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Participation Fees for Conference Organized by Educational Institutions leviable to GST: AAR

Case Law: M/s. Emrald Heights International School Opposite Akashwani, A.B.Road Indore 453331

Facts of the case:

  • Emerald Heights School Samiti is a registered Society for the promotion of education and registered under M.P. Societies Act 1971 and is also registered as a Charitable institution ‘under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act’ 1961.
  • Emerald Heights School Samiti owns and runs The Emerald Heights International School and according to the applicant the Society is not engaged in any other activity and does not derive any other income other than from the School.
  • The School is an Educational Institution and inter-alia, engaged in providing world-class education to its students upto Higher Secondary only. The School is situated in Indore and affiliated with the “Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)”.
  • The school is not registered with the Goods & Service Tax Department as it is providing education services.
  • The school is affiliated and associated with various National and International Organizations which are mainly active to promote education and sports world wide.
  • Amongst various organizations the ‘school is also member school of an association namely “Round Square”, which is also a charitable organization registered as a “Charity” in England.

Issue Involved:

  • Whether the consideration received by the school from the participant school(s) for the participation of their students and staff in the conference would be exempted under Entry No. 66/1/80 of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate).
  • The second issue is if the supply is not exempted, what rate shall be applicable?

Provisions and Interpretation of Law:

  • The bench constitutes of Hon’ble Members Shri Rajiv Agrawal and Shri Manoj Kumar Choubey
  • Bench held that the activities of holding Educational conference/ gathering of students, faculty and staff of other Schools are not exempt under Entry No. 66/1/80 of the Notification No. 12/2017-Central Tax (Rate) for the simple reason that the education conference does not fall under any of the categories so listed.
  • Hence, GST shall be chargeable on the consideration received by the school from the participant school(s) for the participation of their students and staff in the impugned conference
  • Further stated that various services provided for organizing an educational conference/gathering of students and staff of other Schools, shall be liable to tax at the rate applicable to the respective services. For example, the catering services shall be liable to tax @ 5% without eligibility for Input Tax Credit.

Conclusion: The Madhya Pradesh Authority of Advance Ruling held that GST shall be leviable on consideration received by the school for participation in a conference organized and the GST rate shall be as per the respective services.

Author: Niranjan Reddy

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