Export of Goods and Services – Simplification and Revision of Softex Procedure

A. P. (DIR Series 2012-13) Circular No. 47, dated 23-10-2012

Attention of the Authorised Dealers is invited to regulation 6 of the Notification No. FEMA 23/2000-RB, dated May 3, 2000 viz. Foreign Exchange Management (Export of Goods and Services) Regulations, 2000, as amended by the Notification No.FEMA.36/2001-RB, dated February 27, 2001, in terms of which designated officials of the Ministry of Information Technology, Government of India at the Software Technology Parks of India (STPIs) or at Free Trade Zones (FTZs) or Export Processing Zones (EPZs) or Special Economic Zones (SEZs), had been authorized to certify exports declared through SOFTEX Forms.

2. Considering the spurt in the volume of software exports from India in recent times, the complexity of work contracts involved, the voluminous nature of contract agreements and the duration involved in execution of each contract as well as the time-consuming process involved in the certification of SOFTEX forms, simplified and revised Softex procedure was introduced vide A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 80, dated February 15, 2012. Initially the revised procedure was applicable in STPI at Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and Mumbai with effect from April 1, 2012.

3. Since the revised procedure is running successfully at the 5 designated centres, it has been decided to implement the revised procedure in all the STPIs in India with immediate effect.

4. As per the revised procedure, a software exporter, whose annual turnover is at least Rs.1000 crore or who files at least 600 SOFTEX forms annually on all India basis, will be eligible to submit a statement in excel format as detailed in our A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.80 dated February 15, 2012.

5. Authorised Dealers may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents concerned.

6. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under section 10(4) and section 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions/approvals, if any, required under any other law.

 

MAT on SEZ under DTC – Request to reduce the rate

The Commerce department is in talk with Ministry of Finance to push for lowring the minimum alternative tax (MAT), proposed in Direct Tax Code (DTC) Bill, on units in Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The department is set to raise this issue before the parliamentry committee on DTC, that 20% MAT on units is too high and does not make any commercial sense.
Further, the Chairman of Export Promotion Council for SEZ, Mr.R.K. Sonthalia expressed his views that DTC should not alter the objective and sprits of SEZ Act, 2005 after four and half years of its implemantation as it was aimed to acheive and provide long term stability.
Moreover, if this (rate of 20%) remains same, investing into SEZ would not be an attractive option. The Investor may open their units in Domestic Tarrif Area (DTA), where they could get benefits form incentive schemes such as Focus Market and/ or Foucs Products Shcemes under Foreign Trade Policy 2009-2014. It is of worth noting that these schemes are not available to units in SEZ.

Curtsy: Gaurav Garg (Company Secretary)

Special Economic Zone (SEZ) – Exemption from Service Tax – Now Exemption is allowed through refund mode

NOTIFICATION NO. 09/2009-SERVICE TAX, Dated: March 3, 2009

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 93 of the Finance Act, 1994 (32 of 1994), and in supersession of the notification  of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance ( Department of Revenue), No. 4/2004-ServiceTax, dated the 31st March, 2004, published  in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, Section 3, Sub-section (i) dated the 31st March, 2004, vide, G.S.R.248(E), dated the 31st March, 2004, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Central Government, on being satisfied that it is necessary in the public interest so to do, hereby exempts the taxable services specified in clause (105) of section 65 of the said Finance Act, which are provided in relation to the authorised operations in a Special Economic Zone, and received by a developer or units of a Special Economic Zone, whether or not the said taxable services are provided inside the Special Economic Zone,  from  the whole of the service tax leviable thereon under section 66 of the said Finance Act:

Provided that-

(a) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone shall get the list of services specified in clause (105) of section 65 of the said Finance Act as are required in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone, approved from the Approval Committee (hereinafter referred to as the specified services);

(b) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone claiming the exemption actually uses the specified services in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone;

(c) the exemption claimed by the developer or units of Special Economic Zone shall be provided by way of refund of service tax paid on the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone;

(d) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone claiming the exemption has actually paid the service tax on the specified services;

(e) no CENVAT credit of service tax paid on the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone has been taken under the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004;

(f) exemption or refund of service tax paid on the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone shall not be claimed except under this notification.

2. The exemption contained in this notification shall be subject to the following conditions, namely:-

(a) the person liable to pay service tax under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 68 of the said Finance Act shall pay service tax as applicable on the specified services provided to the developer or units of Special Economic Zone and used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone, and such person shall not be eligible to claim exemption for the specified services:
Provided that where the developer or units of Special Economic Zone and the person liable to pay service tax under sub-section (2) of section 68 for the said services are the same person, then in such cases exemption for the specified services shall be claimed by that person;

(b) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone shall claim the exemption by filing a claim for refund of service tax paid on specified services;

(c) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone shall file the claim for refund to the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be;

(d) the developer or units of Special Economic Zone who is not registered as an assessee under the Central Excise Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) or the rules made thereunder, or the said Finance Act or the rules made thereunder, shall, prior to filing a claim for refund of service tax under this notification, file a declaration in the Form annexed hereto with the respective jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be;

(e) the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be, shall, after due verification, allot a service tax code (STC) number to the developer or units of Special Economic Zone within seven days from the date of receipt of the said Form;

(f) the claim for refund shall be filed, within six months or such extended period as the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be, shall permit, from the date of actual payment of service tax by such developer or unit to service provider;

(g) the refund claim shall be accompanied by the following documents, namely:-

(i) a copy of the list of specified services required in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone, as approved by the Approval Committee;

(ii) documents for having paid service tax;

(iii) a declaration by the Special Economic Zone developer or unit, claiming such exemption, to the effect that such service is received by him in relation to authorised operation in Special Economic Zone.

(h) the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be, shall, after satisfying himself that the said services have been actually used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone, refund the service tax paid on the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone;

(i) where any refund of service tax paid on specified services is erroneously refunded for any reasons whatsoever, such service tax refunded shall be recoverable under the provisions of the said Finance Act and the rules made thereunder, as if it is a recovery of service tax erroneously refunded.

3. The exemption contained in this notification shall apply only in respect of service tax paid on the specified services on or after the date of publication of this notification in the Official Gazette.

4. Words and expressions used in this notification and defined in the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 (28 of 2005) or the rules made thereunder, shall apply, so far as may be, in relation to refund of service tax under this notification as they apply in relation to a Special Economic Zone.

Form

1. Name of the developer or unit of Special Economic Zone:

2. Address of the registered office or head office:

3. Permanent Account Number (PAN):

4. Details of Bank Account:

(a) Name of the Bank:

(b) Name of the Branch:

(c) Account Number:


5. (a) Constitution of developer or unit of Special Economic Zone [Proprietorship /Partnership /Registered Private Limited Company /Registered Public Limited Company /Others (specify)]  

(b) Name, address, telephone number and Email ID of proprietor /partner /director

6. Description of authorized operations as approved by the Approval Committee:

S. No.

Description of goods

Classification in case of excisable goods

(1)

(2)

(3)

 

 

 

7.  Description of taxable services received by the exporter for use in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone:

S. No.

Description of taxable service

Classification under the Finance Act, 1994

Name, STC and address of service provider

Invoice number  and date

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

 

 

 

 

 

8. Name, designation and address of the authorized signatory / signatories:

9. I / We hereby declare that-

(i) the information given in this application form is true, correct and complete in every respect and that I am authorized to sign on behalf of the developer or units of Special Economic Zone;

(ii) no CENVAT credit of service tax paid on the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone shall be taken under the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004;

(iii) I / we shall maintain records pertaining to the specified services used in relation to the authorised operations in the Special Economic Zone and shall make available, at the declared premises, at all reasonable time, such records for inspection and examination by the Central Excise Officer authorised in writing by the jurisdictional Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise or the Deputy Commissioner of Central Excise, as the case may be.

(Signature of the applicant / authorized person with stamp)


Date:

Place:

[F.No.354/163/2006-TRU]

(Unmesh Sharad Wagh)

Under Secretary to the Government of India

Setting up of operations in India by an Indian Citizen/ Company

An Indian citizen can set up IT software and services operations in India in the following manner:

  • as an Individual/ Proprietor; or
  • as a Partnership Firm/ Trust; or
  • as a Company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (“Co Act”).

No prior permission of Government of India is required to set up IT/ software units in India.

Moreover, to encourage units in this sector, Government of India has announced many schemes ie:

  • Export Promotion Capital Goods (“EPCG”) Scheme: This scheme allows import of capital goods at a concessional customs duty rate, where the importer as a condition is required to achieve a specified export obligation. The export obligation and the period within which the same is required to be achieved vary based on the nature of the unit and value of imported capital goods.
  • Special Economic Zones (“SEZs”): SEZs are designated areas dedicated towards growth of exports, having full flexibility of operations that are permitted to import duty free capital goods and raw material. The movement of goods to and fro between ports and SEZ are unrestricted. The units in SEZ have to export the entire production subject to permitted sales in the DTA. Currently, there are 11 operational SEZs in India which include the Santacruz Electronic Export Promotion Zone, Kandla Export Promotion Zone, Vizag Export Promotion Zone and Cochin Export Promotion Zones which have been converted to SEZs. Fiscal incentives available to SEZ units have been discussed ahead in detail.
  • 100 Percent Export Oriented Unit (“EOU”): In terms of the benefits available, the EOU scheme, on a general basis, is similar to SEZ scheme. But in this scheme, there is no need to be physically located in the designated area (as in the case of SEZs). This scheme offers zero import duty on import of all capital goods, special 10 years income tax rebate (however, such rebate will not be available for Assessment Year 2010-2011 and onwards). The incentives provided to EOUs are generally similar to those provided to SEZ units, except the exemption from central sales tax on purchases.
  • Software Technology Park (“STP”): This is a special scheme under the Ministry of Information Technology, similar to EOU scheme, which is specific for the software industry. STPs are located at Noida, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, Mohali and Thiruvanathapuram. This scheme offers zero import duty on import of all capital goods, special 10 years income tax rebate (however, such rebate will not be available for Assessment Year 2010-2011 and onwards), availability of infrastructure facilities like high-speed data communication links, etc. The incentives provided to EOUs are generally similar to those provided to SEZ units, except the exemption from central sales tax on purchases.

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