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Ervice of printing Question Papers for Educational Institutions for specific examination is classifiable under SAC 9992.

Shanti Prime Publication Pvt. Ltd.

Classification of supply—Levy of GST—Supply of printed question papers for various examinations conducted by the Government/Government aided Educational Boards/ Councils/Universities etc—Input Tax Credit on inputs used for provisioning the supply.
In the instant case, question before authority is that ‘Whether GST is to be charged on such supply and, if so, at what rate and under what HSN or SAC code is the GST to be charged?’ and Whether credit of the GST paid on the inputs used for provisioning the supply can be availed?

Held that— No Notification has been issued regarding the status of supply of Question Papers. Hence, Section 7(3) of the GST Act is not relevant for consideration. The Applicant has neither been notified to be an authority under Section 7(2) of the GST Act, nor is the activity of supplying printed question papers listed in the said Schedule III. Section 7(1) along with the relevant portions of Schedules I and II clearly state that transfer of title in goods is a supply of goods and in the absence of such transfer, even in the future, is to be considered as supply of services.

Furthermore, the Question Papers supplied by the Applicant to their customers are not marketable commodities in the open market and as goods they have no legitimate value to persons other than the specific customer who provides the input content. The Applicant, therefore, cannot be said to be supplying Question Papers as “goods” under the GST Act, but to be supplying the service of printing. Hence, the SAC is to be determined and not the HSN.

Again, every transaction is a contract, but open market transactions in Question Papers as goods, being illegal, are not enforceable by law and void contracts in terms section 2(g) of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and, therefore, beyond the ambit of the GST Act. It follows that classification under the Tariff Act, for the purpose of the GST Act, is also not applicable in such cases.
The service is taxable under serial no. 27 of Notification No. 11/2017-CT (Rate) dated 28/06/2017, as amended from time to time, provided the materials being printed are goods classifiable under Chapter 48 or 49 of the Tariff Act and taxable under the GST Act. As transactions in Question Papers as goods is beyond the ambit of the GST Act, they are neither classifiable under Chapter 48 or 49 nor taxable under the GST Act. Service of printing Question Papers is not, therefore, classifiable under Heading 9989.

Explanation (iv) to Notification No. 12/2017-CT (Rate) dated 28/06/2017, inserted vide Notification No. 14/2018-CT(Rate) dated 26/07/2018, clarifies that the Central and State Educational Boards shall be treated as Educational Institution for the limited purpose of services by way of conducting examinations. Serial No. 66(b)(iv) above, therefore, includes services provided to such Boards relating to the conduct of examinations. The Applicant is, therefore, not liable to pay tax on the service of printing question papers provided to the Educational Boards/Councils/Universities/Institutions relating to the conduct of examination.

Since the supply of Question Papers to Educational Institutions if provided, for a particular examination is an exempt supply under Serial No. 66(b)(iv) of Notification No. 12/2017-CT (Rate) dated 28/06/2017, as amended, as applicable, the Applicant is not eligible to avail of Input Tax Credit.

Ruling—Service of printing Question Papers for Educational Institutions [as defined under clause 2(y) read with Explanation (iv) to Notification No. 12/2017-CT (Rate) dated 28/06/2017] for specific examination is classifiable under SAC 9992.

Service to such Educational Institutions relating to conduct of examination, as described in 66(b)(iv) of Notification No.12/2017-CT(Rate) dated 28/06/2017, includes supply of the service of printing question papers, and is exempt under the GST Act.

Being an exempt supply, the Applicant cannot claim credit of the GST paid on the inputs used for provisioning the service of printing question papers provided to the Boards / Educational Institutions relating to conduct of examination.[AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULINGS, WEST BENGAL][2018] 4 TAXLOK.COM 109 (AAR-WB)

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