Service Tax Registration

All service providers must be registered with the Central Government once their turnover crosses Rs. 9 lakh

  • Data Check

    We do a thorough check of the files you send in

  • Vendor Connect

    We will appoint an affiliate to process your application

  • Receipt of Tax Number

    The tax number will be issued within 15 days of the application

What is Service Tax Registration?

Service tax is an indirect tax levied on a wide array of services specified by the Central Government under the Finance Act, 1994. The service provider (a restaurant or tour operator, for example) pays the tax and recovers the amount from its customers.

The service provider must be registered with the Central Government if the preceding fiscal year's turnover is over Rs. 9 lakh. However, collection must start, at the rate of 15%, only when the turnover of the business exceeds Rs. 10 lakh. Once service tax is collected, if even for only a month, the service provider must continue to collect service tax, regardless of whether revenues fall below Rs. 10 lakh per annum. Service Tax is to be paid to the central government via designated branches or online once every quarter by LLPs, partnerships and sole proprietors and once every month by all other entities. Service tax returns must also be filed twice a year. The due dates are October 25 for the period April 1 to September 30 and April 25 for the period October 1 to March 31.

6 Essential Facts on Service Tax Registration

Who pays service tax?

Service tax, applicable at 15%, is to be paid by the recepient of the service. Therefore, it's the consumer who pays this indirect tax. The tax is collected by the service provider and then pays the amount to the government. Only those service providers offering any of the services on the negative list or with a turnover of less than Rs. 10 lakh are exempt from collecting service tax.

How long does it take for a service tax registration?

A service tax registration can be obtained within 10 to 20 days. At first, ST-1 is granted, within seven working days. If it is not granted within this time period, it is deemed to have been granted. The ST-2 will take another 10 to 15 working days, depending on whether you have all the relevant documents.

How are service tax payments to be made?

Service tax payments can be made online or offline. In case you are making payment online, you would need to do so via the NSDL website. For offline payments, a simple payment can be made via the GAR-7 challan, which is available at designated branches of most public sector banks.

Do I need a commercial space?

No, you don’t. Even a freelancer operating out of his residence can have a service tax registration and file returns with government. When filling out the form, remember to put the registration in the name of the entity operating the business. In the absence of an entity (proprietorship or company or LLP), it can be your own name.

When should I start collecting service tax?

Even though registration is needed on reaching Rs. 9 lakh in turnover, service tax need only be collected when your revenues are Rs. 10 lakh or over. But once this you cross this mark, you must always collect the tax even if your turnover is less than this in subsequent years.

How often do service tax returns need to be filed?

Service tax returns are filed twice a year. By October 25, you must file returns on payments made between April and September. By April 25, you must file returns on payments made between October and March. Proprietors, partnerships and individuals must make payment quarterly, while companies and LLPs must make payment monthly.

Documents Required for Service Tax Registration

To be submitted by Directors & Shareholders

  • Scanned PAN Card of Partners/Directors/Proprietor
  • Scanned copy of Voter's ID/Passport/Driver's License
  • Scanned passport-sized photograph
  • Scanned passport-sized photograph
  • Rental agreement/Sale deed of commercial space

For the Entity (if any)

  • PAN Card of Company or Partnership
  • Board Resolution, in case of company
  • Incorporation Certificate or Partnership Agreement
  • Memorandum & Articles of Association

What You Need To Know

Not on Exports

Service tax applies only to services sold within India; exports are, therefore, exempt from this registration. Therefore, if you're billing a US-based client for, say, web development work, you don't need to add service tax.

Steep Fines

Service Tax Registration is mandatory for all service providers (as defined under the Act) with a turnover of over Rs. 9 lakh. Failure to apply would result in penalties of Rs. 5,000 or Rs. 200 a day, whichever is higher. Failure to collect service tax, once applicable, would also result in steep fines (capped at the amount owed).

No Going Back

Service Tax must be collected when your revenues are Rs. 10 lakh or over. But once this you cross this mark, you must always collect the tax even if your turnover is less than this in subsequent years.

Service Tax Registration Process

2 Working Hours

You need to send in PAN cards, identity, address proofs and four passport-sized photographs of the proprietor/partners/directors. Private limited companies must also submit the Memorandum and Articles of Association, Form 32, Form 18 and Certificate of Incorporation, while Partnerships must submit the Partnership Agreement. Finally, the rental agreement for the office address, if it is rented, along with the electricity bill.

2 Working Days

The application will be prepared by our representatives in two working days. It will then be filed and submitted to the authorities via our affiliates. We will be sent a basic acknowledgement within seven working days.

10 to 25 Working Days

Your application will be processed by the department and may involve a physical inspection. Once approved, the Service Tax Number will be issued. A certificate will also be issued. We will courier it to you when it is received from the government department.

Types of Government Registrations

Service Tax Registration VAT Registration Importer-Exporter Code Shops & Establishments Act Professional Tax Registration
Who It's For
Service providers Sellers of goods Importers & exporters All businesses All employers
When You Need It
When sales cross Rs. 9 lakh When sales cross Rs. 5 lakh For any imports or exports Within 30 days of operations Within 30 days of operations
Returns to be Filed
Yes Yes No No Yes
Issuing Authority
Central Government State Government Directorate General of Foreign Trade Municipal Corporation State Government
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Why Vakilsearch

50 Verified Vendors

We've tied-up with some of the best vendors in major cities of the country to get you your Service Tax Registration. We've completed 500+ registrations in the past 12 months.

9.1 Customer Score

We make your interaction with government as smooth as is possible by doing all the paperwork for you. We will also give you absolute clarity on the process to set realistic expectations.

160 Strong Team

Our team of experienced business advisors are a phone call away, should you have any queries about the process. But we'll try to ensure that your doubts are cleared before they even arise.