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

Shanti Prime Publication Pvt. Ltd.

Classification—determination of HSN or SAC—Levy of GST—Rate of GST—input tax credit.

Whether the Question Papers supplied by the Applicant are “goods” or “services”?
Held that— As stated in the Application and in the arguments of the Applicant at the time of Personal Hearing the content of the matter printed referred to above, is being provided to the Applicant, and to print the same, i.e to convert the matter into a tangible form, necessary raw material, manpower and machinery is being provided by the Applicant. In other words, the content of the printed matter is specific to the customer, and, neither is the matter pre-printed, nor has the Applicant any ownership to the content at any point of time, and, therefore, cannot transfer title of the above printed matters. In other words, Question Papers are not the property of the Applicant - 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 - Section 9 of the GST Tariff-Services deals with Community, Social and Personal Services and other miscellaneous services which include Education Services (covering services related to admission to or conduct of examination by Educational Institutions) under Heading 9992. Since the Applicant has specified the printing of question papers for Educational Institutions, supply of service under Section 9 of the GST Tariff is found to be appropriate.

Benefit of exemption— Serial No. 66(b)(iv) of Notification No. 12/2017–CT(Rate) dated 28/06/2017, as amended from time to time, as applicable, wholly exempts services provided to an Educational Institution relating to conduct of examination. The phrase „relating to’ expands the scope of this entry to include such support services without which conduct of the examination is not possible, unless they are specifically mentioned under any other entry. Question papers can have no use other than in conducting a specific examination, and the supply of service of printing such question papers is a supply related to conduct of that examination - 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.

Section 17(2) of GST Act states that “Where the goods or services or both are used by the registered person partly for effecting taxable supplies including zero-rated supplies under this Act or under the Integrated Goods and Services Tax Act and partly for effecting exempt supplies under the said Acts, the amount of credit shall be restricted to so much of the input tax as is attributable to the said taxable supplies including zero-rated supplies.
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. This Ruling is valid subject to the provisions under Section 103(2) until and unless declared void under Section 104(1) of the GST Act. [2018] 4 TAXLOK.COM 002 (AAR-WB)