his Adsense payment in India or just filing returns stating export of service exemption?
7:10 am on July 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It is bit confusing right now as sources differs.
According to my CA who is associated with Cleartax you only need to register for GST if you are making more than 20 lakhs.
I am sticking with that for now.
9:15 pm on July 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anybody else paying service tax?
10:32 pm on July 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I saw it mentioned in passing in the July AdSense thread: [webmasterworld.com...] they may see this after the weekend and add to the discussion.
5:12 am on July 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Seems like they were blaming implementation of GST for low CPC :)
7:11 pm on July 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Nobody pays taxes?
12:09 pm on July 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am CA and an AdSense publisher as well. Service tax indeed is payable on AdSense income and there is no exemption from service tax applicable on export of service in case of adsense.

The basic exemption limit in case of service tax was Rs. 10 lac per year, which now under GST is 20 lacs per year.

So, legally speaking GST is payable.

However, practically no one in India (unless they are big companies) is paying service tax on their adsense income, as far as I know. Most of the publisher don't fall outside exemption limit and who had income of over 10 lacs from adsense was not bothered. The Government also don't have any data / financial information about this as Google don't deduct any TDS as payments are being made from Singapore.

To summaries, GST is applicable (service tax was also applicable), but very few people are actually paying it.
7:28 pm on July 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Sakg@ Thanks for replying. Please check the below article which has an in-depth explanation on Adsense taxation.

Service Tax on Adsense Income in India or Google Income

It is very clear that Google need to pay service tax on adsense income in India on amount collected from publisher. Authority of advance ruling under service tax has specifically provided that the service provided by the Google to its publishers is classified under taxable service. For detailed Order. However the service was exempted from service tax from year 2012 to 1st Oct 2014.

Now the big question is whether the website owner or receiver of such income needs to pay service tax or not?
To answer this query we need to understand the parties involved. There are clearly three parties involved:

Website Owner

Here publisher pays to Google and in turn Google pays to the website owner.
Google is collecting service tax on from publisher and paying to the Government. Google also pays to the website owner. It cannot be argued that website Owner need not to pay service tax since Google has already paid the service tax on received income. It is not valid argument in Law.
Since the website owner is selling space to the Google for advertisement it becomes mandatory for the Website owner to pay service tax on this Income Earned.
Can such income be claimed as Export under Section 66B of Finance Act:

Service Tax on Googlr adsense income in India – Exemptions
Service Tax is not levied in the following cases:-

1) In case the Total Revenue/Turnover of the business is less than Rs. 10 Lakhs. This exemption is known as Small Scale Exemption.

However, you are only required to apply for service tax registration and file service tax return only when the total net revenue during the year exceeds Rs. 9 Lakhs (excl ad sales). So, the important thing to remember here is that Service Tax is liable to be paid only when the revenue (excl ad sales) exceeds Rs. 10 Lakhs p.a. but is required to apply for service tax registration when the revenue exceeds Rs. 9 Lakhs p.a.

2) All Services which are exported out of India are also exempted from the levy of Service Tax. This is due to charging section 66B of service tax, which says that services should be provided or agreed to be proved in taxable territory.

To determine the taxable territory, there are place of provisions rules 2012, notified by Notification No.28/2012 dated 20 th June 2012. The Rule 6A of these rules provides for following condition to make a service export.

3) the provider of service is located in the taxable territory
4) the recipient of service is located outside India
5) the service is not a service specified in the section 66D of the Act
6) the place of provision of the service is outside India

the payment for such service has been received by the provider of service in convertible foreign exchange; and
the provider of service and recipient of service are not merely establishment of a distinct person in accordance with item (b) of Explanation 2 of clause (44) of section 65B of the Act.

Earlier, till June 30, 2012 the Govt. has specified Export of Service Rules 2005 and Services (provided from outside India and received in India) Rules 2006 to determination of whether a service is considered as Export or not. These rules given below are irrelevant now.
The Rule 7.2.2 of Import and Export of Service says : ” These two conditions are:

such service is delivered outside India and used outside India, and

the payment received for providing such service should be in convertible foreign exchange. It is necessary that the common qualifying conditions as well as the group-specific
conditions are fulfilled so as to treat the provision of any such service as export of service. ”

As per the new rule 6A we need to full fill all six conditions. Condition (d) is important in our case. We need to find out the place of provision of online advertisement service provided to Google.

Rule 3 of place of provision of service says that, if a service is not covered under any rules i.e Rule 4 to Rule 12 , then the place of provision is LOCATION OF SERVICE RECIPIENT.
However place of provisions for selling of space is not possible in any other rules i.e rule 4 to rule 12. So rule 3 is relevant. And accordingly it is export service.
The website owner is providing /selling space in website to google from India. But whether the Google is using that service outside India or not? It is irrelevant as per new rules.
However Department may ask “Why you are not paying service tax on your Google/ad sense income?” There are chances of scrutiny if being shown as export Income.

Source - [legaldiction.com...]

So according to the article we could claim export of service and get service tax exemption but since there was a new rule issued stating"such service is delivered outside India and used outside India" is where the problem lies.

Adsense does show its ads in India, so it cannot be claimed as "export" of service. Since you are offering Adsense ad slots in India too. But if you block Adsense service (Adsense ads) in India then you are not providing the service in India and hence can claim an exception of export of service as then you fulfill all the conditions laid down to be an export of service.

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